Tuesday, July 23, 2024

7 Things Video Games Taught Us About Guns, And One They Didn’t

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The use of weapons in action games, both third-person shooters and FPS, is constant. Although it is still entertaining, without trying to be a simulation, there are games that teach us very useful tips that can be applied in real combat. Here you can see the best shooters of 2016 for PS4, PC and Xbox One.

Of course, we are never going to feel the recoil, nor the popping in the ears like on the ground, but we already have some well-learned lessons. Check out these 7 Things Video Games Taught Us About Weapons (and One That Is Totally False). 

1. Changing weapons is faster than changing magazines

7 Things Video Games Taught Us About Guns, And One They Didn't

It’s something we’re reminded of in almost every Call of Duty tutorial, and actually used by Operators in actual combat. When we have exhausted a magazine, it is faster to switch to the secondary weapon and leave the rifle hanging (better with a tactical three-point strap) than to entertain changing the magazine, until we take cover. Do you want to know how a magazine should be changed without missing the target? The best example of tactical weapon handling is Metal Gear Solid 5 The Phantom Pain. 

7 Things Video Games Taught Us About Guns, And One They Didn't

2. Hold your breath with the sniper rifle

Leaving aside the use of tranquilizers, such as Diazepam or Pentazemin in the Metal Gear Solid saga, what we have learned is that we must hold our breath (and slow our heart rate) for a few seconds before firing a sniper shot. We have many examples, but the most specific remains that of the Sniper Elite saga, which has announced its next installment -set in Italy during World War II- for the end of 2016.

3. Shoot bursts with automatic weapons

7 Things Video Games Taught Us About Guns, And One They Didn't

Every shot we fire with an automatic weapon (although exhaust gases and bullpups have done a lot in this regard) tends to move the barrel upwards. If we keep the trigger pressed, it won’t take long for us to lose the reference point on our target, so the best thing to do is burst shooting, as we’ve seen in Tom Clancy’s The Division or in Battlefield. Do not miss our skeptics, in which we compare the behavior of a real weapon with that of a game. 

4. Provide supporting or covering fire

7 Things Video Games Taught Us About Guns, And One They Didn't

To move with the classic frog-jump system, in pairs, each individual must provide fire support to his partner. One of the best Pandemic games (responsible for Star Wars Battlefront, Mercenaries or Saboteur) was Full Spectrum Warrior, and it was based on the strategic use of suppressive fire. 

5. Guns jam, barrels get hot

A weapon can jam when it does not correctly eject the shell of the projectiles (with some rifles like the M-16 it happened relatively frequently). In video games we have an excellent example of what happens when the gun jams: we have to cock the gun again, hoping that it will eject the shell and fire again, which exposes us for a few seconds to enemy fire: what happens in Gears of War if we don’t hit the reload.

7 Things Video Games Taught Us About Guns, And One They Didn't

If we are too generous with the trigger, the barrel overheats and loses accuracy (it can even be disabled, or need a refill as in .50 caliber and anti-tank rifles). In Tom Clancy’s The Division, for example, we can see how the cannons turn red as we shoot.  

6. The cartridge shotgun, at short distances

7 Things Video Games Taught Us About Guns, And One They Didn't

If you have played any FPS, surely you have the lesson well learned. The cartridge is a type of projectile that has several metal pellets (or shots) inside a plastic or cardboard capsule. When firing, these projectiles open up to cover a larger area, but they have hardly any precision, and the enormous kinetic power of short distances is lost in a few meters. A good example of the use of the shell shotgun can be seen in Battlefield. By the way, as it appears in Rainbow Six Siege, it is a good method of opening doors. 

7. Wet guns keep firing

You are right. This may not have been the case in every era, but modern guns (and the indestructible AK 47) keep firing after getting wet or falling into mud (even underwater). So it can no longer be said that all those sequences we saw in Call of Duty Ghosts are “artistic license”. The thing about firearms shooting in space is yet to be explored.  

And one that does not, health recovers

Neither waiting a few seconds under cover, nor collecting first-aid kits. Be very careful when handling any weapon as health does not recover. In the best of cases, after a painful extraction of the projectiles, suturing and a period of rest… and it can leave sequelae. So leave the use of weapons to the experts. Or video games. 

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