If you have ever had the opportunity to sit and watch someone else play console or PC games you have had, at one point in time had to have walked away from the screen due to motion sickness (or as medical professionals term it, simulation sickness). The head bob, gun bob, the lack of either of these mechanics, the sweeping twists of the road, the wall running and other game mechanics or even 3D gaming can create that feeling of motion sickness. This is an unfortunate side effect that I have to endure every time I sit and watch someone else play a game.
Another aspect of gaming sickness that I have encountered is not so much the game play but the storylines, the characters or the un-reality of the games. This particularly makes me feel sick with gaming titles that pride themselves on world accuracy or characters that are so irritating you just want to put a bullet in their head and can’t as they are integral to the story. With this in mind, I decided with the endless stream of AAA titles hitting consoles and PC’s over the coming months, I have compiled a list of the most nauseating games that I have ever encountered, so far.
Forza Horizon 2. Not because of the game play but because of the hipster trash that was at the beginning of the demo and the beginning of the game. There is nothing more nauseating than a game that takes itself way too seriously. Thankfully, for all those concerned, after this nausea inducing introduction, Forza Horizon 2 is a solid, fantastic arcade racer.
Minecraft to the porcelain god. I can play this game without issue as a single player, but watching someone play or doing couch co-op, the head bob of the other player’s pixelated character just makes me want to create my own world on the screen.
Titanfall. Firstly, it has a limitation in its game play. Constant repetition of the same action is, for me, a game breaker. In Titanfall you kill some guys, Call a Titan, watch it fall, pull a lever, watch it explode, Call a Titan, rinse and repeat, but the movement system, such as the wall running and the gun bob of Titanfall makes me want to hurl. However, with the recently released Frontier Defense, it has given the game a much needed co-op mode.
The Assassins Creed franchise. This is not a game mechanics issue, more like the unreality of some of the game play. Assassins Creed prides itself on being as historically accurate as possible with its worlds, it is this scaling and the thought of base jumping into hay and being able to nonchalantly walk away from a 4 or 5 storey fall without so much as a scratch that makes me feel queasy.
Alien Isolation. The tenseness of this game, with the threats from practically everything in the world, and the gruesome deaths. My imagination created images worse than what appeared on screen and my stomach just couldn’t cope. The game did a very good job suspense wise and to be fair this is not a gaming genre that I play.
The Last of Us. An absolutely superb game but makes my list because of the very real possibility that this could happen to humanity. This game made me nauseous in a sense that the thought of what happens in this survival horror game to the last of humanity, made me feel genuinely ill.
GTA 5, Trevor. Never have I wanted to put a bullet into an NPC’s head like I really wanted to with Trevor. I do understand why Trevor exists though, as the developers created him as a game mechanic that allows players to play a sociopath in the GTA world.
Any Flight Sim game. Watching the movement on screen such as banking and landing causes a stomach response that one cannot experience all too often.
And finally, any game that is half finished on release with massive patch downloads that creates more problems than it fixes. A classic example of a AAA title just recently release is Driveclub. The developers released the game with no weather effects (apparently coming later in a patch), the lifeless feel of the world itself, it is like they just took a photograph of the mountains and put the world in front of it, the strange floating stuff on the screen such as paper from nowhere (I believe that the crowds have not been fully rendered so we are left with their effects, perhaps in the aforementioned patch?). I could continue with this as the list goes on. This is not a game that I would recommend to anyone who loves a good racer.
I am sure that there are many other games that would turn stomachs of other gamers for varying reasons. I invite you to add to this list in comment. I would love to hear from other gamers who have experienced stomach turning in games, whether it be the simulation sickness or just stomach turning characters, world issues or plain development laziness.