The Dorklyst: The 6 Worst Attempts At Realism In Videogame History

April 7, 2011



For much of gaming history, publishers tossed around the word "realistic" as if it were a synonym for "quality." Some developers seemed to believe games would only be perfect once they had replicated every bowel movement, popped zit, and sweaty handshake found in real life. As you may imagine, hilariously awful missteps ensued. Here are six of the worst offenses committed in the name of "videogame realism."


6.) Dragonheart: Fire & Steel – The Stamina Bar



A licensed game with broken features? Shocking, I know. Conceptually, the stamina bar is actually a solid gaming concept. It's a special power (like speed) that the player can dole out at their leisure. In Dragonheart, however, you didn't lose stamina when you sprinted or used a special attack, but literally every time you swung your sword. Taking on more than few opponents left you either panting and out of breath, or hiding behind your shield, hoping nobody saw you. Add embarrassingly visible erections, and it was seventh grade gym all over again!


5.) Everquest – The Boat Rides



The constant, increasingly vast worlds of MMORPGs presented an obvious problem: How the f*ck are people supposed to get around? The original Everquest developers had an answer: On a boat, very slowly. (A boat, by the way, which you could actually fall off.) Some commutes took a solid seventeen minutes of real-world time. That's enough time for a player to leave their house, get on an actual boat, land on the Everquest developers' private island and smack them silly for not fixing such a glaringly obvious issue in the first place. Oh, well, at least the music was nice.


4.) Grand Theft Auto IV – Friends Are Annoying



Ah, GTA: the series of games so realistic that you can recover health by having sex with prostitutes (that's how prostitutes work, right?). By the fourth entry in the series, Rockstar actually required players to maintain relationships with other in-game NPCs, ironically forcing gamers to do the one thing they were trying to avoid in the first place. The lesson? If you're going to have characters (say, a particularly annoying brother) blowing up a player's virtual cell phone at all times, you should at least make it easy to turn off said cell phone.

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