Unrealistic Mechanics In Realistic Games image collage featuring Max Payne 3, Call of Duty and Resident Evil 2

10 unreal mechanics in realistic games

Since the early days of the industry, developers have used “realism” to describe their games. To make things simpler for a wider audience, they had to find a way to make games look realistic through presentation and graphics, while not making them seem ordinary and mundane.


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We are so used to games that have unrealistic mechanics that we often ignore the dissonance we feel when performing impossible feats in a relatively realistic context. Don’t get us wrong – we embrace gaming’s definition of elusive realism because things would probably be less fun without it.

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10 health regeneration

The option to recover while a variety of virtual villains are in control is a welcome feature, as it gives you a chance to stay in action longer and avoid the pain of annoying loading screens. While older games tend to focus more on health pickups, newer experiences tend more toward implementing regenerative health.

After the screen suffers a significant amount of damage, some blood seeps onto the screen and then quickly disappears, along with any accumulated wounds that could prove fatal. Whether it’s Nathan Drake or Soap Mactavish, you’ll soon recover as if new with even more impressive healing powers than Wolverine. They say time heals all wounds, but that takes that comforting feeling a bit too far.

9 Eat in the middle of battle

On the topic of healing, there have certainly been some very unique and interesting ways in which you can treat those pesky cuts and scrapes that accumulate in games. Perhaps the most common of these is consuming food in a frenzy of instant recovery and temporary stat boost.

Related: Strangest Ways to Heal in Video Games

We’ve all been there—moving away in a spooky frost elf along snow-capped mountaintops, squeezing uprights for a three-second break and a cheeky chomp at a wheel of cheese. Where anyone finds time to mock a kebab while battling horrific fearsome creatures is far from us, but by God, they always find a way to manage it.

8 Don’t go to the bathroom

How do all these brave acts of heroes spend such an absurd time not even going to the bathroom? Most of us can’t get through an entire night without multiple trips to the toilet, and we refuse to believe that the likes of Ezio Auditor and Niko Bellic can spend weeks and months holding it.

It’s true that some games give you the option to relax yourself, as in the quiet moments of the pigeon-reflection in Death Stranding or the funny poo mechanic in 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 disposal realism that these games so bravely strive for.

7 Huge Inventories and Weapon Wheels

Huge inventories have become synonymous with modern gaming, giving you access to ever-expanding weapon wheels and space for numerous armor and full-body outfits. It’s a little strange to see a character swapping out her pistol for a massive rocket launcher that seems to materialize straight out of her little pockets.

On the topic of amazing storage, how about that massive amount of items you have in your backpack? Most games allow you to carry ridiculous amounts of potions, food, multiple pieces of armor, and dozens of precious resources. Where does all this go? We almost dare not ask.

6 bullet time

Bullet time usually allows you to slow everything down to a crawl so you can easily dodge incoming attacks. Many games give you access to bullet time, from aiming the Neo inside you in Max Payne, taking multiple headshots with the Dead Eye Counter in Red Dead Redemption 2, or even sliding and jumping around shooting a well-placed arrow in the Forbidden Horizon West.

Related Topics: Best Uses of Bullet Time in Games

Admittedly, we haven’t attempted any of our own lead-related adventures. However, we believe that being able to glide through the air while dodging bullets with the reactions of a drugged super leopard is not the most authentic representation of the average human being.

5 You can’t pause real life

Probably one of the most unreal but enviable features in games is the ability to pause time itself, so you can head out for a quick bathroom break and maybe grab a snack or two while you’re at it. There is no better way to break the immersion than to bring up the pause menu during an intense boss fight. In fact, many developers seem to agree and want to get rid of the pause screen altogether, like FromSoftware’s Dark Souls series.

While absolutely necessary, pausing your game during narrative tension points may throw the effect away from the moment. Despite increased playtimes and hours of unskippable scenes in games, we can totally see the need to be able to pause. We all have to pee at some point.

4 double jump

Double jump is perhaps one of the most famous and strange mechanics in gaming history. Defying the laws of physics, the basic premise is that after you jump into the air once, you can then jump again, seemingly out of nothing. On top of that, your character usually does an impressive acrobatic flip as if to say, “Yeah…that just happened” with a wink at the camera.

Related Topics: The coolest double jumps in games, ranked

When there’s an in-universe explanation, like the demonic Devil May Cry pads or the jetpack from Titanfall 2, we can accept it for what it is. For games like Doom, Dying Light 2, and Cyberpunk 2077, jumping twice in the air seems a little out of reach.

3 Inability to jump over obstacles

The antithesis of the double jump is not being able to jump in games at times when it makes the most sense to do. Players everywhere are frustrated that they can’t jump over a small ledge or gap that wouldn’t be a problem were it not for the developer who says so.

Video game protagonists are often very influential individuals who can perform impressive acrobatic feats that would put even the closest trapeze artist in a circus to shame. It makes it even more embarrassing for the likes of Kratos, Nathan Drake or Lara Croft when they can’t clear these seemingly insignificant little obstacles. Here the game’s future protagonists hope to learn from these mistakes and gain the ability to carve out their way to victory.

2 carry weight

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

Nobody likes being tied up, and nothing annoys us more than our inability to plunder the giant frost-breathing dragon we just killed because of the pink flower petal we picked up a few seconds ago. Even if you’re only done with one hair, your character will meander at a pretty slow pace until you unburden yourself of some wooden bowls and a shiny sconce that you think might look nice on your mantelpiece. We want everything!

An incredibly unreal feature in any game is the ability to reappear after death. We can pretty much all agree that death is final, although that’s not the case for our beloved video game heroes.

Here you are trying to take down a towering Thunderjaw in Horizon Forbidden West to explode in your face with too many of its explosive discs. For most people, this will be all and the end of it, but all Aloy needs is a light press of the restart button. Resurrection after death is a philosophy that every game has followed since the beginning of the medium. Without it, games would be a lot shorter and definitely more boring. So we say – long live eternal life!

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