Video games have come a long way over the past 30+ years. From 2D side scrollers to multi-choice, open world RPGs, gaming has advanced thanks to the hard work and dedication of developers, who have constantly pushed the boundaries of technology and have always looked to innovate in their work.
Despite all this hard work, certain outdated gaming mechanics from the bygone years have become immutable. Everyone knows that red barrels explode when you shoot them, water can never be trusted, and that the biggest weapon is usually the most powerful. It's time for a change.
As the technology has improved, certain mechanics that were once need are now outdated, and others that could only do so much now have the potential to do even more. Sadly, these improvements have been overlooked by many developers, resulting in modern games that are being held back by technological limitations from the '90s.
Here are 10 video game mechanics that developers really should have sorted by now.
10. Invincible/Useless AI Companions
Having a computer-controlled companion alongside you has become the norm in many games, so it’s a shame that the majority of them can fall into one of two categories: completely invincible or absolutely useless.
One of these is clearly preferable to the other, but having a companion who can’t die can get distracting after a while. The Call of Duty games are known for this; you’ll be in cover trying to recover from the two bullets that have put you close to death whilst your team-mate will be absorbing gunfire like a magnet. This gets particularly annoying when that team-mate later dies in a cutscene – all the drama gets removed from their death when you’ve just seen them take a D-Day style assault directly to their chest.
On the flip side, having a companion who is useless is even more frustrating. Either they die at merely the hint of danger, causing you to replay the level again, or they just wander around and won’t actually contribute to the battle, leaving you to kill everyone yourself.
Getting the balance of a companion who is vulnerable to death but won’t die at the drop of a hat, and who will help with the mission without doing it for you, is challenging, but it’s something developers need to master