The Top 7… disastrous game romances

3. Jackie Estacado and Jenny Romano

Definitely not living happily ever after in: The Darkness

If you’ll excuse us for just a moment as we attach a fake beard to our collective face, just so we can stroke it: sometimes, the quietest moments in games reverberate the loudest. This semi douchebag phrase pretty much sums up The Darkness’ finest moment. In a game where you spend most of your time ripping out Mafioso hearts with tentacle beasties and flipping over cop cars without blinking a possessed eyelid, it’s watching a bit of TV that lingers in the memory longest.

Above: Oh man, it's all flooding back. C'mon, pull it together. Pull it together

Visiting his girlfriend on his 21st birthday, mob hitman Jackie is welcomed by a fairly pathetic-looking cake and then a little cuddle on the sofa with girlfriend Jenny. Where most games express romance in the crudest terms (we’re looking at you Fahrenheit, and your zombie sex-fest on a freezing train), The Darkness is refreshingly understated and tender. Seeing a moment where two characters are intimate with each other, without having to resort to ‘b00bz!’, was truly special. So of course, things had to go spectacularly tits up for the two orphans in the most ‘Bambi’s mum biting it’ fashion possible.

If you’ve got a shitload of hankies at the ready, we suggest braving the video below…

Why their love is doomed from the start: We’ll venture a guess and say it’s down to the fact Jackie’s family are vicious mafia murderers. That, and he’s possessed by a big-ass demon.

More than Lan Di, more than Liquid Snake, even more than Tingle; we’ve never wanted to lay a polygonal smackdown on a character more than Jackie’s Uncle Paulie. He’s a despicable, deceptive mobster, who’s half Michael Coreleone, half Paulie from Goodfellas. A prick of the almightiest proportions, nothing would make us happier than avenging Jenny by fitting the big-boned bastard with a pair of lead shoes… filled with used needles… and dynamite. Although in fairness, we were just as content at ending his criminal life in the lighthouse level at the end of Jackie’s dark adventure.

Above: Still, even when The Darkness has driven Jackie to do in Paulie, this scene will continue to haunt you

Though their romance doesn’t end surrounded by fat grandchildren, the pair are at least granted one final moment together. Seemingly slipping away after killing his uncle, Jackie shares a final exchange with Jenny in the afterlife, before she sends him back. Apparently, it wasn’t his time. It’s a rare moment of light for a title that’s bleak like the inner depths of Bobby Kotick’s internal soul. But even though it’s a brief win for enduring love, it can’t quite overcome all the pesky murder and (temporary) suicide, which brought a premature end to their romance.

Above: Anyone else feel like jumping off a bridge?

2. Leisure Suit Larry and any female member of the human race

Definitely not living happily ever after in: Leisure Suit Larry series

Yeah, Larry’s been laid a few times. Lets get one thing straight, though: a couple of bouts of sympathy sex can’t make up for an unremitting patchwork of humiliating, degrading behaviour going back 20 years…

‘Nuff said.

David Meikleham
Google AMP Stories Editor

David has worked for Future under many guises, including for GamesRadar+ and the Official Xbox Magazine. He is currently the Google Stories Editor for GamesRadar and PC Gamer, which sees him making daily video Stories content for both websites. David also regularly writes features, guides, and reviews for both brands too.