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34 Cliches of Christmas
Invisible Walls
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 16, 2007   |   Episode 25 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at the video game cliche, the type of thing we've seen time and time again in all generations of gaming. Is this cliche realistic? Does it need to go away? These are the types of questions Defunct Games will be asking over the next month. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 34 Cliches of Christmas!



I'm sure these Grand Theft Auto characters would try to help put out the car ... but there's an unfortunate invisible wall keeping them away!
As Seen In: Superman 64, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Doom, Halo, Dead Head Fred, Devil May Cry, Call of Duty, Super Mario 64, Resident Evil, Grand Theft Auto, The Bouncer, Metal Gear Solid and just about every other 3D game ever made!

What Is It? So there you are, just minding your own business walking down the street. Out of nowhere you see a sparkling piece of treasure off in the distance, but for some odd reason you can't seem to reach it. You can see exactly where it is and it certainly looks like you have enough room to fit through that opening, but alas you are going to need to figure out another way of getting to that super secret location. The problem you're running into is something called an invisible wall; it's a force field that won't allow you to enter or exit a specific location. Most of the time these walls are erected so that you won't leave the finished level, the game has you on a set path and it doesn't want you to veer too far from that path. These days game developers have figured out fancy ways of hiding the invisible walls, but if you're played a 3D game in the last ten years then chances are you've been frustrated by this annoying cliche.


This season of Big Brother could either be really interesting or really dull!
Is It Realistic? There are some questions that don't need to be asked, and this is one of them. You're asking me to answer whether or not there are invisible walls in the real world? Well, there aren't. At least, not the kind of invisible walls that Mario, Master Chief and Carl Johnson have to deal with. But maybe I'm just not looking at this the right way, maybe there really are invisible walls in the real world and I just never paid attention to them. Like, what about that club you can't get into? The only thing standing between you and the hot, hot women is a 400 pound bouncer who has let you know that you aren't getting in dressed like that. Is that an invisible wall? Unfortunately it's not, since the wall is actually the bouncer, and he's very much visible. There are plenty of places you're not supposed to go into, but there's never an invisible wall saying you can't go through. If you want to get into a locked room or private club then all it takes is a little persistence (and a lot of tear gas). Invisible walls aren't real, that's a fact.

Is It Overused? There is nothing more aggravating than running around a level and realizing you're being confined by invisible walls. If the game is programmed by somebody that knows what they're doing, then these invisible walls should be masked by physical objects. However, there have been entirely too many 3D games released that fail to understand how frustrating the concept of an invisible wall is. We're explorers, which is why it's so damn maddening when you find places you can't access because there's a see-through wall in your way. Invisible walls have got to go, there's just no two ways around it.

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