Top 10: Unrealistic aspects of games (and why we love them)

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Top 10: Unrealistic aspects of games (and why we love them)

Games have a tendency to not be realistic. Who knew?

We’re not here to poke fun; we’re here to celebrate. There are so many aspects of games (and for the majority of this list, films) that are overlooked for one reason or another. We’re here to pick out our favorites.

We’re going to avoid obvious things such as recharging health and knives that are thrown 100 feet, killing instantly. Lets try to look at some aspects of gaming that you may not immediately recognise as being utter rubbish.

Bulletproof Vests absorb all damage

Thanks to recharging health bars, this one isn’t as prevalent as it used to be, but I’m sure the majority of us can remember: you’re marching around, keeping an eye on your health, when you notice some armour in the distance. Yes! Any health problems we had are now put on hold, as our wonderful, magical armour will take the strain for us.

Why it’s rubbish

Against the most high-powered automatic weapons, say an AK-47, vests are close to useless. Even the most thick and durable pieces of armour are only designed to withstand fire from over 14 meters away. It’s safe to say that enemies get closer than that during games.

Why we just don’t give a damn

This is one of those times when we simply have to shrug our shoulders and say “It’s just a game”. It’s also still something that makes sense in theory; the more prepared you are, the better you’ll be in combat. Where’s the harm?

Car Jumps

Hold up! High speed car chase in San Francisco? You know what that means… Strap yourself in as you put your pedal to the metal down those iconic roads, jumping as you go.

Why it’s rubbish

Unless your car has a bitching suspension, you’re not going to survive one of those jumps. It’s hard to imagine using this movie for realism, but remember the scene in Road Trip when they have to jump the bridge?

They survived the jump, but afterwards the car is ruined. Most commercial cars simply aren’t designed to withstand such pressure, some have trouble even driving over curbs.

Why we just don’t give a damn

Because it’s just damn fun. Even from a gameplay standard we know we shouldn’t be doing it; less road traction means less control, but ask us if we care while 10 feet in the air.

Dual Wielding

It’s game time. Things have gotten real, time to stop playing Angry Birds with your spare hand and pick up another gun. Enemies need killing and two is always better than one. Right?…… Right?

Why it’s rubbish

Wrong!

There is pretty much no benefit to dual wielding weapons as can be seen in this episode of combat facts. Other than suppression fire, dual wielding does more harm to the shooter than good, as them guns have a hell of a kick!

Why we just don’t give a damn

Because it’s game time dammit! Try telling Max Payne that dual wielding isn’t that useful as he’s diving in slow motion, wasting gangsters left and right.

Gun Clips

Okay, so dual wielding is out, but not to worry, especially when you have your handy AK-47 in hand. That thing is a death machine!

Why it’s rubbish

The whole point of automatic weapons is to… well, fire automatically. By automatically, we mean fast! See how long that lasted? Not long at all. You’ll spend more time reloading than shooting those things.

Why we just don’t give a damn

If we wanted a realistic gun simulation, we’d shoot an actual gun. The best games are the ones that give you control. What’s fun about having to reload every 4 seconds? Nothing, that’s what.

Car Doors used as cover

Regardless of how often you have to reload it, you grab your gun and head for cover. A car door is open, perfect! Just jump behind it so you can peek over in total safety. Except…

Why it’s rubbish

Remember when we said that cars aren’t designed for this sort of thing? Well, it turns out cars aren’t designed for this sort of thing. Your head can stop bullets better than a car door. Though please don’t test that theory, absolutely no good can come from it.

Why we just don’t give a damn

Because we need cover! There are only so many chest high walls in the world, every so often you need to mix it up a little. Though mixes of game logic and reality can create some interesting situations, like the car doors in X:COM.

Asteroid Fields

You all remember that scene from Empire Strikes Back? The Millennium Falcon enters the Asteroid field to the shock of everyone. C3PO warns Han Solo that the odds of survival are 3,720 to 1. Which sounds about right, I mean, look! Asteroids everywhere.

Isaac even took some time out from killing Necromorphs in Dead Space to do a bit of casual defending of his ship from deadly asteroids.

Why it’s rubbish

True, our Solar system has an Asteroid belt consisting of half a million Asteroids (that we know of). But also remember how much dam space there is out there. No need to remember we’ll just tell you: a lot. Each Asteroid has an average of 400,000 square miles of space to itself

NASA took it upon themselves to test C3PO’s theory and sent a probe towards the belt. They concluded that the actual odds were one in a Billion.

Why we just don’t give a damn

Let’s face it, every so often, you need to take a break. Empires, monsters, they’re all well and good, but sometimes you just like to relax with some good old-fashioned Asteroids. Could you imagine the arcade classic Asteroids if it were realistic? Who needs that?

Gun butt/ Knife slash

This is one that everyone knows about. Whether in Halo, Call of Duty or many, many other shooters, melee is king. Why waste bullets when punching someone with your mighty fists (or in Bulletstorm’s case, feet) get the job done, sometimes even more so.

Why it’s rubbish

Because bullets are more powerful than hands. That simple really.

Why we just don’t give a damn

It comes back to that matter of variation, but also depth. Sure, it’s safe to shoot from far away under the protection of your magic car door, but the job could be done so much quicker if you took a leap of faith and gun butted the fool right on their ugly noses.

Unconscious enemies

Most stealth games these days give you the option of either killing or subduing your enemies. Both provide the same results for the most part, as long as you remember to hide the bodies, unconscious enemies won’t bother you again. Your conscience is clear as you move on. Until you realise…

Why it’s rubbish

Two main points to bring up here. Firstly, the enemy could very well just wake up again minutes later and report what happened, rendering the act of subduing them in the first place completely useless.

Alternatively, they will stay unconscious for the rest of the level. The problem here being that serious damage can be caused to the brain if it is unconscious for more than five minutes. Meaning again that after all the effort that went into harmlessly removing the enemy from the equation, he/she has actually resulted in some serious brain damage.

Why we just don’t give a damn

Quite frankly, it’s still nice to be given a choice. In an industry that, admittedly, focuses on products that revolve around killing people, it’s nice to be at least given the choice to handle things differently. As graphics and gameplay become more realistic, it’s becoming more and more clear that we’re actually, you know, killing people in these games. Besides, any fool can go about shooting everyone, but to get through a level without a single fatality? Now that takes some skill.

Silencers

Speaking of sneaking around, what self-respecting stealth expert would be caught without a silencer? You can shoot all the enemies, dogs and light bulbs that you want! No-one is any the wiser. Where’s the down side?

Why it’s rubbish

Silencers, in the sense that we think anyway, don’t exist.

At best they can shave a good 10 decibels off your gun. They’re main function is to remove the muzzle flare, which, if used correctly, can make it hard to see where the shot came from, which is why they are usually a sniper’s best friend. That’s all.

Why we just don’t give a damn

Because they’re cool. That’s right. That’s the only excuse we need this time. While games like Rainbow Six: Vegas add a little depth by including a pros and cons aspect of attaching a silencer, we mainly love them cause they look totally bad-ass. Plus who doesn’t love the sound they make?

Sword Fights

Now it’s time for an epic battle. Guns are fine. But there’s nothing quite like grabbing a long, overcompensating sword and facing off against an enemy. Steel on steel. Man vs man (or woman). There can be only one. There is no way this can’t look epic.

Why it’s rubbish

Except this is what sword fights realistically looked like.

Honest question: What possible reason is there for hitting your opponents sword? Can you think of one? Why would you aim for the sword when it’s clearly the soft, subtle flesh that is the weak point.

Another thing to remember: Swords aren’t Lightsabers. They’re made of steel. While steel can be strong, it’s not indestructible. They dent, they bend and eventually they will be rendered useless.

The Zatoichi adaptation by Takeshi Kitano was more true to form (while still silly as hell) as it had more to do with quick, clean, precise strikes rather than receiving parry after parry.

Why we just don’t give a damn

Again, it’s a simple matter of looking like a total badass. Some games do indeed have weapon degradation and some smart arse reviewers mock them because of that.

Seems as if it’s much safer, and cooler, to simply have an indestructible piece of weaponry that can see us from the beginning to the end of a game.

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Done. That was fun. Did you have fun? What are your favorite unrealistic aspects of games? Do please let us know.

About Kevin John Kennedy

I love me some games. RPGs, action, adventure all that stuff. I also write: http://www.facebook.com/ManFeelingsComedy.

  • http://twitter.com/ED_RICHTOFEN @ED_RICHTOFEN

    btw 3# happens in MGS4 the enemy wakes up after like 3 minutes

    • Rich

      ah nice, that's pretty cool! Although probably annoying at times?

  • Brad

    Battlefield 3 solves the knife insta-kill issue by making you actually grab the character from behind and plunge the knife into his body. Instant, not necessarily. But certainly closer to reality than simply slashing the dude at a distance of 20 feet (I'm looking at you, Call of Duty).

  • Jacko10792

    The one with the battlefield picture, About the magazines being to small.. What the fuck do you expect, If you want it to be realistic you’re not exactly gonna have fucking 60 bullets in a regular AK47, you’re meant to savor your ammunition, not spend all of it spraying at people.. The person that made this has no idea what they’re on about, like seriously