Here’s a fun fact: did you know that the human eye can actually recognise the visual obstruction of the nose, but the brain chooses to ignore it? Pretty cool right? It’s amazing that your brain is able to determine that the nose doesn’t require a concerted visual consistency to know it’s there, and that it has a systemic program that alters your perception of reality to accommodate the individuals vision. Considering the distended size of my nose this is a very useful exercise for my own brain to coordinate. By extension the human brain, depending on the occupier of course is capable of applying such valuable disregards to other areas. For instance being able to ignore a plot hole in a movie elevates the enjoyment you perceive exponentially. Possessing the capability to abide certain game-play issues or cliche character dialogue provides a much more meaningful experience to a game that could potentially compromise enjoyment because of these problems. Personally there’s a lot I can let slide. The murderous endeavours of Nathan Drake. Rocky Balboa beating Ivan Drago in “Rocky IV” despite Apollo Creed, an opponent Rocky barely defeated by one second, dying within two rounds sparring with the same Russian juggernaut. The fact Buzz Lightyear believes himself to be a space ranger, yet still remains totally inanimate whenever Andy enters the room doesn’t bother me either. No what concerns me is something a little more tenuous. An understated phenomenon in gaming implemented without any real explanation. I’m of course referring to the naturally occurring cell regeneration that afflicts a number of player controlled protagonists.
The ability to heal one self is without a doubt the most useful, inert skill a player controlled character can have. It’s inclusion hastens the rapidity of combat allowing for a far greater emphasis on dynamic entertainment rather than the methodical conservation of health, ultimately depleted by tough and engaging confrontations. But just because I accept its assistance shouldn’t precipitate that I understand it. Games that primarily strive for realism often adopt the inherent regenerative properties without any real explanation? Is this evolution? Have the characters inherited these unique skills through some freak accident? Were they born like this? Perhaps bitten by a radioactive aspirin? I don’t know. It’s never explained! This troupe takes logic outside and shoots it in the face! Presumably a critical wound it would recover from! Realism, when applied to esoteric scenarios or arresting situations like the ones in Resident Evil 7, where environments are so incredibly detailed yet the nature of the story is as realistic as a David Icke account on global politics. Having a character that can casually recover from a gun shot wound just by concealment behind a crate makes little sense anyway. As does life nurturing elixirs.
Often regenerative potions or wounds remedied by embellished salves are administered as a statutory resource for all physical maladies. A characters life bar is flashing red intermittently indicating that immediate hospitalisation is necessary to recover from the life threatening wounds sustained in combat, such as a bullet to the face. But wait you have that first aid kit that you recovered from that ravine earlier on! Yes, that’s it. Let me quickly rap this bandage around my hand which should heal said gunshot….on my head? One minute you’re rasping at deaths door, the next you’ve become a Knight in a Monty Python sketch! “It is but a flesh wound”. Resident Evil 7 perpetrates evocative themes of torture or indeed amputation that can be treated with some absurdly powerful medicated solution is something I’ve never quite trained my brain to ignore. That small part of my brain that feels compelled to rationalise this explicable feat of medical engineering, is a conceptual blemish somehow more distracting to my immersion than how adept I am at reloading a gun. Or how my assimilated persona has the physical capacity to haul enough weapons, garments or other life preserving regents without encumbering my expeditious agility, that allows for consistent almost inexhaustible ability to sprint. Why would I question the legitimacy of such incredible actions when I can barely get out of bed in the morning without injury, let alone heave a bag up a mountain that weighs the equivalent of a whales uterus? Or even how all of this hefty equipment fits inside a satchel?!
I realise how trivial this argument is, if you can even call it that but it’s still something my mind simply can’t ignore. Dying and re-spawning unscathed at a designated checkpoint? Yep, makes perfect natural sense to me. By self healing? That’s just so unreasonable! Even the simplest of explanations would satisfy my curiosity into this obscene logistical anomaly. Explaining that the character in question possessed a strong constitution against death and dismemberment would suffice in my erratic little brain! Alternatively God could bestow me with a life. That would be nice.
What gimmick in gaming annoys you? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.