10 Most Bizarre Gaming Features We Just Accept

10 Most Bizarre Gaming Features We Just Accept

Gamers are a curious bunch.

Video games are the ultimate form of escapism, putting us in control of a wizard, a star football player, or a Jedi Knight to live out our dragon slaying, Champions League winning, lightsaber wielding fantasies.

We often consider ourselves 'Pro' or 'Hard core' players, who don't go in for that colourful kiddie stuff, and wouldn't be seen dead playing Candy Crush on a mobile phone.

Yet gamers are also perhaps the most gullible, forgiving, and easily influenced group in the pantheon of modern day fandoms, accepting the questionable and ignoring the ridiculous.

Virtually every genre in gaming has within it countless elements which are so outlandish or just plain weird that their existence and continued usage in our favourite titles would definitely be pointed out and remarked upon by others.

Gamers, though, do not question them; we take them in our stride and play on, continuing our love affair with games of all genres.

The real world can be a difficult and depressing place at times, so it is no wonder gamers are so happy to swallow illogical logic and nonsensical common sense with every new game we play.

With that in mind, here are the ten most bizarre gaming features we just accept.

10. Blood Spattered Camera

10 Most Bizarre Gaming Features We Just Accept

A modern example, this one, and a mainstay of the FPS genre.

Upon removing the classic health bar system of old from modern FPS titles, developers needed to decide upon a new visual representation of incoming damage.

Cue the advent of the blood spattered camera, and variations on the theme such as the screen becoming increasingly red in vignette as our field of vision is similarly obscured.

While this undoubtedly does the trick as it is pretty difficult to misinterpret a screen covered in blood, if you think about it, it doesn't actually make much sense.

For one thing, there's no actual camera (Seriously, who has a camera for a head?).

Okay, it is true that being shot will likely result in blood spatter, even blood spatter to the face, but it would not linger in your eyes like a carton of milk thrown at a car windscreen.

Gamers, of course, do not question this and just accept it as the norm.

A drop or two of blood on the camera lens is okay, we can take it.

But when the camera is covered, and the blood not only obscures our vision but is accompanied by the tell-tale rumble from the controller, yeah... now we're screwed.

9. Progress Inexplicably Blocked

10 Most Bizarre Gaming Features We Just Accept
CD Projekt RED

This entry is pretty much as old as gaming itself, so why do we still keep falling for it?

We've all been there, out in the wide open worlds of The Witcher, Skyrim, or Breath of the Wild.

With inventory stocked and our trusty steed in tow, we set off to fulfil our next brave quest.

The hero dashes across the open plain, crosses a fast-flowing river, encounters a three foot high picket fence... and stops dead in their tracks.

Real people in the real world would either (a) climb over or (b) kick down the fence.

Gamers, however, react by thinking, "Okay, I can't get through that way, I'll find another path".

This is so commonplace we barely even notice it anymore.

We are constantly hindered by fences, walls, doors, boulders, trees and even furniture, with nary a finger raised in objection.

Whilst some of these would undoubtedly be legitimate hindrances to progress in the real world (like a massive boulder in your way, for example), others are just plain silly.

How is this massive, twenty stone, half-wolf / half-barbarian, axe-wielding brute going to get past this small wooden door?

Have a guess.

8. Inventory Slots

10 Most Bizarre Gaming Features We Just Accept

Stand up, and look in your pockets.

What have you got? Your phone, your wallet, some chewing gum? Probably.

How about four cooked chickens, two assault rifles, seven broadswords and a bazooka?

Wait, your jacket has pockets too? Great! Have ten encyclopedias, six more cooked chickens and the bones of your enemies.

Apart from Hermione Granger and The Doctor, humanoid capacity to carry goods and weapons is very much finite.

In gaming, inventory slots can span literal pages and comprise everything from mushrooms to missiles, and all in between.

Even games like Skyrim which impose a weight restriction on your inventory lest you become "Over-Encumbered" do not go far enough.

Yes, your in-game hoarding can see you rendered effectively stationary until you drop a few jerkins, but the fact that you can secrete such an embarrassment of goods about your person in the first place is bizarre in the extreme.

The classic inventory management of the early Resident Evil titles tried to make sense of this quandary by having the player arrange weapons and items into an attache case, utilising the physical space available within.

However, when the onscreen character was then show absolutely devoid of said case, the whole purposes was effectively defeated.

7. Copy And Paste Enemies

10 Most Bizarre Gaming Features We Just Accept

For as long as there have been video games, there have been enemies.

Whether pixelated crocodiles, double-denimed street thugs, or the hordes of Mordor, video game enemies are arguably as famous as their protagonist counterparts.

There is, however, one huge, polygonal elephant in the room when it comes to in game enemies - they all look exactly the bloody same.

Take any tier of enemies within a particular title, and you can almost guarantee absolute uniformity.

The basic grunts all wear blue jackets and sun glasses, the second tier adversaries are colour-swapped versions of the grunts, and the mid-level bosses are the same again but with a mohawk.

Even high fantasy and sci-fi titles use the same tactics, with goblins, orcs, robots and lizards rounding out the grunt and executive grunt roles respectively.

It's great; literally colour coding enemies allows gamers to identify at a glance who to take out first, and we save or use our potions and items accordingly.

It's also very weird.

Think about it: outside of sports strips and armed forces uniforms, how many times have you come across groups of entirely identical individuals, let alone groups who have kidnapped the Mayor's daughter and are now trying to repeatedly punch you in the face?


6. Floating Platforms

10 Most Bizarre Gaming Features We Just Accept

During gaming's formative years, prior to polygons, and before Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time changed the gaming landscape indelibly, platform games were everywhere.

Gamers in their thirties will look back on childhoods playing Alex Kidd, Mega Man, Alien 3, and Earthworm Jim - not to mention a certain plumber and a particular hedgehog.

You know the drill: move across the screen, timing your jumps to perfection as you land on oscillating structures suspended in mid-air, then on to a reciprocating platform, dispatching enemies along the way as you complete your goal.

This is gaming.

These platforms and walkways, lifts and structures form the very foundations upon which modern day games were built.

But - at the risk of touching on sacrilegious ground here - mid-air platforms, ledges, blocks and bricks make absolutely no sense whatsoever.

What are they connected to? How do they stay up? Why do they not sag when our hero lands on them?


Familiarity has blinded us to the fact that one of the oldest, most beloved, and ubiquitous features in gaming history is as illogical as it is weird.

5. Puzzle Rooms

10 Most Bizarre Gaming Features We Just Accept

Another mainstay of both modern and retro gaming which, when you really think about it, is ludicrous.

The Puzzle Room.

Your hero has battled through a dungeon, dispatching goblins and monsters (which all look the same, obviously) with gleeful abandon, only to encounter a locked door.

How to open it, you wonder.

Fear not, fair traveller, for there are other objects of interest within these hitherto unexplored (more on that later) walls.

The door - a massive hulking stone slab, no less - is definitely locked; there is no lock to pick nor hinge to break, but there IS a celestial constellation etched into the very rock of the imposing door.

Okay, good start.

Looking around, you notice that there are also multiple large, cuboid blocks positioned at random intervals around the room, each bearing the face of an animal.

Right, we're on to something; what else is there?

Reflecting the light and catching your eye is a silver dagger with a something inscribed along the exquisite blade... "Gary from Stevenage".

Okay, so... Constellations, Animal Faces, Gary from Stevenage and... Oh, look! There are pressure pads on the floor arranged so as to resemble Huw Edwards from BBC News when viewed from above.....

You see?


4. Female Armour

10 Most Bizarre Gaming Features We Just Accept

This one is perhaps a controversial entry, and is prevalent in many forms of media besides just gaming.

The representation and relative effectiveness of female-specific armour.

We all love acquiring, forging, and upgrading our armour sets in fantasy series' like Dragon Age and Final Fantasy.

The more work we pour into our armour, the more resilient they are to damage, the more menacing they appear to our enemies, and the more badass they look in screenshots.

From helmet and pauldron to greave and sabaton, we are indestructible.

Unless of course we're female.

Female armour looks like it has been designed by a 13 year old boy who happened to sneak a peek at his older brother's internet history - by accident, of course.

From Tyris Flare in Golden Axe to Shahdee of Prince of Persia fame, stopping off at Soul Calibur's Ivy and Ninja Gaiden's Rachel along the way, the choice of PPE on show here is frankly astounding.

Gone is the full-face helmet and five inch thick cuirass, and in their place are strings, lace, and ribbon covering nothing but the unmentionables.

The most baffling part about the whole thing?

Most of these "armour" sets actually give quite impressive stat boosts, but that's beside the point...

3. Lit Torches In Sealed Dungeons

10 Most Bizarre Gaming Features We Just Accept
Bullfrog Productions Ltd

The dungeon is one of the most iconic, most reliable, and most commonplace design conceits in gaming.

From the early days of The Legend of Zelda on the NES, all the way through to the Diablo series and Crypt of the Necrodancer, dungeons are as synonymous with gaming as boss fights and check points.

You unseal the centuries' old door (usually by a convoluted set of puzzles, of course), the smell of stale air and decay assaulting your senses.

You draw one of the twenty-seven swords you have in your inventory (keep up, people), and take your first tentative steps into the labyrinthine structure, guided only by the light of the burning torches, firmly ensconced along the walls.

Hang on a second...

Who lit these torches? How long have they been burning?

In games like Skyrim where there are still Dunmer and Dwemer aplenty within these caverns of imminent death, the answers are obvious.

But in games like the Uncharted or Tomb Raider series', where nobody has so much as stepped foot in these spaces for decades if not centuries, there is just no leap of logic which can describe how these torches are happily burning away in their element.

2. Health Pickups

10 Most Bizarre Gaming Features We Just Accept
iD Software

The health pickup has been a fundamental component of the action game scene for over 30 years, and arrives in many forms.

Whether it's a whole cooked chicken found in a skip in Streets of Rage, a blue vial-type-thingy in Doom, or a first aid spray in the Resident Evil series, we frantically scour the horizon and check every crate and corner for these life saving objects when our health is low.

We make a mental note of where these items are when we are fully healed in order to circle back to them later should we need to, and we do this without even thinking about it.

Take damage, pick up health - gamers know this.

The problem is, much like the hilarious "Magic Sponge" physios apply to stricken footballers up and down the land on a Saturday afternoon, it's just nonsense.

Take the Streets of Rage example.

Battling through hordes of (identical) enemies, you take a literal crowbar to the face.

Bleeding, on death's door, you look around for anything to stem the flow of blood and save the life slowly ebbing from you.

An inexplicably cooked chicken which some absolute nutter has left in a skip is not going to help.

Yet it does.

It's so weird...

1. Cover Healing

10 Most Bizarre Gaming Features We Just Accept
Epic Games

Following on from the previous entry is the more modern equivalent of the health pickup - Cover healing.

Featuring almost exclusively in shooters, this mechanic is as widely accepted as it is nonsensical, and is perhaps even more baffling than the health pickup.

Every gamer has experienced this feature at some stage but many may not even be aware of it, commonplace as this mechanic now is.

You're in the middle of an intense fire fight, exchanging rounds and explosives with all manner of human or alien villainy and, whether through misfortune or hubris, you take too much damage and - you guessed it - the screen turns red.

What do you do? How can you stop the bleeding and save what little life you have left?

Do you call a medic? Do you grit your teeth, dig the errant bullets out from your torn flesh and apply an emergency field dressing?


You simply duck behind a fence or stand behind a crate until the screen returns to it's normal hue, indicating that you are once again healthy and good to go.


Do our wounds miraculously heal, Wolverine-style?

Apparently they do, which solidifies this entry as the number one most bizarre gaming feature we just accept.