The things I’ve listed here probably shouldn’t bother me, but I can’t help it. Sure, some of what I mentioned here make the offending games more palatable to players, but they don’t make sense to me!
No Understanding Of Building Planning
This one is going to seem oddly specific, but when Commander Shepard strolls by Executor Pallin’s office in the first Mass Effect, his door automatically opens, yet the bar and hallway doors require Shepard to manually open them. What gives? Wouldn’t Pallin get extremely annoyed by the foot traffic into and out of the bar next door, constantly opening his office door? Why is there a bar next door to Executor Pallin’s office anyway? He’s the C-Sec head honcho, so where’s the rest of C-Sec? Oh right, it’s downstairs on a completely separate level.
Really, building planning in the Mass Effect universe, along with most games’ settings are pretty suspect. Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Mankind Divided come to mind as well. Adam Jensen’s apartments in both have a small bedroom, one tiny bathroom, and a gigantic damn living room. Or Oblivion and Skyrim, where Ayleid and Dwemer ruins are arranged in nonsensical manners. It’s as if the ancient civilizations that created them just dug out passages and randomly decided “Oh, you know what’d go great next to this steam generator? A bedroom! And let’s put random mechanical spider dispensers everywhere too.”
Leaving Explosives, Ammo, And Valuables Lying Around
If you’ve ever set foot on a military base before, you’d immediately notice all of the explosives and ammo lying around everywhere. Just out in the open and readily available to be snatched up.
No, wait. The opposite of that is true.
What is it with video game bad guys and leaving ammo out in the open? That and stacking explosive barrels liberally around their workplace? It’s like they have zero care in the world for any sense of workplace safety.
Perhaps the most puzzling thing though is how often characters in video games just leave money, valuables, weapons, ammo, jewelry, heirlooms, sensitive information, and incriminating materials out where anybody could stumble across them.
Reloading Magazines Is Easy And All Ammo Is Magic
I don’t know about anybody else, but I have a formidable knowledge of firearms and weaponry. I go target shooting on occasion, though I’d love to do it more. However, one of the parts about going shooting is that I loathe loading magazines.
I don’t know if you readers have loaded magazines for a rifle or pistol, but it’s a huge pain in the ass. One of my pistols (I have two) has a 15-round magazine, and loading rounds into it is time consuming, and can get painful after a while. Possibly because I have girly hands… I’m not sure. Loading a 30-round rifle magazine is even worse, and can take about 2-5 minutes depending on how skilled you are with the practice.
With that in mind, how in the hell is it that so many games get this wrong? Honestly, I do get it; they are video games, and watching your character slowly reload their entire arsenal over the course of several minutes would suck immensely. However, many shooters are lauded as realistic, yet overlook this little detail.
Also, while I’m on the subject of ammunition, if you take out a half-empty magazine to load a full one into your weapon, the bullets don’t magically fill the half-empty magazine. That damn thing stays half-empty until you sit down and reload the bastard. It ain’t like filling a bucket in a pond.
In Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, Bioware attempted to emulate the use of ammo by implementing thermal clips in the series to replace the weapon heat mechanic. I don’t like this change, but I’ll go with it… Up until the logic of it fails. The thermal clips allow a the weapon you’re using to fire, and each thermal clip gives users a set amount of shots that can be fired before the clip’s capacity to soak up heat is expended. Except, if you load another thermal clip into a weapon before the loaded one is expended, the capacity of the partially expended clip somehow, magically transfers its thermal soakiness to another thermal clip.
The “Good” Guy Stealing Everyone’s Stuff Is Okay
Picture this, a long-haired man opens up your front door, walks into your home, and starts rifling through your cabinets for gold and food. He then walks over to your bookcase and takes a couple books and stuffs them into his bag. It’d sound like someone committing a burglary, but no. I just described Geralt of Rivia walking into a random villager’s house.
For some reason in many RPGs, it’s perfectly fine if the main character barges into someone’s home and steals their belongings. Would it be remotely okay if somebody did that in real life? Nope. If I walked into your house without being invited and started eating your food while looking for loose change in your couch, I’d end up getting body slammed into the ground by a police officer.
Stealing From The Dead Is Perfectly Fine
With that last point in mind, let me turn back to Skyrim. For some reason, nobody bats an eye that the Dragonborn strips and loots dead people, or defiles the graves of the Nordic ancestors by ripping open the mummified corpses to rummage through the deceased’s internals for gold.
I’ll just leave you with that mental image.
Running On Ice And Wet Surfaces With No Issues
I know some of my Canadian readers on here can relate to this one. If you’ve ever tried to run on ice, you’ll totally understand where I’m going with this. I’ve yet to play a single game that properly illustrated the negative aspects of trying to move quickly on slick surfaces.
The example that comes to mind at the moment is in The Division. In it, you can take cover behind vehicles, and climb over them if necessary… Which requires the player to walk over the hood/trunk/roof/etc. You know, the vehicles that are covered in snow and ice. Go ahead and ponder that for a moment. Picture yourself trying to jump up onto the hood of car that’s just wet. Now factor in 50 lbs of equipment and assume the surface is covered in snow or ice…
Yeah, you’d be down with a concussion or broken arm in no time at all, and that’s just one example. How many games feature a section where you run across a frozen lake? Hell, in The Long Dark, you can sprint across an entire frozen lake with no problems. I mean, I love that game but still. I know I’d fall flat on my ass if I tried just walking normally across ice, let alone running.
Are there any things that bother you about games? Little details that developers seem to miss or overlook? What weighs on your mind as you’re exploring the vast reaches of virtual worlds? Let me know!
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