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Overview

 Leaning is often used in first person shooter games to allow players to look around corners without exposing their whole body to enemy attack by reducing their visible profile. This technique has been used mostly in tactical shooters and games that aim for a sense of realism. Leaning has also been used for stealth purposes, such as in Thief, where the player can use it to look around corners without being spotted.
 Most leaning systems allow players only to lean to either the left or right, but more advanced systems such as those seen in Thief and System Shock 2 allow players to lean in many directions allowing for increased freedom and a larger field of view while behind objects.
 

Modern Leaning

Though leaning is still used in some modern video games, the transition to a console focused market has led to fewer shooters implementing a lean mechanic due to limited input options. The most notable instance of leaning on modern consoles was seen in Killzone 2, which allowed players to use a cover system in first person and then lean in a variety of directions (such as left; right; and, most interestingly, up) and even blind fire like their third person counter parts. PC games, such as Crysis and ArmA II, continue to use this feature.

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