Ride To Hell: Retribution is an odious game, like, reprehensibly bad.
In every possible way a video game can, Ride To Hell fails. It's the Space Shuttle Challenger of video games.
The game behaves like a screensaver for Windows 95 that has been raised on a steady diet of Chuck Norris Delta Force reruns, Cinemax late night programming, and every disembodied pre-pubescent voice barking over Xbox Live. It's the bastard child of pop culture detritus without the charm and self-awareness of, say, a John Waters' film.
And then there's the sex. Oh lord, is there the sex.
A game designer calling this a love scene is clearly betraying the years of fumbling with doll-sized clothes, openly weeping in order to maintain an erection.
Video games and sex have an ugly history that neither video games nor sex should be particularly proud of. We can point to titles like Leisure Suit Larry and Custer's Revenge for planting the inchoate seeds of the marriage between video games and fucking in video games. And as tasteless as those two titles are, they were limited in their ability to truly offend thanks to their single digit pixel counts.
Developers have long attempted to integrate sex in a meaningful and consequential way into video games. The results have been predictably boner-killing. David Cage's Heavy Rain had a sex scene that was initiated through a series of quick time events and ended with Ethan and Madison pawing one another on a motel room floor with all the sexual chemistry of a jammed printer cartridge.
BioWare has outfitted the Mass Effect series with multiple opportunities for players to 'romance' NPCs and members of your own party. And Mass Effect alone has been one series that has come close to making sex and romance have lasting implications with consequences that last from one title to the next. However, the act still feels hollow. It's a glorified mini-game where sex is a reward.
Any attempts to insert sex into a video game with at least a shred of taste or necessity has fallen short of the mark of justifying its own inclusion. Video game sex is never sexy, but that doesn't mean developers should stop attempting to insert what could be a useful and emotionally effective plot device into a game's narrative.
Unless you're a developer who worked on Ride to Hell: Retribution.
You should never talk to anyone about what you think goes on when two people decide to have the sex. You have a fundamental misunderstanding of how humans rub their front bits together for a laugh.
Ride to Hell: Retribution is considered one of the worst games ever made for good reason. Melee combat leans on the laziest quick-time events we've ever seen. Players with button mashing stamina will be the only ones to enjoy the combat and there's nothing to learn.
Textures that never load quite fast enough, screen tears that swallow the player wholesale, copy and pasted enemy character models, and combat mechanics that are just plain broken are all perfectly legitimate reasons to hate Ride To Hell.
However, it's the sex scenes in this biker wank fantasy that shits the collective bed of the medium.
The game follows Jake Conway, a Vietnam veteran returning home to the states to make an honest go of life as a civilian. A biker gang murders Jake's brother and terrorizes the small town forcing Jake to infiltrate the motorcycle club. I'd go into more detail about the game's story, but there isn't much more than that.
Oh, he's got a mullet. So that's relevant. And that's about as fleshed out as the plot gets.
Early in the game Jake is presented with the opportunity to defend a prostitute from a street tough. As soon as you intervene and knock the thug out, the game cuts to the scene below. No explanation given, no dialogue, and no transition of any kind. One second you're punching a guy in the face, the next you're dryly thrusting away like you're trying to pull start a lawnmower with the front of your Levis.
We guess that rewarding a stranger with sex for a good deed is one way to encourage random acts of kindness, but it also seems like a super effective way to get the clap. The worst part about the entire exchange is the fact the developers forgot to animate the woman's eyes. Nothing says sexy quite like having the dead eyed stare of a marionette silently judging your performance.
(You're doing it wrong)
And that's it.
The sex bears no weight on the plot and seems to have been included just to reinforce the notion of how much of an alpha male stud you are, which thanks to the laughably ham-fisted script, no one is ever in danger of missing.
After your first bout of haunted machine sex, you're asked to find a key, because nothing says innovative narrative quite like having to hunt down a fucking key to proceed to the next section.
Surprise, surprise the key you're looking for is being held by the ex-wife of a mechanic working for the biker gang. After kicking the mechanic's teeth out, the ex-wife being so impressed with your musk, drops one of the most awesome innuendos ever uttered.
Watch the video for some of the least effective sexy talk ever muttered by the throat of man.
A game designer calling this a love scene is clearly betraying their years of fumbling with doll-sized clothes, openly weeping in order to maintain an erection. And why does she keep her hat AND jumpsuit on during the entire wooden endeavor?
I have had sex three to four times and I'm pretty good at not throwing up (anymore), but I'm pretty sure that the jeans need to come off for the other person to throw their hands up like that. Unless she's hard of hearing, or trying to bring back the Macarena, there's no reason she should be mugging like a trance DJ at Ultra.
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Until sex in games can become something more than sex for sex's sake, it will remain a novelty. Sex in games is, for now, a pointless simulacrum that never effects character or narrative in any lasting way. A game like Ride to Hell: Retribution has actively, and with impressive efficacy, held sex in video games in a state of permanent triviality.
The game clearly has no idea how people bone down IRL.