10 unrealistic mechanics in realistic games

Since the inception of the industry, developers have used “realism” to describe their games. To make things more streamlined for a wider audience, they had to find a way to make games look realistic through presentation and graphics, while also not making them look banal and mundane.

Related: Everyday Video Game Tasks That Were Oddly Enjoyable

We’ve grown accustomed to games that have unrealistic mechanics and often brush away the dissonance felt when performing impossible feats in a relatively realistic context. Don’t get us wrong – we embrace the gaming definition of far-fetched realism, because it would probably be a lot less fun without it.


10 Restore health

The option to heal while being dominated by a variety of virtual bad guys is a welcome feature, as it gives you the chance to stay in action just as much longer and avoid the pain of annoying loading screens. While older games tended to focus more on retrieving health, modern experiences tended more towards implementing regenerative health.

After taking a fair amount of damage, the screen gets a little bloodied and then quickly disappears, along with any accumulated fatal bullet wounds. Whether you’re Nathan Drake or Soap Mactavish, you’ll soon recover as good as new with more impressive healing abilities than Wolverine. They say time heals all wounds, but this goes a bit too far with that comforting feeling.

9 Consuming food in the middle of battle

As for healing, there have certainly been some very uniquely interesting ways to heal those tricky cuts and scrapes that you accumulate in games. Perhaps the most common is food consumption for a period of instant healing and temporary stat boosts.

Related: The Weirdest Ways to Heal in Video Games

We’ve all been there – running away on a terrifying ice troll along the snowy peaks, then popping open the menus for a three-second breather and a cheeky nibble on a wheel of cheese. Where anyone would find the time to mock a kebab while fighting creepy, terrifying creatures is beyond us, but by God they always find a way to manage it.

8 Never go to the bathroom

How do all these protagonists who perform brave deeds spend such an unreasonable time not going to the toilet? Most of us can’t even go a whole night without multiple toilet visits, and we refuse to believe that the likes of Ezio Auditore and Niko Bellic can literally last weeks and months.

It’s true that some games allow you to relieve yourself, such as in the quiet moments of bathroom reflection in Death Stranding or the hilarious poo mechanic of South Park The Stick of Truth. It’s a good start, but more work needs to be done to follow in the footsteps of the toilet-lighting realism these games so boldly strive for.

7 Huge supplies and weapon wheels

Huge stocks have become synonymous with modern gaming, giving you access to ever-expanding weapon wheels and room for multiple full body armor and clothing. It’s all a bit odd to see a character swap his gun for a huge rocket launcher that seems to come straight out of their tiny pockets.

As for incredible storage, what about those huge myriad of items you have in your backpack? Most games allow you to carry ridiculous amounts of potions, food, multiple armor pieces, and dozens of precious resources. Where is it all going? We hardly dare to ask.

6 enumeration time

Usually with bullet time you can slow everything down to a crawl so you can easily dodge incoming attacks. So many games give you access to bullet time, from channeling your inner Neo into Max Payne, choosing multiple headshots with the dead-eye meter in Red Dead Redemption 2, or even sliding and jumping for a well-placed arrow in Horizon Forbidden West.

Related: Best Uses of Bullet Time in Games

Admittedly, we haven’t attempted any bullet-time related escapades ourselves. Still, we don’t think the ability to glide through the air while dodging bullets with the reflexes of a drugged super cheetah is the most authentic representation of a normal human.

5 You can’t pause real life

Probably one of the most unrealistic yet enviable features in games is the ability to stop time itself so you can take a quick nap and maybe grab a bite or two while you’re at it. There’s no better way to break the immersion than opening the pause menu during an intense boss fight. In fact, many developers seem to agree and want to do away with the pause screen altogether, as with FromSoftware’s Dark Souls series.

While extremely necessary, pausing your game during narrative tensions can take away the impact of the moment. Although, with the longer run times and hours of unskipped cutscenes in games, we can definitely see the need to be able to pause. We all have to pee sometimes.

4 Double jump

The double jump is arguably one of the most recognizable and bizarre mechanics in gaming history. Defying the laws of physics, the premise is that after jumping once in the air, you can jump again, seemingly from nothing. Plus, your character usually performs an impressive acrobatic somersault as if to say, “Yeah…that just happened,” winking at the camera.

Related: Coolest Double Jumps in Gaming, Ranked

If there’s an in-universe explanation, like Devil May Cry’s demonic platforms or Titanfall 2’s jetpack, we can take it for what it is. For games like Doom, Dying Light 2 and Cyberpunk 2077, jumping twice in the air seems a bit far-fetched.

3 Not being able to jump over obstacles

The antithesis of the double jump is that you can’t jump into games at times when it would make the most sense to do. Gamers everywhere have felt the frustration of not being able to jump over a small ledge or gap that wouldn’t be a problem if the developer didn’t say so.

Video game protagonists are often highly impressive individuals who can perform amazing acrobatics that would put the nearest circus swinging trapeze performer to shame. It makes it all the more embarrassing for the likes of Kratos, Nathan Drake, or Lara Croft when they can’t clear these small and seemingly insignificant obstacles. We hope future game heroes learn from these mistakes and get the opportunity to jump their way to victory.

2 weight bearing

Whatever genre you decide to play, there’s nothing more gamers can empathize with than the collective frustration of going marginally over your carrying weight.

Nobody likes being restricted, and nothing annoys us more than not being able to loot the giant frost-breathing dragon we just defeated because of the pink petal we picked up a few seconds earlier. Even if you’re only a hair over, your character will stumble at a dramatically slow pace until you relieve yourself of the burden of a few wooden bowls and that shiny candlestick you thought would look nice on your mantel. We want it all!

The most incredibly unrealistic feature of any game is the ability to respawn after dying. We all more or less agree that death is final, although it isn’t the case for our beloved video game heroes.

There you are, trying to take down a towering Thunderjaw in Horizon Forbidden West only to be shot in the face with one too many of its explosive discs. For most this would be it, but all Aloy needs is a brutal push of the restart button. Getting up after dying is a philosophy that has followed every game since the beginning of the medium. Without it, games would be a lot shorter and certainly a lot more boring. That is why we say: live eternal life!

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