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Whilst war is a type of conflict regularly touched on in games, disease and illness is another form of adversity and struggle that many games hinge upon to a lesser degree. Whether it pissed us off, tugged at our heart strings or outright confused and baffled us, here are the ten diseases in gaming which, for one reason or another, have stuck in our minds.
10. Malaria – Far Cry 2
I remembered getting pretty excited about Far Cry 2 when initial gameplay ideas and footage were coming out. The fire and wind physics, the gun and vehicle degradation and the impressive graphics all seemed set to deliver a new sense of realism to shooters. The need to cure malaria was another such mechanic, that was notable for being something I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game attempt before. Naturally though, these realistic bits and bobs wound up becoming tedious and slowing the game’s pace down to a crawl after the millionth time you encounter them. That said, you still remember the first time you needed to pop some pills to cure malaria symptoms.
9. Augmentation rejection syndrome – Deus Ex: Human Revolution
This one sticks in mind mainly for being so recent. To entirely attribute it to this though denies the craft that went into the aug rejection related illnesses that fuelled Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s tense plot. It was all well written, to the point where it seemed like just another issue in an increasingly complex world. I wonder if we’ll ever see something similar when we get mechanical prosthetics becoming regular in real life? It would still be totally worth it to have robot arms; I think…
8. FoxDie – Metal Gear Solid series
I like to think of myself as the kind of guy who can enjoy a complex and intricate story, but the FoxDie elements of the Metal Gear Solid series remain in my mind as being way too crazy and baffling. MGS1 struck a good balance, with well explained story elements that managed to remain open to interpretation. By the time MGS2 was over though, I had no idea what was going on. MGS4 was a return to form, but it seemed like it had too much ground to recover story-wise from the ill-scripted Sons of Liberty. There are souls in arms, people ageing super fast, biological warfare etc. The list goes on for what FoxDie is/was/might be capable of.