The first fully naked character in "Grand Theft Auto" history is a man.
Didn't see that coming?
The video game series for which there is never a lack of controversy can now claim to be the first modern gaming franchise to feature the full monty. A politician's, no less.
In the Xbox 360-only "Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned" expansion to "GTA: IV" released digitally on Tuesday, one non-interactive scene features a naked man, Congressman Thomas Stubbs, interrupting a back massage in order to have a chat with the game's lead character, Johnny Klebitz. At the end of the scene, Stubbs turns in full view of the game's "camera" and shows us his stuff.
Full-frontal male nudity is extremely rare in video games. You'd have to go back to a notorious 1982 Atari video game called "Custer's Revenge," which featured a playable scene of a blocky General Custer appearing in just his boots, hat and scarf in a scene that amounted to interactive sexual assault.
Since then, even female nudity in games has been uncommon, with topless women appearing only occasionally in non-porn games, such as in love scenes in the "God of War" games or as an optional outfit choice in "Age of Conan."
Guys, however, have kept their clothes on in most games. Often they've been able to fight demons and crime and whatever else in just their underwear. But taking the underwear off? That doesn't happen.
Rockstar Games declined to comment to MTV News about the male nudity in "Lost and Damned."
The company has had its share of controversies in the past. "Grand Theft Auto" games have been vilified by those who feel the series glorifies violence against police officers and women. "San Andreas" was found to include an unfinished interactive sex game — a mode that was so unfinished that its characters were still clothed, but a hacker found a way to make them naked. The studio's "Bully" was protested before its release on suspicions that it would depict extreme school violence, even though it turned out to be a T-rated game that let the player, at worst, stuff prep-school bullies in lockers and garbage cans. And "Manhunt 2," Rockstar's first Wii game, was initially given an Adults-Only rating because of its vivid depictions of interactive murder, before being revised for a Mature rating.
It should be noted that the studio's recent games — "Manhunt 2" notwithstanding — have garnered critical acclaim and earned Rockstar the reputation of being one of the top creative houses in the field.
As for the newly exposed fictional Congressman Stubbs, he's got a Twitter account of his own, where he hasn't tweeted about his massage scene just yet. But the slogan of his campaign, as seen on RockstarGames.com, might be a sly reference to it: "What you see is really what you get."
For more on "Grand Theft Auto" and most other video games, check out the Multiplayer gaming blog.