If there’s one thing you know about Sniper Elite, it’s the X-Ray Kill Cam. Watching your bullet fly through the skull of whatever poor Nazi you target never gets old, although it may make a few squeamish. Rebellion has announced that it is hard at work on the next Sniper Elite title, and a remake of Sniper Elite V2 is also on the way. Before we see what new horrors the team cooks up, let’s whet our appetite. Here are a few other times that games got anatomically correct in all the wrong ways.
So, why are certain players drawn to such gruesome visuals in their video games? It’s hard to say definitively. Some seek out this material in all their media, from horror movies to haunted houses in Orlando. Others appreciate the over the top fun of punching 20 rib cages out of Johnny Cage after a good round in arcade mode. It certainly helps games stand out from the crowd. Sniper Elite is an excellent series, but how many people would be playing each game in the franchise if it wasn’t for those ridiculous shots of skulls ripping apart?
Whatever the reason, gory imagery is one way some games let players relax. It’s perverse if you think about it too hard, but experiencing extreme content in a safe virtual environment can be pretty healthy. For the same reasons that violence in games doesn’t cause violence in the real world, perhaps blood and guts on screen can quell a violent tendency or two. Or, perhaps we’re overthinking it and gamers just enjoy the overstretched limits that our medium always seems to take advantage of. Whatever the reason, the continual record-breaking success of the Mortal Kombat franchise means that we’ll always have plenty of fatalities from all sorts of games in our future.