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Posted on January 28, 2014 by|
They’re just not. I’ve played games like America’s Army and Arma II and while they do have many realistic elements, they’re not simulations or at least not very good ones. More to the point, they never will be.
You see, games are cartoony and unrealistic, it’s just a given. Many of them may have realistic looking visuals but in terms of their feel and what you can get away with, they’re completely absurd.
Yet, many of these exaggerated games have the ability to be immersive. I found myself getting lost in games like Far Cry, Mass Effect and Max Payne. All of these games have things that in the real world, make no sense whatsoever.
Fixing broken bones by snapping them back into place, magically recharging health by sitting on your ass and leaping through windows and down stairs without a flinch.
When you look at them from a completely logical view point, games are stupid and you would expect that. They’re not meant to re-create the world we live in because we already live in that world. We want to explore new places and get lost in these environments we’ll never actually get to see with our own eyes.
However, many developers believe that by adding realistic elements to their games that it will make for a more immersive and they do have a point. By seeing things that we have ourselves, it helps us connect and relate.
You would think then that simulators, games that are trying to make you feel what it’s really like to perform these activities, would make for the most immersive games.
Yet, Arma II is easily one of the most un-immersive games I’ve ever played. From the jerky animations to the robotic sounding voices and combat scenarios that no soldier has ever actually faced themselves with, it does a very poor job of bringing the player into that world.
One of the key things I’ve seen in immersive games, is that they don’t in any way interrupt the player. Speaking of Far Cry, one of my complaints is that they didn’t carry over the map from Far Cry 2 that was in-game.
Sure, it didn’t make sense that a piece of brown paper you held had a real time heads up display but it never interrupted the gameplay. Whenever you brought up the map, you were still in that world.
Recently I’ve been playing games like Red Orchestra and Insurgency and while they do have some problems, one thing they get right, is being able to add realistic elements without getting in the way of gameplay.
As a result, even though a game like Arma may be a more accurate depiction of the military than Insurgency, the latter feels more real. It’s not even restricted to shooters. Need for Speed: Shift 2 may be exaggerated but because of that, it gets closer to the real intensity of racing than any simulator from Simbin.
The reason that simulators don’t really appeal to me is that in sight of trying to be real, all they do is highlight they’re not.
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