Halo Ring

My Personal Video Game Fan Blog

Are in-game Lock-Picking Games Accurate? John, a Toronto Locksmith Weighs In

These days you’ll find lock picking in most games including Skyrim, Fallout and Oblivion among others, but just how accurate are they? Well the answer is it varies, with some games quite accurate and others just way off the mark.

Real vs. In-Game Lock Picking

One of the most accurate I’ve seen is the one is in Risen 2, as it includes single pin picking, tension and raking. Sure there’s a cut away view as you’re picking, but it gives you an idea of how the thing works. Another popular lock picking game can be found in Assassin’s Creed III, but really it seems pointless. Why would you put in the effort to find the set and tension point only to break it down later?

The lock picking in the video game Thief gives you a feel for the real thing, but only if you’re in focus mode. If you’re not in focus mode you’re just spinning until you find the right spot, and that’s not how it works. If you’re not in focus mode, Thief’s lock picking system is very simple, but it’s still fun.

Fallout 3 locksmithing

Mass Effect and Other Games

Some of the lock picking in games like Mass Effect and Bioshock are more futuristic. In Mass Effect for instance, you must hack a computer or door to get to the next level, while in Bioshock you need to align tubes with the sterf and liquid. While they’re very entertaining, it’s not very accurate.

One game that does a fairly good job accurately depicting lock picks is Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. The game only focuses on pin tumbler locks, but it accurately portrays driver pins and key pins as well as the shear line. The game also shows the torson wrench. However, it doesn’t depict torsion wrench pressure accurately, or pin binding either, but it’s pretty good.

The bottom is lock picking in video games is a mixed bag, and even the best of them are no match for a genuine locksmith from Toronto. In other words, don’t count on your video game to get you out of trouble in case you lock yourself out of the house.


Age of Empires 2 Review: A Classic

Ensemble’s first dip into the RTS genre with Age of Empires was more of a miss than a hit. It involved many world-building elements of Civilization and the strategic combat of Warcraft II but it didn’t blend them into a cohesive gaming experience. Then Age of Empires II came out and blew the original out of the waters. To this day there is still an active modding community for the game and even though official servers have been shut down years ago, players opened their own so that the game can still be played online.


Visually, the game still looks good to this day. There are obvious signs of aging, especially with the sprites for the militia men and the numerous combat animations, but overall the game looks and feels very good. Some might argue that the different factions all look a little bit the same but the slight differences in theme and color make each group their own.

Age of Empires 2

Campaign and Multiplayer

The campaign sprawls through the ages – as does the gameplay – but this is one that offers both a historic look of events and also the freedom to twist the pages of time with your own efforts and decisions. The single-player campaign can take a good long while to finish yet it is very rewarding in the end. You might even learn something about history.

The multiplayer offers a lot of competitive options and this is why it is still running to this day, via private servers and new gaming communities that keep the system alive.


This is the aspect where Age of Empires II turns into a true classic. Each faction might seem the same at first but then you realize each one has their own tech trees, meaning no faction is the same. One faction might have the advantage of building better siege weapons but poor defenses while another might have a tech tree granting them all of the best milita, archers, and cavalry but poor siege weapons or towers. There is just so much depth and variety with Age of Empires II that it guarantees a fresh new experience each time it is played.


Age of Empires II is a testament to excellent RTS gaming. While the first game was nothing memorable, this second attempt perfected everything that the developers wanted. It was deep, engaging, fun, and quite memorable to this day. There is a recent HD remake that gives new, younger players the chance to experience this game and it is one that should not go by unnoticed.