Outdated game design we can’t stand

7 technological shortcuts and shortcomings that gamers should never have to tolerate again

Ragdoll Physics

Other physics engines, why can’t you be more like Euphoria? Pushing people over in GTA IV proved so realistic – the jerking, the steadying, the eventual toppling – that we no longer felt the sadistic urge to try it out in real life.

Euphoria bodies seem powered not only by muscular systems, but also the natural instinct for self-preservation, with NPCs fighting against both gravity and the player’s malicious intent. Contrast this to the floppy death throes of anyone shot in a first-person shooter and the latter seem limp and lifeless by comparison. Almost like...a ragdoll?

Bad Console RTS's

Man’s ultimate question has already been answered – it is possible for real-time strategy games to work on consoles. Ruse handles fine with a controller and even better with PlayStation Move; Halo Wars’ radial dial is perfectly functional. So why aren’t they ripped off? Isn’t that what happened when we all thought the FPS couldn’t work without a mouse and keyboard, and then Goldeneye happened?

Recent offenders include Stormrise, which could have listed tendonitis as a back-of-the-box feature, and Universe at War, which was only slightly less convoluted than an Excel Spreadsheet on political excuses. Now with Move and Kinect, let it be said there are no bad console RTS games… only bad RTS console game makers.


Want your suspension of disbelief utterly shattered? Look to the horizon and see a building flicker into existence. Then out. Then in again. Mercenaries 2 wasriddled with the stuff, and Shift 2 even did it in reverse, with images in your mirror fading as your drove farther away.

Above: Real smooth, Bungie

But Duke Nukem Forever was a new low, the ground beneath your feet looking like a burn victim’s face whispering "Give me a sec!" while it painfully finished loading. It’s like the green code of The Matrix constantly popping up when you’re trying to be Neo, reminding you it’s all an illusion and you’re really plugged naked into a giant evil machine.

Nevertheless, the gaming future is bright, and when these few game examples of outdated game design finally become modernized, it’ll be even brighter.

What aspect of contemporary game design do you want to see improved? Tell us in the comments.

Jul 7, 2011

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