It seems as if games are always coming up with new ways to wow us. Whether it's new action set pieces in Modern Warfare, an avalanche in SSX or an alien invasion in Mass Effect 3....the limits of what is possible visually are virtually nonexistent at this point. Nothing is too big. Nothing is too ambitious.
It is because of this creative freedom that I want to take a look at some things I feel have been underutilized in games, or not even utilized at all. A couple of these things are natural disasters that have unfortunately been part of the real world in recent years. But with things like WW II being fair game for game devs, I don't think that political correctness is what's causing these omissions.
TORNADOES- As long as I can remember, nothing in nature has fascinated me more than tornadoes. Why hasn't there been a modern representation of them in a game? The only game that I can think of that had one in it during real time gameplay was Tornado Outbreak; a fun little game on the Wii a few years back. But by no means a serious or accurate representation.
I want to see a monstrous and terrifying tornado in a videogame. One that affects what is going on around me. In Red Dead Redemption's inevitable sequel, who wouldn't want to lead a group to shelter as you watch a twister bear down on you? Or to be wondering the landscape in Skyrim only to look up and see the clouds start to rotate? You could take shelter and watch as the storm lifts giants and mammoths up into the sky. Or be careless and get swept up into it yourself. It seems too obvious for this not to have been used yet in this way.
TSUNAMIS- While there have been a few games like God of War III that have made good use of this in a non playable cutscene...
...there has never been a real time tsunami in a videogame. I've always imagined this being my dream ending for a Grand Theft Auto game. Your final mission being simply getting to high enough ground to watch the big wave come in and destroy everything. Or even as a killstreak perk in Modern Warfare, Halo etc.
SHARKS/SEA MONSTERS- You're out in a body of water in your favorite open world game. Just looking for items and kicking back. Suddenly you get bumped by something, but there are no enemies visible above the water. You casually look down under the surface to see a HUGE great white shark darting at you with mouth open. TERRIFYING!!! Am I wrong?!? Again...this is too obvious to not be a regular thing in videogames.
The only representations I can think of are both bad(Jaws Unleashed on the PS2) and good (Tomb Raider 2 on the PS1). But both games used the shark in an action context, and did not even begin to make use of the terror of being caught in the open water with something huge and mysterious under you and ready to strike. There have always been rumors of a secret sea monster in GTA, yet no truth to it unfortunately.
Mentioning Skyrim once more, there are vast areas of open water in that game. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed for DLC with will put a 500 foot long horrible beast in my face when I am looking for a treasure chest in deep water. To see that thing slowly come into focus and towards me underwater is too awesomely scary to not be a reality in this day and age.