Why do characters always put their backs up against cover?

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#1 Posted by natetodamax (19466 posts) -

I've been thinking about paintball recently, one of my favorite activities, and I've come to the realization that in paintball you kinda have to be facing the cover you're behind. If you put your back to it, you really can't see what's around the corner without poking your entire head out slowly, and firing from that position is basically impossible.

So I've been thinking, why do characters in games always put their backs up against cover? It doesn't seem like a smart thing to do. Facing the cover allows you to pop up quickly to see what you're facing.

I'm perplexed.

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#2 Posted by Deathmachine117 (383 posts) -

I suppose just so you wont be staring at their backside for a whole game.

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#3 Posted by Vexxan (4634 posts) -

Just another example of the great mysteries in life!

Anyway I think it's to make things clear, if your character turns around and sits against the wall it's "obvious" they're taking cover. If they were to do like you say you do in paintball then maybe the player could get confused and think that the character is just crouching and not fully protected.

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#4 Posted by Stephen_Von_Cloud (1537 posts) -
@Deathmachine117 said:
I suppose just so you wont be staring at their backside for a whole game.
Isn't that what you are doing out of cover anyways?
 
 
But I agree with you.   I think it is to give a view of your model and have it clearer to the player what their character is doing in cover.  So that you can tell he will rotate around the cover right or left, etc.
 
But I am just playing Infamous 2 now and that game has a light bit of a cover system in it and you do in fact face the cover in that game and fire over. 
 
Doesn't Army of Two also work that way?
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#5 Posted by Deathmachine117 (383 posts) -
@Stephen_Von_Cloud:  Yeah I know I agree with your point it is weird to have them look away from their enemies and cover. I think it just depends on the game really.
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#6 Posted by Cloudenvy (5893 posts) -

This might just be my memory tricking me but doesn't Nathan Drake have his side to the cover in Uncharted?

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#7 Posted by xolare (1358 posts) -
@Cloudenvy said:

This might just be my memory tricking me but doesn't Nathan Drake have his side to the cover in Uncharted?

It's like a 45 degrees angle so it's back and side. 
 
 To be honest, i'd rather just use leaning.
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#8 Posted by isles (259 posts) -

Because in the real world if you are facing cover you can't see behind you.

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#9 Posted by natetodamax (19466 posts) -

@isles said:

Because in the real world if you are facing cover you can't see behind you.

In theory, you shouldn't be getting into cover if there are people behind you.

@Stephen_Von_Cloud: If I recall I think Army Of Two had people facing cover, yes. I do think that having backs to cover looks a lot better but technically doesn't make much sense.

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#10 Posted by Kyle2010 (2 posts) -

@Voxel: They lean their back to avoid getting flanked,since staying in cover for too long will get someone to flank you,but only the player character looking behind doesn't help

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#11 Posted by N7 (4159 posts) -

Guns of the Patriots and Metal Gear Online both have you facing the cover. I always thought that was much more awesome than backing into cover.

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#12 Edited by Justin258 (14692 posts) -

It "feels" better that way, if you get what I mean.

When Marcus and Friends (TM) slam their oversized backs into concrete walls, there is a slight sound and rumble in the controller and the screen shakes just a tiny bit. This isn't exactly easy to notice but it does add to the feeling that your character is really big, really powerful, and kicks a lot of ass. If he just crouches behind something, you don't get that same feedback.

Well, supposedly anyway. Gordon Freeman won't get caught behind cover and he kicks tons of ass.

EDITED: Also, I didn't notice the date on this thread.

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#13 Posted by pyromagnestir (4481 posts) -

You just blew my mind!

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#14 Posted by artgarcrunkle (988 posts) -

Shit looks Hollywood.

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#15 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4714 posts) -

@Vexxan said:

Anyway I think it's to make things clear, if your character turns around and sits against the wall it's "obvious" they're taking cover. If they were to do like you say you do in paintball then maybe the player could get confused and think that the character is just crouching and not fully protected.

Basically this.

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#16 Posted by AhmadMetallic (19301 posts) -

I started asking myself this question after the Last of Us E3 demo. I simply love how the dude in that game puts his hands on the cover while facing it, looking around it to see the enemy.

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#17 Posted by CaptainObvious (2993 posts) -

It looks cool, what else do you need?

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#18 Posted by ShaggE (8558 posts) -

Besides the functional feedback, it definitely "looks cooler" than humping up against the wall.

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#19 Posted by AlexW00d (7530 posts) -

Old thread but still, Red Orchestra and Men of War have good cover systems that don't face it backwards.

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#20 Posted by kindgineer (3089 posts) -

@Voxel: My thoughts would pretty much be for vanity's sake. The same reason we have girls with DDDD^4 boobs that can still stand up straight. Games allow us to do things we would do in real life, but un-realistically.

Just my thoughts, though.

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#21 Posted by DeF (5390 posts) -

@MarkWahlberg said:

@Vexxan said:

Anyway I think it's to make things clear, if your character turns around and sits against the wall it's "obvious" they're taking cover. If they were to do like you say you do in paintball then maybe the player could get confused and think that the character is just crouching and not fully protected.

Basically this.

yup, it's all about visual cues and communicating stuff to the player.

many a thing gets thrown out when it comes to realism vs. fun-mechanics (magic ammo, for example - as addressed in a recent Rock Paper Shotgun interview about Metro: Last Light where the interviewee brought it up, it basically frustrates him that if you reload while there's still bullets in a mag, those magically stay with you after you throw out that magazine but not doing that wouldn't be fun unless you're making a simulation-game (search for "magic pocket of bullets")

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