Though it’s often against the very point of the medium of video games, more and more we look for realism in video games- realism in visuals, in the way they tell their stories, in their mechanics, in the world. And there’s a very good reason for that- that greater sense of realism lends more believability to the virtual world we find ourselves in, making it more immersive and easier to invest in. Sure, realism isn’t something that’s required in every game – in fact in many kinds of games it actively works against them – but where it fits, and is done well, it can be a powerful tool. It can be something that’s found throughout the game, or something that defines singular moments in games that might not otherwise be too realistic.
In this feature, we’re going to take a look at fifteen games that fit the bill- games that were either almost too realistic or times, or had maybe a few choice moments of realism, but made it all work surprisingly well. Do keep that last bit in mind- we’re not suggesting that a game with dinosaurs in it or another where you can slow down time to gun down your enemies in a single flurry are realistic- only that they offer moments of realism.
With that out of the way, let’s jump right in.
SURVIVAL MECHANICS IN RUST
By definition, survival games are built around some degree of realism, where your character is much more vulnerable, and there’s a lot of things you need to be mindful of to make sure of your, well, survival. But Rust often take is one step further. From diseases to weather, from health to severely limited resources, from the game itself to the hostile environment it creates for all players (who’re all constantly turning on one another), Rust is a game that can actively stress you out. That, of course, means, that it isn’t for everyone, but for those who get into it, there’s a lot to lose yourself in.