There are some pleasures in life that are meant solely for grown-ups and characters in video games, and drinking is one of them. And there’s good reason for that. You can romanticise the thought of a glass of whiskey on a cold night, or a crisp, cold beer on a summer’s day, but most of the time things get a little messy. Well, at least they do in games. Whether you’re going high fantasy with Skyrim, getting naked in GTA 5, or drinking people under the table in Watch Dogs, these are the best games to get drunk in - responsibly or otherwise.
10. Yakuza 0
Heading to one of the many bars in Yakuza 0’s world isn’t just a form of relaxation, it’s actually a great way to make sure you’re your best possible self for a fight. Drink yourself down a selection of the fine whiskeys on offer and you’ll soon find that your heat meter is full, gang members spot you from further away, and - most importantly - certain skills will be unlocked that are literally impossible to access while sober. See, booze isn’t all bad.
9. Watch Dogs
Drinking in Watch Dogs takes the concept of having a quiet beverage to unwind from work and makes it a sport. It’s actually a mini-game in Ubisoft’s open-world hacking adventure, which requires Aiden to beat the local heavy drinker in not one, but three, levels of drunkenness by downing shots. Drinking him under the table is just a case of accomplishing a series of quick time events, but the drunker Aiden gets, the harder the QTEs get too.
These drinking games can be done in three locations and each area has levels from 1-11, meaning there are 33 drinking games to be done if you want to unlock the hilarious Beer Belcher and Social Lubricant achievements. Of course, we’ve attained both and our livers hate us for it.
8. Fallout: New Vegas
Alcohol has always been around in the Fallout series, but it wasn’t until Fallout 3 that it actually had any affect on the gameplay, or your character. From then on, booze has had positive and negative effects. Most of the devil-water you’ll find lying about in the wasteland increases your strength and charisma, but lowers your intelligence (that sounds about right, judging by what we’ve seen in our local on a Friday night).
But Fallout: New Vegas also rewards those who know how to choose a good favourite tipple. If you choose the Whiskey Rose perk, it effectively turns whiskey into a combat enhancer, stripping all negative perks from booze but causing whiskey to raise your damage threshold by two and wasteland tequila by three. Cheers!
You can romanticise drinking in a high fantasy setting all you want, with that warm mental imagery of flagons of mead and pewter goblets of spiced wine. In reality - well, as close as Skyrim Special Edition gets to reality - getting drunk in Skyrim leads to some shenanigans worthy of a lads’ night out in the streets of Blackpool. Consume enough alcoholic beverages and you’ll start to stumble around with the same amount of coordination as a Khajit getting high of his own supply of moon sugar, as well as enduring the weird combination of restoring some stamina while experiencing a nasty hit to your stamina regeneration rate.
Only two fancy drinks have added bonuses that make them chugworthy: Colovian Brandy makes you more charismatic, (fortifying your speech by 10 points for 20 seconds), and Argonian Bloodwine lets you briefly breathe underwater and resist 40% of poison for 50 seconds. Usually I wouldn’t advise jumping in a lake while intoxicated, but with that nectar running through your veins it’ll almost definitely result in a great story to tell at the inn the next night. Spamming drinks in your inventory isn’t the only way to get drunk, though. Accept Sam Guevenne’s invitation to join him in a drinking competition to kick off the quest A Night to Remember, which involves deeds that make putting a traffic cone on the head of a statue look like amateur hour.
Somewhere beyond the sea there’s a bottle of Merlot waiting for me. Hang on, those lyrics don’t sound quite right... Regardless, in Bioshock you can happily quaff bottles of top-notch alcohol as long as you don’t mind your EVE going down a bit. On the rare occasion where you’re stumbling around nursing a wound from a splicer, for some reason pouring a bottle of alcohol down your throat heals you slightly (When in reality it would reduce blood coagulation and increase the bleeding). Consume enough drinks in a short amount of time and your vision will go blurry for obvious reasons.
However, if you treat yourself to the Booze Hound gene tonic, drinking alcohol restores EVE instead of depleting it. So you can happily get totally bungalowed in Rapture without any ill effects...apart from reduced ability to aim your weapon of choice and difficulty distinguishing that poster over there from the splicer that’s now ramming a hook into your abdomen. Oh well, better have another tipple of Red Ribbon Brandy to heal that gaping wound...
5. Monster Hunter World
Getting your grog on might not give you any advantages on the battleground in Monster Hunter World, but what better thing to do with your mates while that one pal continues to fiddle with their loadout? Head on up to the Gathering Hub, sit yourselves down at a table, and start chugging. Knock back a few brews and then just you try to get up. Regardless of whether you lined your stomach with a meat platter first or not, the giant beers in Monster Hunter World hit you hard. Walking becomes an issue, and eventually you’ll fall spreadeagled on your back, overcome with booze-induced wonderment. It’s even funnier if there’s a bunch of you staggering about too.
4. Red Dead Redemption
Slamming a shot of whiskey, bourbon or tequila might be an important social activity in Red Dead Redemption, but it’s also rather precarious. Drink a couple of shots and your lightweight hero John Marston, will start to stagger around like a strange alcoholic rag doll, falling down all over the place, struggling to get back up. and even passing out for a little while - and yes, you can get run over by a horse while you lie there. But that’s not all. If a patron decides to take offence to your drunken behaviour, you’ll get challenged to a duel, which is interesting when you can barely see. John takes a ridiculously long time to sober up too, so good luck trying to get back into the saddle.
3. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag
“There’s not a pirate living who’d turn his back on a keg of rum” says our pirate hero Edward Kenway in Black Flag, and he’s right. Ubisoft knows that it would be odd to have a pirate-themed Assassin’s Creed without a little reward for a spot of drinking. Chug five glasses of rum at the local tavern and you’ll wake up in a haystack somewhere entirely different, earning yourself the achievement entitled Hungover. You spend so much of your time in a haystack in AC, it probably won’t come as much of a shock to Edward Kenway though.
2. GTA 5
Drinking is quite the past time in Los Santos, and all three of the protagonists are up for a little tipple on a regular basis. And, as with GTA 4, you can get pretty wasted, and being drunk feels oddly realistic. Head down to one of the local drinking holes and watch the drunk staggering occur. But the most interesting thing about being drunk is listening to the drunken banter, especially if you play as Michael and take your cheating spouse Amanda with you.
Of course, most of the drunken hilarity happens when it’s Trevor doing it as part of the storyline. We’ve never seen anyone wake up in their underwear so often. And what gross underwear it is too.
1. Sea of Thieves
Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho. It’s a pirate’s life for you, and me, and a load of your mates, thanks to Sea of Thieves. And what pirate’s life would be complete without knocking back some boozed-up adventures? Every ship is equipped with its own grog keg, or you can hit the pub on dry(ish) land. But it seems pirates aren’t quite as good as holding their booze as you’d expect, because if you sink a few tankards, it’ll become very tricky to walk in a straight line. Before you know it you’ll be walking the plank straight off the ship, when all you wanted to do was restock your bananas.
And of course, where there’s drunken pirates, there’s also pirate vomit. You can’t expect to sail the seas with a belly full of grog, that’s just asking for trouble. You’ll either projectile vomit where you stand, or if you grab a bucket you can fill it with your expulsions and use it as a weapon. Fling your vomit into any nearby pirate’s face (friend or foe) and they’ll be covered in the green bile, obscuring their vision with chunks of those aforementioned ‘nanas. It takes the concept of sea sickness to a whole new level.