If you want funny games on consoles, you have a few options. But if you want games filled with dark humor, you’ll need to turn to the Internet – like Adult Swim’s game section.
Let’s face it: For all we roll our eyes at crude humor, fart jokes make us laugh. Slapstick comedy makes us laugh, over-the-top violence makes us laugh – and yet, that sort of humor would rarely be allowed on a major console. Of course, just because you couldn’t see it on the PS3, Xbox 360 or Wii doesn’t mean you can’t see it anywhere – just look at the games section on AdultSwim.com. Is it crude? Of course. Is it edgy for the sake of being edgy? Well, maybe. But as Veng Xiong argues in this week’s issue of The Escapist, that doesn’t mean it’s without merit:
And then there’s the aforementioned HRmageddon, which is like a videogame version of the movie, Glengarry Glenn Ross, only in the game the office employees are trying to kill each other. HRmageddon is a cartoonish, silly and funny game where you can fire staples at your opponents, stab them in the eye with a golden pen and smash them over the head with a giant presentation board. In order to win, each team must either must kill every member from the opposing side or take over a certain amount of cubicles. As the game’s tagline says, “These layoffs are permanent.” Coffee provides energy for special moves, pay raises provide healing and enraged managers provide motivational stat buffs, granting employees movement bonuses and damage increases.
Ginsberg thinks the humor of HRmageddon is ultimately rooted in the character art and animation, while Nichols is proud of “how the different types of humor mesh.” “The overall conceit is a dry, satirical take on the underlying viciousness found in the daily grind of corporate cubicle farms,” he says.
To read more about the strange and bizarre – yet oddly high-quality – world of Adult Swim’s game section and why it appeals to our baser instincts, read “Where the Funny Things Are” in Issue 220 of The Escapist.