On-Screen Water Effects Break the Fourth Wall

witcher 3 rain dropletsMore and more, games are striving to create a level of similitude that deeply immerses the player. Games like Grand Theft Auto V go to great lengths to add painstaking levels of realism and detail to every facet of their game space. In most cases, this is a terrific way to draw a player in and make them feel like a part of a fictional world.

That said, the drip effects that many games have been employing completely bring me out of the experience.

Whether it’s drops of rain hitting against the screen or a big splash of water connecting with the camera, these water effects are incredibly distracting. It’s especially obtrusive in first-person titles, since you’re seeing everything the character sees first hand. Are the characters supposed to be walking around with a pane of glass attached to their face?

witcher 3 waterMaybe it’s just me, but I enjoy games more when I can identify with the characters I’m in control of. In games that truly immersive, I feel like I’m connected with a character even when a game has a third-person perspective. When I sit down to play, the two of us become one.

But as soon as drips and drops begin to cascade down my screen, I cry foul. Like the red screen indicators that pop up when a character is taking damage, it’s distracting and takes me out of the experience. Unless my character is actually holding a camera, I’d prefer water stay off of my screen and on the ground where it belongs.