Video games can be a great way to learn about history -- for instance, Red Dead Online taught us that the most common cause of death during the Old West was "twenty animals spawned in the same room as you." Okay, so not everything in these games happened in real life, but some take the "rewriting history" thing to particularly deranged lengths. Like ...
This game isn't even out yet and it's already the most controversial one in this list. In Sex With Stalin you play as someone who gains access to a time machine and bypasses the trite "kill baby Hitler" dilemma in favor of the more interesting "bang middle-aged Stalin" one. The description on Steam makes it sound like this game has branching paths, some more erotic than others. Once you meet Stalin, you can befriend him, help him achieve world domination, or, and we quote, "show that mustache guy what's real love is!"
Going from the game's (probably NSFW) screenshots, it will also involve Hitler in a rather revealing ensemble, and the only thing sexier than a naked Stalin: two naked Stalins.
The game has already gotten wide coverage in Russia's media, and it turns out the country's Communists aren't too pleased -- which is a shame, because they're like 80% of the target audience. The head of Communists of Russia demanded that the game be banned, while the Communist Party said authorities should investigate it. Stalin's granddaughter herself called for the Kremlin to get involved. We're now trying to picture the government having Chernobyl-type meetings about the Stalin-fucking game.
Here's a Russian news show talking about their long national nightmare:
Quite a few people in Russia felt like giving the developer a piece of their mind. Unfortunately for him, he happens to live there. According to his Reddit AMA, once his identity was leaked to the media he got so many death threats that he had to go into hiding for a while. He had to suspend the game's development because of that, but he's back at work now that things have calmed down, and shared (definitely NSFW) footage of some of the sensual dances Stalin will be performing in the game.
Lewdness aside, it's impressive how much Stalin-dancing technology has advanced in a few years. Just compare those smooth moves to the dancing in the trailer of Stalin vs. Martians, the classic 2013 shovelware game:
Eternal Sonata would be an average Japanese RPG if it wasn't for the fact that it starts with classical composer Frederic Chopin lying in bed, dying of tuberculosis. As he dies, he dreams about being in a fantastic world full of anime-style characters. Yes, this game reveals that Chopin was secretly a massive weeb.
Bandai Namco Games
Bandai Namco Games
The plot is your typical JRPG nonsense: an evil Count has a plan to control people via a magic powder and it's up to a bunch of children in stupid clothes to stop him. Every once in a while, you learn factoids straight out of Chopin's Wikipedia page. But then, when Chopin and the young friends he's made along his journey reach the end, they have to fight the final boss: Frederic Chopin?
Bandai Namco Games
Chopin realizes his friends are the result of his brain misfiring and decides he must fight them in order to face his soul, which just sounds like an excuse to beat the crap out of a bunch of kids (as if you needed one in your dreams). Of course, at this point the player controls the other characters, so they end up beating Chopin's wimpy ass. Somehow this results in his soul achieving eternal peace anyway.
The director says he made this game to teach more people about Chopin ... and how he died fighting some anime dream beings, presumably. He actually sent the people at the Frederic Chopin Society in Warsaw the text to this insanity to ensure that the game was "historically accurate." We're guessing they just looked at the first page, saw "Chopin is dying of tuberculosis ..." and figured the rest must be equally grounded in reality.
Instead of going through all that trouble, the developers should have followed the example of Amadeus Revenge: a simple '80s game about Mozart going around shooting other musicians.
"There can be only one."
Napoleon is a real-time strategy game published by Nintendo on the Game Boy Advance that proves even the people who make RTS games find them extremely boring. Why? Because it starts as a grounded historical drama about Napoleon's army fighting England, but it only takes five levels for the developers to start adding shit like ogres, yetis ... and Madame Tussaud, who in this timeline is a powerful witch commanding an army of monsters instead of just some lady who liked wax a whole lot.
Apparently the developers opened an encyclopedia and started adding whatever random French historical figure they could find as an opponent. Joan of Arc? Sure, some demon brought her back to life. Nostradamus? Was he French? Yeah, probably, throw him in too. Also, Joan calls him "grandfather," even though she died like 70 years before he was born.
The plot involves Napoleon real-time strategizing in places like Egypt, a floating island inhabited by ancient Greeks, and finally hell itself, where he must fight a giant nostril-shaped monster that shoots lasers. Oh, and the demon they've been fighting this whole time turns out to be Madame Tussaud, who is also Marie Antoinette, because Tussaud picked up Antoinette's head after she was guillotined and their souls merged. Shame on you if you didn't see that one coming.
In the end, Napoleon heroically sacrifices himself to save France, but he's resurrected by the ghost of Louis XVI so he can "make the people happy, bring the world liberty, equality." And then he lived happily ever after! (Until he got exiled to a shitty island and died at 51.)
The year 1991 was an eventful one for Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev: the Berlin Wall finished coming down, the USSR was dissolved ... but it was all worth it, because two completely unrelated companies made video games about him. The first was Sega's Ganbare Gorby, where Gorbachev breaks into a Russian factory to bring the people essential items like bread, medicine, and brand new Sega Game Gears.
As Gorby goes around the factory, he must fend off Soviet guards. Why are the guards fighting their own president? Maybe they think he's some other middle aged guy with the exact same birthmark on his head, or maybe their Sega fanboyism is stronger than their loyalty to the motherland. In any case, you attack the guards by simply breathing on them:
After you do that for 32 levels, the ending shows a large crowd of people cheering Gorbachev by a massive wall. Apparently, in this timeline everyone in Berlin was too distracted playing with their state-provided video game console to tear down the wall.
The second Gorbachev-centric game of 1991 was Gorby's Pipeline for the NES and other consoles, which is about the construction of a pipeline across the USSR. The protagonists are the two little children entrusted with this major construction project, but a cute cartoon version of Gorbachev is prominently displayed on the title screen and cover art. Clearly, he was the main selling point here.
This one has no ending. It goes on forever, just like the eternal Soviet Union. And of course, 1991 also saw another major highlight in Gorbachev's career: his inclusion on Zangief's ending in Street Fighter II, which revealed his sweet dance moves.
The NBA 2K series includes a manager (or "Association") mode, for those who think the real thrill of these games is in handling personnel, balancing the budget, and tactfully removing a crying Dennis Rodman from your locker room. In 2014, SB Nation writer Jon Bois used this mode to map out the tragic final decades of the NBA, but he accidentally stumbled upon something even more disturbing. When the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2017-2018 championship, the game showed a cutscene of the team visiting the White House ... and Barack Obama was still president.
That's weird, but maybe he just happened to be there that day to pick up some personal items, or maybe the Cavs refused to meet with the other guy and Barry stepped in. Hell, maybe this is actually taking place in his house.
But then, when the Denver Nuggets win in 2026-2027 ... Obama is still there. And it's definitely the White House.
As Bois points out, Obama has been president for 19 years in this reality. Somehow, the artificially-induced decline of the NBA has damaged the American psyche so profoundly that everyone sorta forgot about presidential term limits and let the same guy keep ruling the country. On the upside: hey, no election season.
By 2034, as the NBA games devolve into dwarves clumsily bumping into each other while occasionally touching the ball, 74-year-old Obama is still there, and he hasn't aged a day. After so much time in power, the process that makes presidents age faster than regular people has broken down and reversed itself, rendering him immortal.
The NBA dies in 2053, but the Obama administration lives on, and no one seems to mind. Millions of years from now, residents of Obamerica won't even be able to conceive the possibility that there ever was another president. (Biden, long dead, will still be registered as candidate every 12 years or so, but no one remembers the meaning of this ritual.)
But there's good news for basketball fans: looks like Obama eventually gets bored of his eternal reign and revives the NBA just to become a player, as shown by this NBA 2K17 modder.