Skip to main content

Bizarre size screw-ups in games

MotorStorm: Pacific Rift
The original Motostorm did a great job of making a convincingly large game world to zip about in. The rocks looked huge, yet the lorries still looked like lorries. Sadly, the new game's scale looks a bit off. Look - this is surely an RC racing game:

So what's making the cars look so small? Could it be because that scaffolding is as thick as a wheel's diameter? Or that the graffiti is as big as a lorry? Or that there are steps with a handrail that's way above the audience's height? Or the way that giant tree is at least 30m high yetforks right down at ground level likethe object model's been pushed into the ground to make the canopy appear bigger? It's all kinds of wrong.

OutRun: 8-bit version
It's common practice to give the player's car more detail than the computer-controlled cars in racing games, as you'll see them for much longer and they're usually closer to the screen. But to make it physically bigger by half again?

Last time we checked, Ferrari Testarossas weren't taller than VW Beetles. Although seeing as this Ferrari-alike is an unlicensed likeness, it doesn't have to be like a real Ferrari at all. Still, at least this solves the problem of sportscars having little boot space:

Road Rash
Graphical issueslike this were everywhere in the late 1980s and early 1990s as developers tried to scale sprites on hardware that couldn't really manage it. Trying to make a Game Boy run Road Rash was a very bad idea (although the 3D effect multi-scrolling sky was amazing). Need a 'for instance'?

Omigod! It's giant biker and his ant rider minion! This isn't a clever screenshot taken on a jump - the bike ahead really is on the same plane as that lamp post.

Things got a little better on Game Boy Color. But not much.

Above: Get on a motorbike and you'll be taller than a house

Let's go back to the present. How about some Killzone 2?

Justin Towell

Justin was a GamesRadar staffer for 10 years but is now a freelancer, musician and videographer. He's big on retro, Sega and racing games (especially retro Sega racing games) and currently also writes for Play Magazine,, PC Gamer and TopTenReviews, as well as running his own YouTube channel. Having learned to love all platforms equally after Sega left the hardware industry (sniff), his favourite games include Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams, Zelda BotW, Sea of Thieves, Sega Rally Championship and Treasure Island Dizzy.