Playing both Resident Evil 5 and Uncharted 2 recently, I encountered two distinct instances that have gotten me to thinking about that special side of a character gamers see most often when playing 3rd person games, their back.
Staring at a character’s back occurs to varying degrees depending primarily on the style of gameplay and the style of camera control. Games that are combo-oriented or rely on constant mobility cannot focus on the character’s back without disorienting the player and/or impeding the games flow. But slower paced games, particularly survival/horror and more methodical, cover based 3rd person shooters, tend to restrict much of their game time to a view behind the shoulder of the main character. With that generalization out of the way, here a couple things I've come across:
1. It’s really annoying when your character starts blocking you from seeing what you actually need to look at.
This was an issue I faced in RE5, often most aggravating when I had large weapons like shotguns, rifles, RPGs on my back. I really appreciate that they render the proper weapons you have equipped on your body, but when playing as a Hulk sized Chris with a shotgun on his back, an ammo counter to his right and a possible map in the upper corner, it gets overwhelming.
Shattered Memories uses a much more minimalist style of back staring compared to RE5.
2. Butts are noticeable.
Playing Uncharted 2 multiplayer (which is the only multiplayer I've ever really gotten into - sadly I was renting the game) I leaned on using Elena and Chloe as my player skins, because damn, they know how to wear some digital jeans. It sounds immature/childish, but it was more pleasing to my eye and that was all it took for me to decide I preferred them.
Sadly, I've found even the most sexualized of backs can't help bad games. But they can help erections.