Video games have come a long way in terms of telling a story. They have high grade voice actors and cutscenes that occasionally rival at least mid-grade movies. However, the one place video games always seem to lack in is comedy. Humor just never seems to come across as well in a video game as it does in other entertainment mediums. I never really understood why. After all, the interactivity of video games offers the creators an entirely different level to work with their audience. Nonetheless, games still struggle with being funny, and there doesn’t seem to be any sings of that changing.
All that aside, there are some exceptions. Every now and then a game comes along and actually makes you laugh out loud. It’s a rare moment that needs to be savored, because it may not happen again for a long while. Looking back in history, there aren’t many of these rare gems.
Some games are funny on purpose, some by mistake. Either way, the games on this list made me genuinely laugh, and if you play them, you will agree.
The original Resident Evil is a victim of odd translation. I do not speak Japanese, but I would imagine that the lines were not nearly as ridiculous before the translators came in. Throw weird translation on top of terrible voice acting and you have a piece of comedic gold. The interactions between Barry and Jill are hilarious, and they actually help break the tension of the first game I can remember actually scaring me.
The very first scene with Jill, Barry and Wesker is filled with laugh out loud moments. Most of them come from the poor delivery of Jill’s lines. Actually, now that I think about it, the funniest in Resident Evil comes mostly from how poorly Jill is portrayed.
For making Resident Evil hilarious, I salute you, Una Kavanagh. You truly are the master of unlocking.
Grand Theft Auto 4
The stuff that goes on in any Grand Theft Auto game is generally funny in how ridiculous it is. GTA IV takes it to another level. When you meet Niko’s cousin and realize just how insane he is, you can’t help but laugh. He is so over the top in the things he says and does. Even though you feel bad for Niko, it’s impossible to suppress a chuckle at the insane ideas his cousin gets him mixed up in.
Aside from Niko’s crazy cousin, where the comedy really comes to the forefront in GTA IV is in the comedy club. They brought in real, high level comedians such as Kat Williams and Ricky Gervais. Their sets in the comedy club are amazing. Normally, I hated doing that dating stuff in GTA, but sitting through their sets was laugh out loud funny and an absolute joy to take part in.
The first Portal was very funny, so Valve had to step their game up to bring Portal 2 to another level. Thankfully, they did, because Portal 2 took the humor level and raised it up about 100 notches above the first one. The humor in the first one was more subtle, as you could tell that Valve was testing the waters with how Portal’s sense of humor would be received. With the second one, they knew they could go all out, and that’s exactly what they did.
Wheatley really brings the funny to another level in Portal 2. He’s not the smartest robot around but he’s one of the funniest (second only to Boredlands own Claptrap). When you stop moving, Wheatley’s one liners to get you going again can be downright hilarious.
What makes Portal 2 so funny is the way they take such a weird and tense situation and find a way to plug in some amazing comic relief. The characters take what could have been a cool puzzle game and turns it into something much greater.
There are a few games out there that know how to bring in the funny. For one reason or another, these three really stand as being the games that made me stand up and take notice of their comedy, even though it wasn’t on purpose. Some other ones worth mentioning are any games from the Red Alert Series, Saints Row and anything Tim Shafer gets his hands on.
What are some games that made you laugh out loud? Let us know in the comments!