At the end of the day, it's very easy to be averse to change and want to shun something that pushes the envelope in ways you hadn't considered. Embracing these ideas is what allows growth.
Throughout the history of gaming, experimentation has led to reinvention. By trying new things, the industry has been able to move forward and evolve. Games are so much more vast and rewardingly deep today because of their forbearers who dared to dream and took the risks.
That being said, not every experimentation is a revelation. Some simply sound good in concept but don't pay off in execution. Some might be great for one game but won't be leading the next sea change of the industry. Others are so blooming weird that they are worth a look but will forever remain a novelty.
This list will explore several games that tried something bizarre to shake up expectation and grab a player's attention. And whilst many one-use game mechanics fall down by being ultimately too gimmicky, we shouldn't forget the gusto developers had when lovingly creating these downright strange gameplay designs.
10. Immortality - Neverdead
Unless you’re playing something where permadeath is a very real concern, meeting your grisly end in most games usually just means restarting from a checkpoint.
That isn’t to say you can’t die in Rebellion Developments’ 2012 shooter/hack and slash hybrid Neverdead. However, what makes the game stand out from its contemporaries is that getting your head severed from your body - usually an act reserved for the one hit kills of the gaming world - is far from the end. In fact, sometimes it's a good thing.
Cursed by immortality 500 years ago, Neverdead’s protagonist Bryce Boltzmann can keep on fighting even as he gets torn to literal pieces. Losing your arms means you can no longer fight but if you can find your dismembered limbs you can attach them in no time. If his legs get removed then Bryce will hop or crawl around in search of them. Even being decapitated isn’t the end, and rolling around as a severed head is often used to navigate hard to reach areas.
And that’s not even mentioning Bryce’s ability to turn himself into the human torch and walk away unharmed.
Neverdead’s bizarre disinterest in having a protagonist who can keep all their body parts together makes it a very unique experience and it uses this concept to its fullest from start to end.