Is This Gaming's Greatest Toilet? The Toilet Publishers Don't Want You To See
It's a number one.
I'm really getting the hang of these headlines, I think. In my review of Albino Lullaby this week, I included a throwaway line that I then didn't justify in pictorial form. I wrote that it features, "the best toilet in gaming history." You can't just say a thing like that and expect not to be required to prove it. I think the image above has already done that, but there are more, just in case - click on them to appreciate them fully.
The lack of an image was due to a peculiar glitch with Unreal Engine 4 and FRAPS, the screenshot and video capturer of my career-long choice. In fact, the conflict between the two sent everything so barmy that I lost the ability to Alt-Tab, as well as filling my /pics file with a huge number of screenshots of Tweetdeck. Games journalism.
But I do not shirk from responsibility, no sir/madam. I restarted Albino Lullaby, and rushed through the first couple of sections to return to what I think you already now agree is GAMING'S GREATEST TOILET, to capture it in screenshotted glory.
It's not without stiff competition. All my gaming life I've been fascinated by the dedication and care that goes into reproducing the little boys and girls' room in videographic entertainment. In film, television, pop-up books and literature characters almost never seem to need to wee or poo, and bathrooms rarely make an appearance unless absolutely plot critical. (It leads to the deeply peculiar phenomenon that should a character ever actually go for a wee, it means you know an important plot point is about to occur - not something I can say is always reflected in my daily experience.) But in games, they're everywhere! And almost always just as extraneous detail, rather than vital to the core story. Sure, there's definitely going to be a box of shotgun shells behind one of the cubical doors, but the ubiquity of water closets shows gaming to be the most honest and realistic of mediums.
I'm not the only one drawn to our porcelain friends. Long have I planned to create a gallery of the ultimate toilets in games, but long have I been a lazy and easily distracted thing, and so never have. Fortunately others are more diligent than I - so very many, in fact. For instance, here PC Gamer's editor, Samuel Roberts, explains why he loves the toilets in Dishonored. Games Radar once felt the need to collate the weirdest things they'd found in gaming loos. Kotaku's Luke
Plunger Plunkett wrote A Visual History Of Video Game Toilets. IGN's Justin Davis wrote an essay on why gaming toilets are disgusting. Maxim once picked the best 12 toilets in games, but the idiots deleted it. Oh, and me too! I genuinely interviewed Charles Cecil and Al Lowe to talk about toilets in games.
But I think it's going to be a long time before anyone can claim to have a toilet to match Albino's. Just look at them.
It's important to note that later in the game, that central wonder starts to spin around. Yes.