How real do you like your games?

I was just thinking about film/literature and how liberal they are with their use or understanding of science and 'known' truths in order to make a more cinematic and enjoyable experience. My favourite example of this is the UV bombs that have light travelling round corners though there was a list published a month or so ago listing the top ten scientifically impossible/believable things in films.

Now, with games' push towards realism increasing rapidly this generation (IMO) with Farcry 2, crysis and all the other physically realistic games coming and already out along with the hugely improved visuals, do you prefer the 'correct' attributes of the universe to be used in play or are you more looking forward to liberal interpretations?

Myself? I'm looking forward to the physically accurate games that don't have objects bouncing and sliding down frictionless surfaces.... the bullets dipping over range (hopefully in Farcry 2 where there's 850 metres of visibility), ricocheting and perhaps dud rounds.

On the other hand, i also want unfeasibly large explosions and over-the-top acrobatics that are in the upcoming razor's edge and another game that i've conveniently forgotten the title to.

So which is it? Do you prefer one or the other, or a bit of both.

To quote Martin Luther King Jr (or was it Jesus?), "Anytime reality gets in the way of fun, fun wins."

Unless I'm playing a Tom Clancy game, I don't care about ultra-realistic physics. As long as its not a glaringly obvious violation of Newton's laws of motion, I'll take a sacrifice of realism in the name of fun any day. Oblivion and BioShock have good enough physics models for me.

I hate realistic graphics in games. Best example of this is in MMOs. WoW graphics not only run well on low end systems, but they are also good to look at. Meanwhile EQ2 or SWG all have more realistic looking graphics but they are boring!

Good physic system is good for a FPS, but I think Half Life 2 is perfect for games. i don't really need any improvement on this for the game physics to entertain.

I think games can look as real as they want, as long as I play the game and still think "This is absurd! A high-jumping plumber climbing into tubes with big mushrooms? Cyborg technology and nanites or plasmoids? Unlimited bullets and gravity guns? Where's General
RAAM so I can shoot 'him' for the cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey sh*t he is! Hallelujah! Holy sh*t! Where's the Tylenol!?!

If the games were really realistic, they wouldn't be fun anymore. Just imagine: no sound in space sims (I love my X-Wing and Tie Fighter to this day and can't imagine them without the sound of blasters all around), no true inventory in FPSs (how would you physically carry three heavy weapons on your person with two spare sets of armor and buttload of ammo?) etc. If the game has persuasive and coherent gameworld with explicit or deducible rules (Psychonauts would be a great example), I take it anytime over hyper-realistic, but otherwise non-creative stuff.

And yet realism works in some games. Stalker has a realistic presentation that contrasts with the SF effects, and somewhat covers the Bottomless Bag inventory. Falcon 3 and today's entire hardcore flight sim genre (all four games of it, I guess) use realism as stock in trade. There are some tank and infantry combat sims that strive for realism in physics, tactics and procedures.

I like to have game mechanics that are realistic enough to support the story. If I'm playing a history game, I want enough connections with reality to recognize them. If I'm doing Civil War tactical stuff, I don't want to see individuals running around alone shooting stuff. But then there's the Sid Meier approach - use mechanics that *remind* people of the real world ("...see, your ship moves faster or slower as you change your angle to the wind..."), and use that immerse the player without interfering with their enjoyment of the game itself.

It's just me, but I like all sorts of games, realistic and unrealistic. I don't expect to find perfect physics in a cartoon game, and I don't want to see bank-to-turn in space sims. The game should lead, the environment should follow to an appropriate degree. I guess I'm just middle of the road on this one.

Guess I should watch for trucks, eh?

I like realistic themes. I like realistic interactions and emotional reactions in the plot. I like realism in fantasy but only as to maintaining consistency with the lore and setting's technology.

I like realistic movement as it pertains to the character or vehicle. I prefer a base level of realistic recoil in guns and weight with melee weapons.

I like my exaggeration such as squash and stretch to be grounded or originated in realism.

Other than that, I dont like realism.

It depends on the mood. If I'm having a really pissy day I want a game so realistic I can actually feel like I'm killing the people that make me regret getting up in the morning.

BF2 and even back in the Delta Force days had trajectories on their shots. Not that noticable until you try and sniped. Always enjoyed that part. I do enjoy things being a bit more realistic than not, but dont mind small concessions for game play.

I got the realism bug out of me by jumping out of army helicopters and C141s. I like the Tom Clancy games, but I don't demand that they get every detail right. I prefer realism to be a "setting" like sci-fi and fantasy are setting. The game still has a right to conform the setting to its needs.

Robear wrote:

I like to have game mechanics that are realistic enough to support the story. If I'm playing a history game, I want enough connections with reality to recognize them. If I'm doing Civil War tactical stuff, I don't want to see individuals running around alone shooting stuff. But then there's the Sid Meier approach - use mechanics that *remind* people of the real world ("...see, your ship moves faster or slower as you change your angle to the wind..."), and use that immerse the player without interfering with their enjoyment of the game itself.

It's just me, but I like all sorts of games, realistic and unrealistic. I don't expect to find perfect physics in a cartoon game, and I don't want to see bank-to-turn in space sims. The game should lead, the environment should follow to an appropriate degree. I guess I'm just middle of the road on this one.

It's not just you. I'm with you 100% on this one. If I'm playing some cartoony game like WoW, then goofy mechanics are fine. I'm yet to play a space sim that is not actually a submarine sim. That is not to say I'd want my space sims fully realistic either. I certainly don't want to wait 2 weeks before I can engage an enemy fleet that's in orbit around the planetary moon. But little things could make the inconsistencies so much more palpatable to my brain. Why not specifically explain sound in space as 'virtual'? As something that your tactical computer is generating for your benefit. Anyways... I'm getting off topic here. In my opinion, this is all about expectations. If you're selling me a flight sim, I expect a realistic flight model. If you're selling me a space sim, I expect a semi-realistic flight model. If you're selling me a platformer, I expect game mechanics established by the first of the franchise series. Etc.

Listening to this topic in the podcast, I was reminded of Desert Bus. A more realistic game I can't think of.

Game Description wrote:

The objective of the game is to drive a bus from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada in real time at a maximum speed of 45mph, a feat that would take the player 8 hours of continuous play to complete, as the game cannot be paused.

The bus contains no passengers, and there is no scenery or other cars on the road. The bus veers to the right slightly; as a result, it is impossible to tape down a button to go do something else and have the game end properly. If the bus veers off the road it will stall and be towed back to Tucson, also in real time. If the player makes it to Las Vegas, they will score exactly one point. The player then gets the option to make the return trip to Tucson"”for another point (a decision they must make in a few seconds or the game ends). Players may continue to make trips and score points as long as their endurance holds out. Some players who have completed the trip have also noted that, although the scenery never changes, a bug splats on the windscreen over halfway through the first trip, and on the return trip the light does fade, with differences at dusk, and later a pitch black road where the player is guided only with headlights.

Genius. Genius.

My answer's always been the same for games as it is for any novel, television show or film: As real as it needs to be to tell the story it wants to tell.

I love realistic games. Alot of people knock games like ArmA and RO for being "boring" but many perceive that as intensity. I think that it certainly does. Nothing is more fun for me than traversing 3000m with your squad in ArmA, all on ts, with on encounters, and then sporatically enaging at 300m.

Realism; When is it too much? I ask that question because until we are able to look around with VR goggles and point in a direction and then order someone to cover that flank and do a similar command like that 3 more times to 3 other people before you yourself dive for cover behind a tree as your hear an incoming mortar round and do it all seamlessly in less than 10 seconds, then realism isn't going to be all that real.

In truth I think the limiting factor to realism is not just the limited amount of immersion you feel when looking at a monitor but more importantly it's the commands you must activate to get things done. Right now, in BF2 for example, you can turn, move your cross-hairs over a location, quickly do the squad tactics compass rose, choose defend here and then go to cover. But doing that for each squad mate would become rather troublesome and tedious. It's not like you are telling a well trained and behaved squad of humans to do the same thing. You just hope you can get everything together over VOIP or Teamspeak and then hope that your squad follows orders. Even harder if you have to type anything. The more realism you put into a game, like ArmA, it becomes more and more micro-management and less tactical. When I played the ArmA demo I was extremely disappointed with how bad the AI was for all the NPC soldiers on your side. The way to issue commands was rather clumsy. Honestly I wasn't all that impressed. Is it harder? Absolutely. But the same can be said for a Mod of BF2 that ups the damage on weapons so it only takes perhaps one or two shots to kill someone.

How about Bioshock? I already talked about realism in that game and how it's just not possible to get everything you would want in a game with current hardware and programing. The AI alone would take up more CPU time than allowed even with a 64bit Quad core. Never mind resource management, polygons and physics.

What I see in the meantime when it comes to realism (short of the VR goggles future I painted above) is a three screen model similar to that Insurgency mod pictures I posted a while back.
IMAGE(http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/1476/ins3screengz6.jpg)

Couple this setup with surround sound headphones, low light elsewhere to minimize distraction and a good mic setup and that's probably as close as you are going to get to a realistic suspension of disbelief in a game. The rest would be up to the game itself.

I like games that are internally consistent. I don't much care how realistic or not they are.