Arcade Games vs. Realistic Games


By Anton Belosludtsev

Anyone who has played either Call of Duty or Battlefield has had this reaction from someone they know: “Call of Duty is bad because is doesn’t accurately represent warfare!” or “Battlefield isn’t competitive enough!” Both of these answers are valid, and both are wrong.

This analogy can be viewed in a broader sense, between games played for fun and games played for realism. Arcade-styled games value their competitive nature and skill-based gameplay over physics, damage models, and world simulation. Realistic games are the polar opposite: they expect their players to enjoy simulating different environments.

Compare H1Z1 to Arma III. H1Z1 has a third person mode, jerky movements and health bars. Arma III is usually in first person (with some exceptions) and has damage models for different body parts. H1Z1 was developed off of the Arma 2 mod DayZ, during the height of its popularity. Each has similar roots in Arma 2, yet has different goals and different approaches.

Not only this, but many simulation games feed the player knowledge that can be applied to reality. It’s like reading a novel versus reading a textbook. Take Kerbal Space Program as an example. It gives the player pieces of rockets and implies that they fly to different planets (although some don’t even make it out of the atmosphere in one piece). The game may be boring and tedious is the beginning, but the sense of accomplishment is awe-inspiring.

To me, I believe realistic games need more merit than they’re given. Games like DCS world give me chills as I race across the runway in my Su-25 “Frogfoot” with the control tower giving me the ‘go-ahead’ for takeoff. Few games can recreate the feeling of actually being there, doing that thing. It is all about immersion: once the lines between game and reality blur, you know you’re playing a simulator.