Technology has advanced to such an impressive degree, modern video games boast near photorealistic graphics. Honestly, God of War and Forza Horizon 4 put the real world to shame! Recklessly racing through Playground Games' artificial Edinburgh can be a surreal experience for those familiar with the location. The line separating fiction and fact has truly started to blur!
Nevertheless, several gaming tropes only make sense within their respective universes. Some mechanics have become so integral to certain genres, gamers have stopped questioning whether such acts are even remotely feasible. In fact, their omission tends to feel like a misstep! That's not to say the application of video game logic is necessarily a point meriting condemnation, but these mechanics create dissonance when applied to a story that strives to be grounded in reality.
Stuck in the middle of a heated gunfight with a character low on health? Take a breather to allow the wounds to heal! Forming a strategy to defeat a fire-breathing dragon covered in spikes? Jumping on its head should do the trick! Playing as a powerful adventurer destined to eliminate countless monstrous enemies and save the world? Shame they cannot run five seconds without depleting their stamina! Luckily, battles tend to last approximately four seconds...
While playing, video games, this stuff makes sense. Any other time? Well, just try explaining any of the upcoming examples to someone unfamiliar with gaming. The results should speak for themselves. Here are 25 pictures that prove video game logic makes no sense!
25 I Never Cross The Line, I Merely Subdue Enemies With Fists & Explosives
Here is an entry that stretches beyond gaming! While Batman is far from the only practitioner of this particular fallacy, the Dark Knight might be its most devoted believer. What separates good from evil? Along with not trying to destroy an entire city, the hero attempts to pursue other means besides eliminating their opponents. For the most part, Batman lets his fists do the talking; thankfully, the dude seems to know the exact amount of force required to only temporarily knock out Gotham's goons.
A Batmobile to the face!
The human body is fragile. A bad slip could spell the end of the line. Batman's justice may not extinguish the likes of Bane or Croc, but Henchman Joe is an entirely different story!
24 Rubble? Guess, We Have To Take The Long Way Round!
Dark Souls II is a solid game marred by belonging to one of the best franchises in recent history. While the sequel improves upon certain aspects of its predecessor, Dark Souls II's nonsensical map layout, reskinned bosses, and inconsistent hitboxes hamper a game laced with thrilling moments.
Then there is this silly plot point.
In order to access Drangleic Castle, players must travel across the kingdom and defeat four bosses. Doing so unlocks the door leading to the castle. Alternatively, another route exists leading to the RPG's endgame; unfortunately, this path happens to be blocked by some easily climbable rocks. Clearly, defeating four bosses is the simpler way.
23 Modern Medicine Has Nothing On Healers
Discovering a game with a logical healing system is an exercise in futility! Most titles follow in the footsteps of action movies from the 1980s; everything is a flesh wound! Lost half your health after diving off a high cliff? Eat a herb to mend any broken bones. Did those mean paramilitary grunts fill your body with lead? Quickly, tie a bandage around your arm! Yes, even when dealing with a head wound.
Healing mechanics are typically among the first skills unlocked in most RPGs, and they can generally be summed up as “magic.” Regardless of whether an in-universe explanation exists or not, magic is always the answer.
22 Dozens Of Walking Guards Hear Footsteps; Must Be An Intruder!
While this article may imply that these conventions need to be altered, that is not the point. Video games should occasionally turn their backs to reason and embrace fantasy. Realism does not always enhance the experience. Rockstar Games has a habit of prioritizing immersion over actual entertainment, even when the former only succeeds in injecting a touch of boredom into proceedings. Just because something makes sense in reality, does not mean it makes sense to include it in a video game.
Stealth games rely heavily on their AI. Dumb or absurdly smart enemies can equally sink a title, especially when the slightest of movements instantly informs guards of the protagonist's location.
21 Dress Like A Raccoon, Gain The Ability To Fly
Applying logic to Nintendo titles is pointless. Such criticisms are as productive as questioning whether Sylvester Stallone could really win a boxing match against Hulk Hogan. Logic has nothing to do with it. Nintendo’s games seldom attempt to replicate any elements from the real world, with the publisher’s first party titles typically being set in fantastical and colorful worlds.
Would a tangible Kirby be adorable or nightmarish? Both?
A visual representation of a power-up tends to feel far more rewarding than simply unlocking a skill. Does it make sense that a costume teaches Mario how to fly? No, but magic cares not for explanations!
20 The Double Jump
Quick question; when was the last time you jumped? Exactly! Jumping is a quintessential skill in gaming. Mario’s original name was Jumpman. One of the oldest and most beloved genres revolves solely around the act of leaping from one spot to the next. Jumping is such an integral mechanic, developers regularly explore new and exciting ways to perform the action. Mario’s move-set principally consists of several ways Jumpman can land on mushrooms.
The Double Jump is the holy grail of jumping!
What is happening here? Permitting that our recollection of middle school physics is not wonky, vertical leaps occur due to a person’s legs releasing energy upon a surface, creating an upward motion. Gravity is also something that exists. The Double Jump laughs in the face of science!
19 A Locked Wooden Door? If Only We Carried Grenades!
Putting aside whether an element holds water within the story, most mechanics are intended to facilitate for a design choice. Regardless of whether linear or open-world titles are someone's jam, at one point or another, an artificial roadblock shall impede their journey! The worst offenders employ immersion-breaking invisible walls to halt any unauthorized exploration, but budget RPGs are only the most obvious examples.
Horror games tend to gate premature access to higher level areas by demanding the hero discovers a key for the door. While this makes sense in games featuring an underpowered protagonist, Resident Evil's characters tend to run around with shotguns and explosives. Surely, a wooden door should not be an obstacle!
18 Can Flip A Tank, Affected By Gun Recoil
Red Dead Redemption 2’s selective adherence to immersion garnered a tiny smidgen of criticism. Rockstar’s games embody excess, but 2018’s masterpiece wants to be a gritty grounded western and an adventurous action shooter about gunslingers. Watching a 10 second clip of Arthur Morgan meticulously divorce an animal from its skin is impressive, the first time it happens. After a couple of repeats, hunting becomes an arduous chore filled with repetition and time-wasting. Yet, Morgan can instantly clear up a camp without requiring players to watch a boring animation.
Where should the line be crossed? Considering Halo’s tanks flip at the drop of a hat, Master Chief must be able to correct any such errors. On the other hand, gun recoil provides valuable visual and auditory feedback to players.
17 Fighting Infected Zombies? Use Melee Attacks!
Along with rationing ammo like the world’s gunpowder reserves are on the cusp of disappearing, guns seldom leave anything more than a scratch on approaching enemies. As zombies lack the ability to feel pain, one could argue bullets are too precise of instruments for such a job. With the exception of headshots, guns damage decommissioned body parts that exist merely to absorb attacks.
On the other hand, melee attacks impact a wider area and, typically, damage the zombie’s weak spots. Obviously, landing a successful hit necessitates getting right into the infected monster’s face. Leon is free to karate kick every zombie in Raccoon City, but we will slowly chip away at their health from the safety of a rooftop.
16 Loot Is Everywhere
Whether traversing an unexplored dungeon or a broom closet, there will always be a pot of gold waiting at the end of the metaphorical rainbow! The vast majority of NPCs must be absurdly rich or distressingly naive, as nobody attempts to preserve their belongings. Treasures chests are left abandoned in all corners of the map and whoever unearths the loot is automatically the owner.
Finders keepers, losers weepers.
Exploring is its own reward, but nothing beats exploring AND a cool new sword! Without shiny prices, it promptly begins to seem like no progress is being achieved. Nevertheless, some consideration of an item's placement is appreciated.
15 Made Of Steel, Shatters Like Glass
During the console’s infancy, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild single-handedly transformed the Nintendo Switch into must-own hardware! Bolstered by stunning visuals and a fantastic open-world packed with unique characters to discover, Link’s 2017 adventure is a testament to Nintendo’s unrelenting commitment to creating games that are simply fun. The title earned every ounce of praise flung its way, but no game is without flaws!
Breath of the Wild expects players to constantly rotate their equipped weapon; consequently, the vast majority of items break after a couple of swings! Link's Master Sword should last far longer than a piece of wood! Frankly, Breath of a Wild does a disservice to Hyrule’s blacksmiths.
14 The Army Can Stay Home, The Chosen One’s Got This!
The chosen one cliché predates gaming by centuries. Whether a normal person stuck in an extraordinary situation or vice-versa, the hero’s journey serves as the blueprint for nearly every story in history. While gaming is not the only guilty party, the industry constantly pushes this idea beyond the realm of plausibility.
Hyrule seems to be perpetually stuck in a state of imminent destruction. Taking into account Ganondorf’s tendency to stage a comeback, one may understandably assume Princess Zelda would prioritize improving the kingdom's defensive military. Yet, the nation always ends up depending on Link! Hyrule is either governed by incompetent rulers, or Zelda truly believes Link is a more than sufficient safety net.
13 Thou Shalt Not Pass!
Now, in all honesty, this example basically serves the same purpose as the wooden door. As the story requires the protagonist to complete certain quests before progressing to the next location, an arbitrary obstacle is created to prevent anyone from using a shortcut. Pokémon has become infamous for its application of this gimmick, although the franchise has essentially turned these impediments into a running gag.
The Old Man barely blocks half of the route! The photo clearly demonstrates Red can slip through without even needing to jump over the human barrier! Anyway, that is beside the point! What right does this guy have to hinder Red’s journey? Kanto is a free world, Pocket Monsters notwithstanding.
12 Discovered An Ancient Tomb? Hopefully, Someone Left The Light On!
With the exception of dungeons designed specifically around requiring players to equip a lantern, RPGs tend to be laced with barely touched locations that are thoughtfully illuminated with candles. This small detail becomes even more absurd when one takes into account that the monsters who typically exist within these caves can probably see fine without the artificial assistance. Presumably, goblins periodically exchange any extinguished light sources on the off chance of an adventurer randomly choosing to explore the area.
Goblins are considerate in that way.
Dark Souls’ Tomb of the Giants is an absolute pain to play, so we are fine with occasionally suspending our disbelief.
11 Aim For The Bushes
Ubisoft’s leap of faith was created solely to test players’ suspension of disbelief. As long as there is a conveniently placed stack of hay, Ezio could bungee jump from the moon and survive without a scratch. Landing on nature’s (uncomfortable) pillow is preferable to concrete, but everything has its limits! Usually, the hay is stacked on a wooden cart, which may struggle to withstand the impact of a muscular man free falling from a few hundred feet.
For argument's sake, let’s assume Ezio lives to stealth another day; even in the best case scenario, the jumper will definitely leave with more than a few broken bones!
10 Boss Gets Weaker (& Stronger)?
The fastest method to win a battle is to permit the opponent to score as much damage as possible, preferably, until only a sliver of health remains. Once this point is reached, mother nature should automatically grant a significant boost in strength, converting the apparent loser into a wholly new beast!
Now, in all fairness, there is some logic behind this trope. Depending on the enemy, a boss might reserve some of its strength for later stages. When knocking on heaven’s door, complacency or arrogance quickly give way to desperation, and there is nothing more threatening than a panicking Dark Souls boss.
9 Run For Hours, Swim For Ten Seconds
Humanity has conquered the land and the sky, but the sea remains out of reach. Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of gamers like a stretch of liquid blue waiting to be overcome. The best water levels are merely decent, while the worst are responsible for (at the very least) three broken controllers. It is a testament to Nintendo's brilliance that, despite containing the infamous Water Temple, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time somehow scored a 99 on Metacritic.
Sandbox titles utilize water to signal the end of a map. Swimming is not recommended. Is it any surprise everyone hates water levels? Games have conditioned players to fear the deep blue sea!
8 Lara's Guardian Angels
Uncharted and Tomb Raider are arguably this sin’s worst offenders, even if its inclusion greatly diminishes the inherent frustration resulting from unguided platforming. Whenever a shipwreck lands Lara Croft on an undiscovered island run by an evil organization or an indigenous civilization, areas worth exploring tend to always possess an unmistakable marker to aid the protagonist. Usually, these hints tend to be man-made and appear to serve no purpose other than to assist Lara’s journey.
Villains are considerate in that way.
Opting for a slightly subtler approach, Uncharted utilizes white chalk marks to inform players that a ledge is safe. Sadly, life is not so convenient.
7 Infected Zombies? Better Try Bare-Fist Boxing!
Melee attacks are dangerous enough without confiscating Joel’s brick. Has the dude not already lost enough? Sarah passed away when she was only 12 years old, and the girl’s father will never move past it. Ellie is a decent enough surrogate, but she will never be Sarah. Perhaps, Joel chooses to fight bare-handed in the hope of feeling anything resembling an emotion.
Regret is an emotion.
If Resident Evil and a myriad of other zombie-themed titles are anything to go by, bites and scratches are the only wounds worth fearing. Infections are only transmitted by these touches. But hey, feel free to tap that Clicker in the face!
6 The Perils Of Woodland
There is nothing more frustrating than an unfair Game Over. Varying from title to title, every game contains one act which instantly results in a loss. A protagonist should be flawed and vulnerable, but why are trees such a prominent issue? Now, to be fair, ramming headfirst into a firmly rooted Oaktree would presumably ruin anyone’s day; however, we are not dealing with your average person!
Actions have consequences. Indestructible plants are nature’s way of punishing those seeking to forsake roads and drive off the beaten path. The shortcut may shave a couple of seconds off the clock, or, it could result in failure. How is life any different?
5 The Line Between Hero & Villain
The ends justify the means. Link is generally considered to be a pretty nice dude. The hero possesses the personality of a block of wood and the fashion sense of Peter Pan, but Link’s heart is in the right place. After all these years, Ganondorf’s annual endeavors to destroy the world are practically a Hyrulean tradition. Link has to be willing to sacrifice everything to protect Princess Zelda.
If the cost of saving Hyrule is capturing a helpless fairy, then that is a price worth paying! On the other hand, Mario decimating multiple kingdoms to rescue one Princess seems to be a slight overreaction.
4 As Cortana Ages And Loses Control, Her Looks Only Improve
Halo 4 inaugurated a new era for Microsoft’s flagship franchise. With Bungie officially done with the license, 343 Industries was handed the reigns to hopefully propel the series into a glorious new age.
That did not happen.
While by no means a terrible game, Halo 4’s campaign lacks the charm of its predecessors, although 343 deserves credit for exploring Master Chief’s relationship with Cortana. For the sequel, Cortana’s mental health is called into question and the AI does a heel turn. How is this visually represented? Obviously, Cortana has never looked better! Perhaps, her easier on the eyes appearance is only a byproduct of the improved graphics. Cortana’s new (lack of) clothes is not so readily justified.
3 Defeats Gods, Cannot Defeat A Door
Serving as the infinitely more baffling version of the "wooden door" entry, this logic's frustration factor is elevated to a whole new level whenever a silly obstruction stands in the way of a protagonist capable of tearing down an entire building with their bare hands!
At this point, it makes more sense for Kratos to simply utter "I do not want to enter this place." Clearly, player choice is not the point, so, might as well eliminate any laughable justifications! Like aliens, video game characters stand no chance if up against a locked door that refuses to budge. Zeus should have installed some locks in Olympus!
2 Are You Hurt? Relax, I Have A Gun!
Conveniently denominated as the Medic, Team Fortress 2’s main healer supports his teammates by firing a cannon in their general direction. Nothing alleviates pain like a hail of bullets.
This is known.
Team Fortress 2 ranks among the sillier multiplayer shooters, but most genre entries typically enlist a healer among their ranks. As the most obviously passive member of the party, anyone specializing as a healer is expected to traverse the front lines while assisting the rest of the team. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Crash’s unique equipment instantly heals any other players, permitting they happen to be alive. How? Magic, of course!
1 Fought Using Melee Weapons? Upgrade Magic!
Skill Trees are synonymous with RPGs. Along with serving as an easy to grasp progression system, many iterations extend customers the privilege of personally electing which stats should be improved, usually determined by someone’s playing style. Nowadays, progression trees are implanted into all types of games, even once that would be perfectly fine without anything of the sort.
Defeating enemies or completing quests unlock skill points. While exceptions do exist, developers typically opt against restricting how these points can be administered. The way experience is accumulated seldom dictates which area benefits from the effort. That is like attending an Italian language course but coming out fluent in French.