Monday, April 7, 2008

Now who would win in a fist fight: Sam Kennedy or Master Chief?

A recent issues of Popular Mechanics tackled an interesting video game question: Just how "realistic" is the weaponry in so-caled "realistic" military first-person shooters like America's Army and Rainbow Six?

"[M]ilitary shooters have a tradition of so-called realism. Most of the in-game weapons are available now—or at least loosely based on designs that could eventually reach the likes of Iraq and Afghanistan. In other words, as optimistic as game developers might be about a high-tech replacement for the M-16 assault rifle, there are no plasma rifles or rail guns in your arsenal. Firefights look and sound like something out of Blackhawk Down, with that unnerving, staccato crackle of modern-day warfare. And the damage inflicted feels more accurate, too: In games like Call of Duty 4 or Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, most enemies are vulnerable to a single burst, and a few incoming rounds can kill you easily. So as this successful genre continues to deliver best-selling titles, will increasingly powerful PCs and game consoles allow military shooters to become more realistic than ever? "

According to the article, the technology certainly is there. Says one developer:

With 200 unique variables for each weapon, including the damage it inflicts at various ranges, how fast it reloads and when bullets tend to start dropping off, a gun in RSV2 could perform precisely like the real thing. “These consoles are so powerful, when you fire a bullet we could factor all of it in: windfall, range, everything about the history of that specific weapon, friction values for the barrel, how many times it’s been fired since it was last cleaned,” says Theiren. “We could make it as anally realistic as possible. But we’re not trying to make a live simulator.”

Read on for more gaming and gunnery geekery.

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