Gimmicks have always been a mainstay of the gaming industry - what better way to separate your game from the rest of the pack than by adding some weird, unique, maybe pointless feature? Sometimes the gimmick adds another layer of depth and makes your game more memorable - other times its annoying, stupid, or just plain bad. These are 8 of the best and worst gimmicks in videogame history.
Best - Sanity Meter (Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem)
Eternal Darkness was doomed from the start - playing as multiple characters (most of whom died grisly deaths no matter what you did), a surreal Lovecraftian plot (ending with ancient gods battling in outerspace while you fought a resurrected Roman centurion), and one of the most mind-bending gimmicks ever introduced into mainstream gaming: the sanity meter.
What it was (for those of you who didn't play, which based on the sales number is pretty much all of you) was your character would gradually go crazy every time they were seen by something...well, crazy. As the meter slipped, weird effects would start taking place - it appeared like there was a fly on your screen, the volume on your TV would lower, your save files would delete themselves. The game didn't see fit to only make the character feel like they were going crazy - they made you feel crazy too. The result was scarier and more immersive than almost any game ever, but most people ignored the game. Remember, developers: purposely trying to screw with gamers' grasp on reality - not the ticket to success.