Actually Sony, The “Flow” Would be a Good Idea – Because Swimming in Games Blows!


So, PlayStation posted this video on their blog today:

Obviously they’re taking the piss (April 1st and all that) but, actually, they inadvertently hit upon a little bugbear of mine, namely swimming in games. I don’t expect I’ll get a better opportunity to bring it up so I’ma grab this one like….. well, like a drowning man grabbing at driftwood.

Swimming’s an increasingly common inclusion in games, but it’s consistently one of the least realistic gaming experiences out there. Some games do better than others, admittedly (AC: Black Flag wasn’t terrible), but as a rule it’s horrible. Like really, really horrible.

TEW - swimmingThe Evil Within was shockingly, hilariously bad, for example. There’s one bit where you have to bring a statue closer to a car (where you can then pick up the key inside), and rather than gently nudging it towards said car, my character could only thrash around like a directionally challenged shark on PCP, sending the damn thing shooting off in all kinds of different directions.

In GTA 5, when I was diving for the submarine parts, I’d frequently find myself swimming round in circles because Michael would shoot past the damn thing, rather than just gently descending towards it.

There are many, many more examples, and whenever I have a rubbish swimming experience in games I find myself wondering why? Is it because those little motion-capture doodahs they stick on people and use to animate movement aren’t waterproof? Is it because, for some reason, everybody who works in gaming is aquaphobic and they’ve never, like, actually swam? Is it because swimming’s just really hard to get right?

Anyways, if you’re reading PlayStation, those little armband things are actually a really, really good idea – because swimming in games really blows. Even if you don’t make them for us players, then there’s definitely a market there for developers and animators.

I know you were having a laugh and that, but seriously, make ’em happen! You know it makes sense……