Video games use every trick in the booth to make you feel something. We all know how movies use music to manipulate the audience, or loud noises to jumpscare us — and video games do the same thing. Video games use visual information and systems to make us feel like we’re doing well, or they can do the opposite and give us a challenge. Sometimes the games straight up lie, and today we’re talking about the weird little tricks games use to give us an experience.
Some of these tricks are truly mind-blowing, so if you don’t want games ruined for you, you might want to turn away now. We’ve found little secrets in tons of games that absolutely blow my mind — the best secrets you’ll never even noticed are happening to you, but hearing about them? Then you can’t stop seeing it.
Some of these tricks are pretty well known, even if you don’t exactly know what exact form they’ll take. Every game is different, so let’s go through some of these wild lies developers use to trick us into being absolutely immersed in their games.
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Your Last Bit Of Health Is Valued At More HP
Lots of games use a simple trick to make you feel like you’re just barely holding on to life. Assassin’s Creed and DOOM (2016) value your last bit of health higher so you can take more damage than normal. This is especially true in Doom: Eternal — and that’s one game you’ll always just barely survive at 1 HP. Bioshock and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild also pull this little trick.
Enemies Always Miss The First Few Shots
Here’s a mind-blowing revelation. In certain games, enemies always miss their first few shots. Bioshock enemies are confirmed — that way, you’re alerted to enemies without just taking immediate damage. Enemy airplanes in Luftrausers always miss their first shots to make you feel like you’re a better pilot.
Oh, there are many more examples of this starting advantage. Enemies in Spec Ops: The Line start out with 0% accuracy, and their accuracy slowly ramps up as a fight goes on. And that dad your dad (or grandpa) plays on Windows 95 — Minesweeper? The first click is never a mine.
Or Miss For Narrow Escapes
Enemies aren’t just programmed to miss at the first shot. In Oddworld: New N’ Tasty — and the original two Oddworld games on PS1 — your friendly alien Abe will always escape being shot right as he climbs onto a ledge, enters a door, or exits the current screen. That way you get shot at but have a narrow escape window.
Enemies Don’t Shoot You In The Back
Nobody likes dying. Video games want you to see how you die — a confused player is an annoyed player. With that in mind, enemies in Call of Duty games almost always miss when you’re looking away from the action. It’s possible they’ll still hit you, but it’s rare. In games like Bioshock, the Big Daddy insane run speed is slowed considerably to lessen the chance you’ll get drilled in the back and die.
Destroy the illusion and discover some of the most fascinating ways developers trick us. Get more on the next page.