If there’s ever a form of entertainment that has made huge leaps and bounds in the last decades, it’s video gaming. If you consider that half a century ago the pinnacle of gaming was moving your line to bounce back a block, hoping the other player wouldn’t be able to catch it with his line, it’s almost insane to imagine how far we’ll be in about 50 years.
And while Pong will always be a classic, it has no place on today’s list. With the recent additions to the gaming world like haptic feedback, 4K resolution, 60 FPS and VR, let’s take a look at some games that are the most realistic so far.
1. Death Stranding
Now, don’t get me wrong – it’s a Kojima game, so it’s never going to quite be realistic in the sense you’d expect. Unless tomorrow we end up in an apocalypse where the dead come back as floating ghosts that make people explode. But as for the gameplay mechanics of walking around with heavy boxes on your back, it just feels as unpleasant and straining as it would in real life, and the feeling of frustration when you’re fully packed, lose your balance and fall flat on your face as your luggage gets swept upstream in a deep river is just the realest emotion you can feel in gaming right now.
If you want to experience true fear and dread, this’ll be the game. If you play the game with headphones, you’ll hear phantom footsteps coming from all directions, heartbeat increases, and your teeth grinding. All because your character is slowly but surely going insane from being stuck in the dark trying to solve puzzles and get away from a weird monster. And you don’t even remember who you are.
3. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Do you want to feel what it’s like to be stuck in a psychosis? Boy does this game have the right thing for you! You’ll hear the voices in your head whispering to you, you’ll see weird visual hallucinations pop up, and all this while trying to plow your way through Norse mythology to kill a couple of their gods to bring your loved one back. Won’t fix the psychosis though, that stays with you forever.
4. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
There’s just nothing that screams “realism” like “get murdered, possessed by an Elvish spirit and take the fight to Sauron”. Now that we have that out of the way: the game has this aptly named Nemesis System. What it basically does is it makes orcs remember you, interact with you and react/grow differently depending on what you did or didn’t do to them. Did you send him running away in fear? Well, he’ll probably get demoted and be really pissed off the next time you see him. Did he beat you in combat? He’ll probably be stronger and more important next time you run into him. Hell, you can even kill an orc and meet him later in the game, all stitched back together and with a real chip on his shoulder.
5. American Truck Simulator
We can’t blame the game for being boring, since driving a truck for 12 hours straight does sound kind of boring. But if nothing else, the game really does capture the experience of driving a truck for 12 hours straight and wanting to get off the nearest exit to try and drown yourself in a local motel bathroom. That said, they’ve done such good things with the gameplay: your haul can get damaged, you can get fined if you drive too fast, and the cities are perfect 1:20 scale compared to their real life counterparts.
Teaching kids all around the world the joy of responsibility, Tamagotchi was an accessory-slash-video-game where you adopted and took care of a digital pet. It had to eat, poop, feel loved and basically stay alive. Yes, it was actually able to die if you neglected it. Restart the game? No sir. It dies, you buy a new one. Like real pets. There are no resets in the game of life. Maybe this one is a bit too realistic.