Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Offtopic: Gripes About Shooters

  I'm no stranger to shooters, but my experience is mostly limited to Halo, Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, Ghost Recon, and Rainbow 6. Aside from Halo, these are all what you would call "Military Shooters", i.e. "Realistic." I'm here to tell you, there's hardly anything realistic about them.

  Never mind the health packs, regeneration, shields, whatever allows a player to take hits and keep on trucking. That's just an outright suspension of disbelief. The disbelief I personally find difficult to suspend is the way ammo is treated.

  First off, reloading in most of these games before running out only brings you up to magazine capacity, not capacity+1. Also, when a partial magazine is taken out, I kind of expect to run across it again in series, after all full magazines are used. The Clancy games do this, and I like that. It's a small touch, but having some real-world experience with firearms makes me appreciate these kinds of things.

  Second, reloading is way too fast. New recruits often come into the military with the "I'm gonna be Rambo" idea, and this kinda feeds that. They think they can get their reload time down to 3 seconds. Reloading properly takes about 10 seconds with an M16. Remove the magazine, place empty magazine in your LBV, oriented upward to show as empty, pull a full magazine out, place the magazine in the well, drive the bolt home, tap the forward assist, resume firing. Ever play America's Army? Yeah, kinda like that, but hurried up with a harder tap on the forward assist. This kind of lag would be completely unacceptable in the fast paced gameplay we've become accustomed to, so we just speed it up.

  Side-note, one of the reasons we carry pistols is because switching to a sidearm is faster than reloading. This is actually something shooters do right, even if it's still a bit too fast.

  Finally, in the already ridiculous situation where one is carrying weapons in both hands, what's going on just below the viewpane? Are all these shooters secretly Goro clones? Do they instead all come with the getup Lara Croft has in the movies? What gives?

  My biggest complaint by far, however, is the underwhelming effect of explosives. A real Claymore's blast zone is the size of a football field, and a real A-C130 would obliterate any one of these maps in moments.

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