This week in Zero Punctuation, Yahtzee reviews Teardown.
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The introduction of the physics engine to video games was right up there with the introduction of the potato to the Irish, or depending on your perspective the introduction of the smallpox blanket to the native Americans. What a sea change it was when loose objects weren’t just falling straight down onto the floor but also bouncing a little bit once they got there. Fucking hell, that was well worth enslaving all those Asian children to build video cards. But game technology is still yet to realise the full potential of real world physics. There’s no game yet where, say, the water level in the ocean is affected by the gravitational pull of a large orbiting satellite. Boy, I bet something like that would finally be the thing to fill the ever-sucking void. That’d definitely be the technical milestone that actually would compensate for a lack of actual gameplay or narrative innovation. But the question that has long sat awkwardly alongside the physics engine like an excruciatingly poorly matched blind date is this: could we one day construct an entire game world from physics objects, so the player can break everything apart to their heart’s content, from the buildings to the bidets?