Trains Run On Secret Tracks That Never End
There are programmers who spent weeks of their brief, precious lives perfecting the bounce of tires in Project: Cars 2 . There are real, breathing human beings who dedicated serious mental energy to realistically depicting the way horse testicles adapt to cold in Red Dead Redemption 2. And then there are trains:
Sony Computer EntertainmentAnd not just the unreality of somehow being able to aim a gun with hurricane-force winds in your face.
Video game trains have two kinds of rails to ride: the literal kind and the annoying game kind. Take the iconic train level in Uncharted 2. In this sequence, Nathan Drake has to fight atop a train, advancing from car to car to get to the front. So what happens if he doesn't make it in time? Don't worry! This train, like any video game train, isn't actually going anywhere.
Sony Computer EntertainmentLike, in the literal sense, not in the "When are you gonna give up these toys and start a family?" sense.
When playing Uncharted 2, eagle-eyed YouTuber Freako noticed something: When they sped up the footage, Nathan Drake's shadow would shift an entire 360 degrees. That means that either Nate is the center of his own tiny universe (he does have the ego for it), or the train he's standing on is doing a perfect circle. In order to give players all the time they need to advance, the train remains on its looped track, surrounded by nondescript landscapes, until the player reaches a scripted checkpoint, at which point it teleports to the next part of the level. So in a way, that does make them more reliable than your average real-world train system.
But that's not the only way video games have scammed you out of all the thrills of a legit train ride. In World Of Warcraft, one of their biggest dungeons is a runaway train the players are tasked with stopping before it's too late, which is pretty cool, and made even better when you realize the train isn't moving at all.
Blizzard EntertainmentApparently, even with a nine-digit production budget, you can't improve on cartoon "woosh" lines.