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Human Revolution: The Guns

Despite having spent most of my life in Texas, I wouldn’t consider myself a “redneck” in many ways. I’m not big on cowboy hats. I don’t generally wear leather or snakeskin. Anybody who’s watched my videos and streams knows I have a generic, boring Midwestern accent. But one way I do resemble a redneck is in my infatuation with guns.

Guns, guns, guns. Boy, do I love guns. Pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, magnums, weird crazy plasma shooter things you loot off alien spaceships. Guns are awesome. I don’t think I was always this way, and I’m not entirely sure what caused me to love guns so much. And I don’t want to go all Jack Thompson on you guys, but I’m sure my enjoyment of shooters could at least partially have caused it.

But anyway, I’m currently on my third playthrough of Human Revolution (this time I decided to go for a gun-toting killing machine playthrough) and I’ve been using each and every one of the guns extensively. Upon reflection, I think the guns are part of why I like Human Revolution more than Deus Ex 1. It’s far, far from the biggest reason, but it’s just one example of how Human Revolution feels more refined.

In Deus Ex 1, the guns felt extremely uninspired. They looked like the same generic guns you find in every game. You didn’t really feel the recoil or the impact of the guns. You couldn’t really tell how much damage you were dealing to the enemies until they were dead. They just didn’t have a lot of visceral appeal.

Most of my ire, though, I hold for the reloading animations. Or I guess I should say lack thereof. Whenever you “reload,” your weapon simply moves down to the bottom of the screen, you wait for five seconds, and it comes back up. It doesn’t really feel like you’re reloading your weapon. Half-Life 1 felt better than this.

This might sound like an extremely petty complaint, but in a game where you’ll be using these guns a lot (admittedly you don’t have to in Deus Ex, but the option is there) they should feel satisfying.

Human Revolution completely trumps Deus Ex 1 in the guns department.

The weapon designs in this game are just really damn cool. My personal favorite is the design of the Revolver, though I’ll admit that I have a soft spot for revolvers in general. The guns look unique and advanced without looking like over-the-top Fisher Price toys that we get in most sci-fi games (I’m looking at you, Halo).

Not only are the firing and reloading animations fully fleshed out, some of them feel very unique, and they feel very viscerally appealing. You can really “feel” the blast of the revolver and the shotgun from the recoil and the sound of impact. The stun gun also feels very satisfying, as it shoots out a quick surge of electricity that instantly engulfs the victim’s entire body.

HR also has some interesting guns and gun mods. The laser rifle can shoot through walls, which makes it go hand-in-hand with the augmentation that lets you see guards through walls. The revolver can be modified to shoot explosive rounds. The tranquilizer rifle can be modded to tell you where to fire to hit moving targets, though I’ve heard that particular mod is fairly screwy.

The important thing about these guns is that they really fit the tone of the game — they’re stylized, but they still feel believable. Much like the sweet spot of having accessibility and depth, it’s hard to manage both stylization and believability. Many shooters try so hard to be realistic and atmospheric that they end up feeling bland and boring, like STALKER. Other shooters try so hard to be over-the-top and awesome that it’s impossible to become immersed, like with Serious Sam and Painkiller. Human Revolution really manages to hit the right middleground for me.

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3 responses

  1. Since you mentioned Stalker, I feel the need to point out that the generic hunting shotgun from the series is probably the most satisfying gun I’ve ever used in a game.

    With Human Revolution I think that the combat rifle is the most satisfying to use. I love the coolant/steam that comes out of the gun when you reload it.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    • JPH

      The only STALKER game I’ve played extensively is Call of Pripyat, and I actually can’t remember the hunting shotgun from that game.

      As for the most satisfying gun I’ve used in a game, hmm… That might be the AR-2 or magnum from Half-Life 2. Or the Painkiller from Painkiller, though that technically might not count as a “gun.”

      September 13, 2011 at 4:20 PM

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