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What's better: sex cutscenes or bullet time?

Please vote in our important research mission

Last time, you decided that explosive barrels are better than hints. I suppose you don't need hints to know what a red barrel does. While we still have so many more things to assess, let's next revisit somewhat familiar ground. You previously decided romance is better than de_dust2 and now I want to escalate both things. What's better: sex cutscenes or bullet time?

Sex cutscenes

I try to keep our research project on a path of joy and celebration but I'll confess: I don't get these. Every time a video game starts to show me a sex cutscene, horror washes over me and I need to turn away. Even between characters I care about, they are deeply, deeply unsexy. Just the worst. And yet, so many RPGs think I want to watch dead-eyed puppets smash their faces together and clip their fingers through each other's skin. Why? I understand the desire to reflect the full spectrum of human emotion but you can fade to black, you know. I can only assume that sex cutscenes are wildly popular, and therefore a potential candidate for the best thing. Why else would giant studios expend such effort making their games worse?

I will say that 2D games are way, way better at this than 3D games. They can offer a sexiness which blossoms in the mind, erotica rather than just awful puppet shows. I would talk about 'the uncanny valley' but the risk of euphemism is too distressing.

Bullet time

Virtual 'action' I can get behind is slow-motion action. Give me Max Payne diving sideways through a spray of shotgun pellets. Give me Bayonetta nailing a dodge and slipping into Witch Time, or the analogue movements in Platinum's other hack 'n' slash games. Give me Franklin weaving through traffic in Grand Theft Auto V. Give me F.E.A.R.'s facekicks. Give me Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines portraying super speed with a slow-motion world. Give me Killing Floor's multiplayer showers of brains. Give me Super Hot, just Super Hot, all of Super Hot.

Video games are great at cool things, and this is one of the coolest.

Watch on YouTube

But which is better?


Pick your own winner, vote in the poll below, and make your case in the comments to convince others, then we'll reconvene next week to see which thing stands triumphant—and continue the great contest.

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About the Author
Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.

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