10 Exact Moments Where Video Game Immersion Was Shattered

7. Being Told What Button To Press (By A Character)

Heavy Rain Thumbnail

It's helpful when a game tells you what to do, that's for sure, as nobody likes bumbling through the tutorial of a game unsure what to do.

There are examples are being told what exact buttons to press that just feel right, too; like Cuphead's cartoony intro that takes you through all your moves, or Dark Souls' nice little habit of putting helpful info in your way via messages on the floor.

These innocuous tutorials are significantly superior to the alternative: characters explicitly telling you what to do. When a fictional character who should have no idea about your controller tells you to press a certain button to do a certain thing, it feels more than a little strange, because it fully breaks the fourth wall in dramatic fashion.

This happens in some undeniably great games, such as the first Metal Gear Solid, but even then it takes you slightly out of your immersion, because it feels like the characters in the game know you're playing it - and also think you have no idea what you're doing. And while this work to some degree in MGS1, because the whole thing is suitably meta, it doesn't for a lot of other games that try the same shtick.

Mercifully, this is usually at the start of a game, so you have time to forget about it.


I like my comics like I like my coffee - in huge, unquestionably unhealthy doses.