The absolute best thing about video games, along with other forms of narrative media, is that they craft incredible fictional worlds. These worlds have no bounds on when or where they exist, or whether or not they are in the least bit believable.
One of the perks of such an open range of possibilities is the crazy inventions and gadgets that are created. These fake inventions help to fuel our wildest imaginations, and make us envious of the fact that they only exist in our minds. Who wouldn't want a lightsaber from Star Wars to hack through just about any type of material? Why wouldn't you want the ability to boost around with a pair of jet boots like Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy? Of course we want these things, and maybe many years from now some of them will actually become reality. For now, though, we have to just sit and imagine the possibilities. This week's TA Top Five was suggested by ChristImpact414 and is based on some of the notable Fake Inventions from video games.
Exo Suits - Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Achievements
Coming into 2014, Call of Duty was in dire need of something to revitalize the franchise's once groundbreaking multiplayer. Sledgehammer introduced that something in Advanced Warfare with Exo Suits, which have made each game far more fast-paced and hectic than ever before. Simply strapping on the metallic suit turns your everyday soldier into a high-jumping, side-dashing supersoldier that can activate accuracy boosts and shields to soak up bullets as extra perks. While our experience with Exo Suits is entirely based on their combat potential, I sure as hell wouldn't mind one just for getting around on a day-to-day basis. For now, though, I guess I'll just have to settle with walking around the "normal" way.
Pipboy - Fallout
One thing I'm beginning to realize with each passing year is that there are a whole lot of things that I have to keep track of. My finances, the things I own, my health - it can be a nightmare to keep tabs on everything. That's why I envy those Vault dwellers at times, all fancy with their Pipboys that tell them everything they own, give them a GPS map of their location, and even a real-time update of what is affecting their daily health. A real life Pipboy is something I could see becoming reality someday in the future, but I have a feeling that instantly retrieving an arsenal of weapons won't be on the feature list. Now if this thing just kept an up-to-date list of all of my website login information then we'd be all set.
5 - Me Too - Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones Achievements
Not everyone may be familiar with the Me Too device, as Stealth Inc 2 just received an Xbox One release earlier this month (check out our review). In the simplest of terms, it is a throwable device that can be remotely activated to create a clone of yourself. While many of us will probably never find ourselves in a testing facility where we are tasked with passing through deadly obstacles, it would sure be a handy little invention to have. A device that creates a clone to tackle all of the future life-threatening obstacles to come? Yes please.
4 - Augmentations - Deus Ex
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Achievements's reveal trailer probably had one of two effects on those who watched it. Fans of the series are understandably excited, and those who haven't played it before are probably putting the prior releases at the top of their "To Play" lists. As someone of the latter, I pass the expertise of Augmentations off to Newshound prodigal son, N0T PENNYS B0AT:
The thing about these in-game inventions that I like the best is that many of us may live to see these types of bodily upgrades come to fruition in the real world. In the Deus Ex universe, these augmentations are the cause for socio-political turmoil, and that's probably where we will end up too. For a little while, however, it would be pretty awesome to have the abilitiy to go invisible, fall from great heights while taking no damage, and have the strength to casually lift a vending machine like it's an Xbox. Futurist Ray Kurzweil once spoke of the exponentially-growing technological revolution and said "Does God exist? Well, I would say not yet." That's a huge theme of the Deus Ex series, and unlike some of the other inventions listed here, as awesome as they are, this one isn't so far-fetched. 3 - Time Manipulation Device - Singularity Achievements
If warping back and forth between the present and 1955 wasn't strange enough for protagonist Nathaniel Renko, then being introduced to the Time Manipulation Device definitely put the cherry on top. Created by Viktor Barisov, the TMD is one of the wildest gadgets that players have gotten their hands on, with the ability to quite literally manipulate the effect of time itself. While using the device as a weapon proved to be handy, especially because instantly aging enemies into skeletons is always fulfilling, it was the invention's use of your surroundings for puzzle solving that made it fantastic. Disintegrating obstacles and rebuilding passageways such as staircases is something that could sure come in handy in the real world.
2 - Portal Gun - Portal
It's a device that allows you to make a giant hole on one surface, walk through it, and pop out of a second hole you've created on another surface. Need I really say more? The Portal Gun may be one of the most iconic inventions in video games, and emphasizes what the human mind can imagine. While Singularity's Time Manipulation Device tinkered with time, the Portal Gun manipulates the mass of physical objects to allow the creation of portals. While just being able to pass inanimate objects would have been cool enough, humans being able to pass through makes it all even better. Imagine the possibility of a long-range Portal Gun that could make instantaneous worldwide travel possible.
1 - Animus - Assassin's Creed
As a history nerd and college graduate with a degree in the field, the Animus may be one of the greatest fictional inventions that I've experienced in a game to date. The concept of virtual reality may not be that impressive, but when mixed with the fact that it runs off of genetic memories of those who lived hundreds of years ago, it is one hell of an impressive feat. In a way, it's almost a variation of time travel that's come to fruition, just without actually traveling through time and instead getting a glimpse into what actually took place. As the Assassin's Creed franchise has adequately shown already, the Animus is a tool that can access subjects from all paths of life in many different centuries. If something like this actually existed it could be the single greatest tool humans have to experiencing and understanding past life on Earth. Oh how I wish it was actually real.
Honestly, if someone comes across a place in the distant future where they need test subjects to try out these newly created inventions, sign me up. I'm totally in. What are some of your favorite fake inventions that you've played around with in video games? Anything you wish you could have right now?
The TA Team will be bringing you The TA Top Five every Sunday until we run out of coolness to debate and discuss. If you have an idea for a Top Five you'd like us to do, be sure to let us know in the comments!