The Physics Manipulation wiki last edited by Jagged85 on 11/29/13 10:28PM View full history

Overview

Physics Manipulation is a concept recently used in games as a result of improvements in processing power and the development of physics engine technology. This allows the user to combat enemies and solve puzzles by manipulating the laws of physics, specifically that of gravity, to their advantage. The first games to make use of active physics manipulation include Metal Storm and Jurassic Park: Trespasser.

Noteable examples

The gravity gun from Half-Life 2.

The zero-point energy field manipulator, or gravity gun, from the Half-Life franchise - This weapon allows the user to pick up almost any object in the game and either place it or throw it at an enemy. Half-Life 2 and its sequels use Valve 's in-house developed Source Engine, which fully integrated the HAVOK physics technology to great effect. While Trespasser was the first game to actively make use of physics manipulation, the industry failed to take notice due the game's poor sales and reviews. Valve succeeded in creating new standards of design with their physics implementation, and subsequently any first-person shooter released after Half-Life 2 that failed to implement physics manipulation was seen as being behind the times.

The force powers from Star Wars: Force Unleashed - These powers manipulate physics by letting you pick up objects and characters and letting you throw them around in full 360. Because of this and other force powers, the game has been described by some as a 'physics toolbox'.

Garry's Mod - This 'game' gets a special mention for being a literal physics toolbox. You have full control of the laws of physics, able to manipulate gravity, spawn in objects, freeze objects in mid-air, and pick up anything not an NPC using the physics gun, similar to the gravity gun. You can also set things on fire. That should be enough.

The TK device from Dead Space - This functions similarly to the gravity gun. Not much is known about it.

Biotic Powers from the Mass Effect series - Some biotic powers allowed the player to physically manipulate enemies or objects in combat.

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