Well seeing as realistic games are quite popular, and let's face it, if it's a good game and realistic you sometimes can't help but be sucked into the game and feel like you're taking down helicopters, fighting dragons or feeling the wight of the world on your shoulders as you try to find that last bottle of clean water or a can of food for yourself or someone else, I've decided to try and 'analyse' and try to give examples of how video games are realistic and what they could do top be more realistic. You may not agree with me, so just post what you think would be good to make a game more realistic. In this, we're facing the problem of damage.
How much do you take? How much do your enemies take? How much do other players take? How the fuck did he kill me in one shot?!
The Call of Duty franchise
Call of Duty has gained in popularity over recent years, maybe because the campaigns have gotten better (or worse, I'm not writing this to shit on CoD). CoD4 to CoD8 (or Modern Warfare 3) have been quite fast paced games. While not perfect, or free of some plot holes and inaccuracies, it does make a player sit on the edge of their seat sometimes (or makes me sit on the edge of my seat sometimes). A lot of the games catch the eye by putting in some explosions (again, i'm NOT critiquing the CoD franchise, I'll leave that to you guys), some cool set pieces and some nice ways to tell the story to the player.
The damage in CoD can sometimes be quite messed up. You die in a single shot sometimes, and it doesn't have to be a headshot! But maybe this is accurate? The human body isn't exactly designed for taken bullets, and humans in general are very hardy organisms. A single shot could possibly incapacitate the average human. A shot in the leg will leave you with a nasty limp for probably the rest of your life, a shot in the lung may leave you with breathing problems and a shot in the arm could mean you have to have it amputated. These points aren't exactly features of CoD, or (m)any FPS's, but you can die very quickly on the multiplayer. A couple shots can sometimes kill you, a barret 50cal could kill you in one shot with a shot to the body, a knife seems to be able to kill you instantly. But if we just think about it, if you take a 5 cm bullet to the chest or back and survive, you may not survive for long. You're mid battle, your covert operation has been exposed and you've taken a hit. Do you think you could make it out? Probably not, so maybe these outrageous one shot kills are accurate? They may not kill everyone instantly, but because of CoD's quick gameplay it's probably saving you a lot of time rather than spending a few minutes sitting there bleeding out as you're team gets annihilated. But if we wanted to get really realistic we would bore the players half to death as they die.
Silencers... It always says it affects the range of the gun. That shouldn't be so bad right? But no. They actually take down the damage of the gun, even at close range it still takes more bullets to kill your enemy than without a silencer. Silencers do reduce the speed/velocity of the bullet slightly in real life, I'm not sure by how much. I'm fine with not doing much damage over long distances with a silencer, but not when I'm firing a million shots into their face. The bullet's speed/velocity doesn't honestly matter if your maybe ten metres away, unless it's so low the bullets bounce of off the other guy's skin. So maybe silencers should have no affect on damage, but that wouldn't lead to a realistic game because you'd be able to kill people from across the map without endangering your position, but that's a whole other kettle of fish that I'm not writing about at the moment. The damage over long distances may not be entirely accurate either. The bullets may not kill the enemy quickly, but firing two magazines into the enemy to kill them is unreasonable and unlikely because most people would sprint off in the other direction. If the bullets are hitting the enemy, and going into them (the X on CoD shows you're doing damage and presumably the bullets are penetrating the skin) then maybe you would kill the enemy. The bullets may not go in too deep, but if there are a few, or even a lot, of bullet wounds the enemy may die anyway. Of course this may be after a few minutes, the end of the round or never if they have access to some sort of medic (which CoD doesn't have). Difficulty selections on the campaign may have to be removed if they really wanted to get the damage right. The same damage multiplier they used for multiplayer, would be used for singleplayer. If they wanted it really realistic and consistent, they would make the campaign so enemies were easy to kill, but you could die just as easily.
Fall damage is another thing, a whole other beast really. You can fall 15 feet and survive, you can fall 30 feet and die. I'm not sure what the exact life/death distance is, but falling 15 feet isn't healthy. You wouldn't be able to sprint right after it as well. Presuming you were well trained, and landed correctly without breaking anything, you would feel like your legs and pelvis had gone up a foot or two, leaving you heavily winded and with sore knees. You may not take much damage, you likely won't die, but you may carry some sort of 'affliction' or 'ailment' for the rest of the match. You could get incapacitated, break an ankle or a leg you won't be very mobile, and may even be left just sitting there if your character reacted to pain realistically. If you break an arm you could walk about, maybe run for short amounts of time but not shoot very well/not at all. Limb damage may need to be added, but the fall damage for limbs and gun shots would have to be different.
Knives. The ultimate weapon it seems. You can shoot across the map and stab somebody with a knife... ok, maybe not quite, but still it's crazy how your character leaps into somebody with their knife. The multiplayer always shows someone being slit with the knife. This would be very painful, but somebody could get over it. A shallow cut across the stomach would cause bleeding, some pain but if the bleeding was stopped, you wouldn't die. A deep cut could leave you incapacitated, and bleeding to death depending on the angle and size. A slit across the back would be like the shallow cut for the stomach, except a lot less painful and maybe a bit less blood. But a deep cut could kill you. If the 'stabber' was able to cut through the spinal cord by going through the gap in between vertebrae (unlikely, but who knows what could happen?) you would die pretty soon or be left paralysed from the waist or neck down, or go brain dead from the amounts of blood lost. Stabbing is another issue. A stab is a lot more fatal than a 'slashing' because the entire length of the blade can enter the victims body. A stab to the chest could puncture a lung (maybe flooding it with blood) or go through the heart. The stomach is a pretty vital area, a stab their could kill you (it can kill instantly!) or incapacitate (that word again) you for the rest of the match, or until you die. In real life it can leave you unable to eat certain types of food because of the fact there's no where for a certain protein or sugar to be absorbed into, but when was the last time you ate food in a CoD game? This concludes the CoD 'analysing', please leave a comment if you think I've missed something out (I most likely have) or if you have a wrong... different opinion about how the damage can be made more realistic!
Say what you want about this game. 'It was great'. 'It was a rushed, buggy piece of shit'. 'I'm indifferent about this game'. There are still hints at realistic combat. I played the Beta and notice that everyone took a good few bullets to kill. I thought it was really unrealistic, but now I look back and I think it is accurate to an extent. All the soldiers fighting were wearing armour. I have no idea what it was... kevlar? Some sort of other super strong polymer? But it made me realise. 'Dem guyz are fightin' with bulletproof armourz!'. Maybe not entirely what I thought, but it 'enlightened' me to thinking, that maybe, ten or twenty shots is in fact realistic to an EXTENT. The bullets wouldn't penetrate the armour in a single shot, maybe a few shots. But they would leave you winded, like a heavy punch to the stomach or chest. They could even make you fall on your ass. It would be interesting to see everyone falling over or sit down to catch their breath after a single spray of LMG fire. But it wouldn't be fun. Not at all. If you were shot at from the side you would be likely unprotected and just die quickly.
To be brutally honest, I'm very tired, and I can't think of much more than that. I guess I did cover a lot of points that would have been in BF3 in the CoD section. Go read that again.
The Elder Scrolls
From First Person Shooter to First Person Sword-magic-mace-axe-shield-fantasy-dragons-FUS-RO-DAH-spears-pauldrons-you-face-is-made-up-of-five-polygons, I will 'analyse' the Elder Scrolls franchise.
We moved onto guns because they were far more efficient than swords and bows. They had an immense range and were often fatal if they hit you. Of course that was quite a while ago when losing a finger could mean death, or even catching a cold could mean death. But it's still true today. You don't see many people using swords. But swords are much more brutal, axes even more so, maces even more so than axes and flails even more so than maces and axes and swords. So while you cut down a Daedra, an Imperial Guard or a Dragon, you could sustain wounds so deep and bloody you'd probably both die. A sword would leave you with either small gashes or chunks of your body hanging off by a few tendons (sorry for the graphic image, but I had to say it), a mace could leave you with bruises or crushed bones, an axe could do the same a sword and much worse and a flail could leave you with crushed bones. The list goes on in terms of horrible injuries, in real life the list could even be infinite as the wound is dependent on the force put into the attack, the sharpness of the blade, the strength of your bones and muscles and the angle of the swing. That being said, there are still so many more factors. Maybe in Oblivion you should be left with only one arm, maybe you should be able to get infections that require medicine or amputation to cure. Maybe in Morrowind you should just die during your first fight with an enemy... Oh wait... Maybe in Skyrim Dragons should always kill you, myabe they should sever an arm or leg and leave you to crawl back to a city or just die. It may not be fun, but it would be realistic if done right. Magic could often have backlash effects, you could use flames and end up getting third degree burns on your palms, which would soon get infected. Or maybe summoning creatures could cause you migraines or headaches due to the concentration required. Stuff that cause pain without killing you, sucked the breath from your lungs or damage your heart because of the spells you use.
There are a lot of games out there, surprisingly, and I could analyse a lot of them, but I'm tired, you're tired after reading that horrendous block of text and I want you, the reader, to also suggest other points I may have missed out of the games I 'analysed' or a game I didn't even bother mentioning.
Thanks for reading.