WWE man-mountain Randy Orton last night became an unlikely defender of the industry's creative freedoms, urging developers to fight back against critics with a rallying cry for "more violence" in videogames.
The fantasy wrestling superstar, who's currently sidelined with a broken collarbone, was in London to promote THQ's SmackDown vs. Raw 2009, and revealed to Eurogamer how he was sick and tired of the bad press gaming receives, insisting that the makers of adult titles had nothing to be ashamed of.
"Violence sells. I want to see more violence in games - the more blood the better," he told us. Orton argued that videogames were the least of parents' worries, when some "don't know their kids are watching South Park".
He cited the example of the Scorcese gangster flick Goodfellas as evidence that movie violence could be far more shocking than anything in a videogame, calling Grand Theft Auto "just a cartoon" in comparison.
"The violence [in Goodfellas] is against human beings. There's rape in movies - you see all kinds of f***ed up s*** on film," he observed. Playing Mortal Kombat underage, added the man who now hits people for a living, hadn't done him any harm.
Orton, in true narcissistic WWE fashion, enjoys "playing with himself" in the game, and is particularly pleased with the accuracy of his tattoos in this year's update. He owns an Xbox 360 and Wii, his favourite recent game being Mario Kart, although he sticks to the regular controller as "the wheel is just a gimmick".
The birth of his baby daughter last month has meant he's been "too covered in poop" to play much else, though. Give the man a column.
The Yuke's-developed WWE series remains THQ's most successful property, the last one shifting over 6 million copies, despite only strangling a six out of us in our review.
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw is out on PS3, 360, PS2, PSP, Wii and DS on 11th November, with THQ keen to flag up a new tag-team mechanic, Create-A-Finisher feature, co-op storylines, the belated introduction of downloadable content, and online play in the Wii version.
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