With many developers seeking an immersive, quasi-realistic experience in their games, we are often pushed as players to not only absorb the mechanics of a new environment & take on the lore, but also to take active steps to keep ourselves alive, as mundane as they may be (GTA San Andreas, I’m looking at you). However, there are some fine examples of when the polar opposite takes place, and being quite honest I love that. Realism is good, but who wants to be worried about your protagonist being hungry when they’re fleeing for their life? Here are my top 4 examples of absurd logic in gaming!
Fall damage not being a thing (Halo 2, Lightning Returns – FFXIII)
Might as well start strong – can’t get any less realistic than getting into a scrap with gravity and winning, right? While some games will have an active explanation for this (The advanced knee replacements in Portal/Portal 2), others will just outright gloss over the fact that the player character can go one-on-one with concrete and be absolutely fine.
Potential for infection, but protagonist somehow not getting infected (Resident Evil 1/2/3/CV:X)
This one always got my goat; how is it that a virus that can take down a number of labs, a city and an island (just to name a few environments) just doesn’t have the tenacity to take down the player character? Even discounting S.T.A.R.S members, how have the assorted viruses not taken out your player character when they’re students, rookie cops and children?
Granted, the game explains this by stating that actions of the player are generally non-canon, but even so, we’re expected to believe that the protagonists have avoided infection as well as evisceration even though the virus has a multitude of methods to replicate and spread.
Wait, who lit these? (Skyrim/Tomb Raider)
It must take some real stones to venture off into the unknown, not knowing what you’re going to encounter, all for the sake of knowledge (and probably wealth too). It must take even more stones to blaze that trail to light all the torches ahead of your protagonist while also not collecting any of the loot, as well as having to avoid every enemy. The risk/reward for that scenario is a bit off! Just for reference, I’m completely glossing over the T-Rex encounter from Tomb Raider 1 – no way could it have survived in the environment it was in, but I feel like calling that out would be taking the mick a bit, really.
Fighting crime, as long as it is on land.
Just to caveat my next point, I fully get that there are some people that aren’t great swimmers, myself included. However, as a superhero, you’d think that being able to not die in ankle deep water would be kind of a given. Potentially growing up in a landlocked city doesn’t help, but come on. Spiderman, pools are in fact a thing that exist. Our darling Claude from GTA 3 wasn’t much better; considering that Liberty City was a series of three islands, you’d think he’d be able to get to his waist, at the very least. Though there is the possibility that I’m asking a hell of a lot of someone who is probably all kinds of knackered after a failed heist. Well, failed for him, at least.
Hearing your ideas is always a blast – drop them in the comments below, or ping them over to firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂