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

April 7, 2011

3.) Mass Effect — The "Elevator Rides"



Unlike Everquest, Mass Effect's long commutes weren't attempts at realism, but rather an ill-advised sleight of hand. The developers wagered that it would be marginally more entertaining to sit through an in-game elevator ride than it would be to watch a loading screen. They were wrong. Gamers, deprived of any visual signal that their game was, in fact, loading, instead were left just wondering: "Dude! Why the fuck is this elevator taking so long?"


2.) Steel Battalion – Death Is Final



Steel Battalion's realism was less of a flaw and more of a bitch slap to the face of casual gamers everywhere. It holds the unique distinction of being the only giant robot fighting game that might be harder than actually driving a giant robot. A less sadistic developer would have stopped with the desk-sized controller that forced you to start up your mech with a precise series of pedals and toggles. Steel Battalion took it one step further: if you failed to eject before your mech was destroyed, your pilot would "die," your save data would be erased, and you'd have to start the entire game over. If the developers had a few more weeks to work on the feature, they probably would have found a way to destroy your console and set you on fire as well.


1.) Jurassic Park: Trespasser – Pretty Much Everything



Where to begin? There's no ammo counter, instead your character would verbally tell you how full the guns "felt." There's no "use" or "open" button; you actually had to stick out your digital arms and clumsily slap at objects you wanted to manipulate. There's no health meter; you had to look at a heart tattoo on your breasts and see how full it was, which isn't even so much realistic as it is exploitative and weird. While there are a few cool ideas buried somewhere in there, Trespasser fell victim to its own ambition and was released late, over-budget, and hopelessly broken (the character's left hand didn't even work.) Playing it is like watching an exquisite train wreck, if that train happened to be carrying really poorly rendered Velociraptors.

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