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Some Musings on Guns and Games.

NOTE: Hold off on the bitchy comments, guys. This is a rant and I'm just screwing around. Don't take anything personally.

As a lot of people know, I've been playing a lot of First Person Shooters lately. Though most of them at least have a pretense towards realism, some of them aren't remotely realistic, like Bioshock (which I consider one of the best FPS games I've ever played).

However, as a mild "military enthusiast" (I stress the 'mild' by the way), little things in these games can grate every single time I see them. Everyone has things like this -- the problem with having as many hobbies and interests that I do is that frankly a lot of things can piss people off.

I get just as annoyed when I see CSI portray pedophiles as slavering, creepy, middle-aged man-monsters as I do when I'm watching a movie and see some egregious error with firearms. It's not that I'm a gun-nut so much as I'd rather a more realistic approach to fiction -- people make the mistake of thinking that "Hollywood Misconceptions", so to speak, are born out of a need to be "entertaining." They're not, the directors and such were simply ignorant of the subject matter and are perpetuating their ignorance.

Resident Evil 2 (the movie) made me almost punch out my television screen for not only making countless idiocies with firearms, but completely portraying evolution as a retarded concept and then offending my intelligence with such a shithouse plot.

Now, no, I'm not a jerk. I understand that if someone wants to watch scantily clad god-women punch out zombies, that's their business. I know not everyone is into realistic shooters, and I don't see why people would think that, since I've already said my favorite shooters include Bioshock and Duke Nukem 3D - known for their realism, right?
But the thing that gets my goat is that it's possible to not make these mistakes, and perpetuate these misunderstandings, without ruining the entertainment value of a game or movie. Make sure you understand this before you continue: it's no compromise to be realistic, and it'd keep everyone happy. Usually these "mistakes" in games and movies are the result of laziness and ignorance, and the cry of "entertainment" is just a cover.
Remember, my motto is: "if realism conflicts with fun, the latter always wins." I've NEVER said differently, so don't be a moron and say I have.

However, take a look at Rainbow Six Vegas 2. This article here explains a big problem with the game: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/vid...
The guy interviewed there is their "gun-guy" who knows that he's making the guns behave unrealistically in the most celebrated tactical-shooter series ever, which people gravitate to because of their desire for realistic special forces tactics.

But he falls right into the trap of making the guns behave the way he thinks players would. Leaving people like, you know, those who actually like these games, to wonder why their shotgun is farting bullets in a 90-degree spread and penetrating walls; and staring at their "silenced" AUG A3, glaring at the clearly visible exposed gas-vents in the barrel which would make any form of suppressor useless. In this supposedly realistic tactical shooter with the Tom Clancy name on it.

Now, Rainbow Six was never perfectly realistic, no, but that's what the fucking series is supposed to be striving towards. "In Rainbow Six Vegas 2, the reason for scaling back on realism isn't the hardware, but the drive to make guns feel like the ones we've seen in movies," is pretty much missing the point.

Is it really going to fuck someone's playing experience if the shotguns had their spread reduced to realistic levels? The game is clearly designed to appeal to military/police enthusiasts. You've got dozens of guns, some of them famous some of them not so much, real technology and craploads of different camouflages just so you can play Action Man dress-up with your character!

Let's look now at Left 4 Dead 2. Now, I love this game, Steam has recorded (thus not counting my hundreds of hours of offline play) 160 hours on it. But it does a few little things that, really, why don't they take them out? They're bloody stupid - they annoy people like me and others merely don't notice them, so it'd be an overall logical improvement to the game if they fixed it.

Valve is known for making dumb mistakes with guns. I'm not talking about the bolt being on the wrong side of the AWSM for some reason, that's not a big problem for me - hell maybe a left-handed version exists, or they should make one. I'm talking about... what the FUCK are the characters doing to that SCAR?! And why the bloody hell is the "Magnum" more accurate than the 9mm pistol? And would it kill them to make the dual-wielded 9mm pistols a little more inaccurate or something to encourage not picking it up and going fucktard Guns Akimbo?

It's more of a problem when it's the same mistake you've seen a million times, and you know it's just a stupid error they keep making because their heads are in their ass and they don't want to do the effort. Why perpetuate the belief that shotguns fart their pellets everywhere? Why are the characters functionally retarded when they reload the SCAR, pushing its reload time to the highest of any rifle in the game? Yes, these are all minor annoyances, but like I said, I already admitted that (seriously, shut up, you don't have to read it XD).

The SCAR is especially annoying, because not only am I wondering what the hell the characters are thinking, but because an arbitrary period of nothing extends the reload time by another fraction of a second.

The thing to note is that some of these errors speak of an ignorance of the very basics of firearm mechanics. These aren't technically minor mistakes (minor in terms of gameplay but really idiotic in application of understanding). If you can't understand why continually racking the slide back whenever you pull the pistol out- or pump your shotgun for effect- would result in your unused ammunition pinging to the ground, then you don't know enough anything about the topic and need to shut up. It's like a racing game where the McClaren F1 is equipped with six wheels and can fly. A game called "Total Poker" that actually is about Go Fish. It's a basic mistake.

Sometimes that's okay, like in Ace Combat (F-18s can't carry 80 Sidewinders!), but that's a decision to increase the FUN of the game. Fun trumps realism. Don't be an idiot and claim that it's giving the zombies an unfair advantage if the characters reload the SCAR in a way that doesn't make them look like monkeys playing with a freakin' dart-gun!
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Added: 8 years, 3 months ago
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8 years, 3 months ago
Read that one. It should be required reading for scriptwriters, as with the TVTropes articles on it. XD
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