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TTAG reader A 1337 writes:

It’s rare that a video game gets guns right. Often times we are shown mags being loaded without rounds and LMG’s that need to be reloaded when you can still see rounds on the belt. This WW2 shooter, however, comes damn close to getting things right. I stumbled upon this game a few months ago, and I thought your resident gamers might enjoy it. However, if a picture is worth a thousand words, and if a video is a few thousand pictures, I thought you might be best served by a short video than a long email. Its only about a minute long, just enough for you to get the gist of it. I should mention . . .

that I was playing against mostly AI-controlled bots. That’s the reason they are kinda, um, not tactically proficient (lets face it they are pretty dumb). However against a team of players this game gets a bit brutal, with its one-shot-with-a-rifle-kills-most gameplay.

Anyway, I thought other people on the site would be interested in this game, and wonder if your resident gamers could recommend some games that do guns right.

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  1. It’s actually not a bad FPS, although I haven’t played in a long time. From what I remember, many of the firearms are pretty realistically modeled in how they work.

    I particularly enjoyed playing as a German MG42 gunner, seizing a good position and laying down a wall of lead, it was interesting that they actually require you to change barrels (you can only do it once IIRC) if you decide to rock n roll a little too much and burn up your barrel.

    I’d like to play the newer versions, but it’s not really worth it with my crappy PC. Hopefully I’ll upgrade next year.

    • The screenshot is from Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad. That one doesn’t have MG 42, only MG 34. You still need to change barrels though. You can do it as many times as you want, but you have a grand total of two, and each has its own separate cooldown – so if you swap barrel and then swap immediately right after, you’re back to the original barrel that is still hot. And if you bust one, then you have only one left (and if you bust two, then that’s that).

  2. Red Orchestra is honestly the only series I’ve found that got every gun “right”. Battlefield is getting close. Haven’t played any COD in a long time but the old ones only got the reloading and operation of only a few weapons accurately. Most other games don’t even try or have made up weapons. Tom Clancy games have pretty accurate portrayals.

    • Battlefield is getting very close in representing real world mechanics and ballistics, within reason – it’s still a video game. BF definitely has the best weapon sounds out there. I like playing with AK type firearms in the game. They evem got the AK carrier clank sound right. Most suppressor sounds are also fairly good.

    • Battlefield 4 has absolutely amazing animations, BUT, it’s still an arcade shooter at heart. (Regenerating health, crazy amounts of U.I.)

      But as far as gameplay goes, it’s really fun, and the weapon attachments are awesome.

      • Except for ghost ring sights on pistols, tri lasers, and potato grips. Oh, they also got muzzle breaks and compensators mixed up. Both of which give you and accuracy penalty. ????

        • Pistol ghost ring sights tri lasers and potato grips are all real things used on real firearms. They’re not particularly common, but they do exist.

  3. That is an excellent looking game. I need to build me a big boy gaming PC, so I can shake out of this console mess.
    The features this game has, such as no ammo count, iron sights, one-shot kills, kinda put it out of any other franchise’s class.
    I will mention the METRO series as at least feeling like a real gunfighting game, even if you’re shooting at monsters most of the time.

  4. The CEO of Tripwire Interactive goes to my church! He is a serious collector. He probably owns most/all of the guns featured in his games.

  5. Red Orchestra is an awesome game, but this mechanic (aside from the jam in the last few seconds of the video) was (to my knowledge) orginally used in the Brothers in Arms games that were loosely based off the the exploits of the 502nd in Normandy. It is kinda wild though when you reloaded a magazine with only like 2 or 3 rounds in it and it doesn’t dawn on you until you try shooting the bad guy. I do enjoy these type of FPS’s.

  6. So no one remembers “Firearms”? it was based off the old steam engine. It remembered what each mag had, accuracy and recoil was almost legit. Downside was there was no bullet drop in all older games. I think they should remake it with the BF4 engine!!!
    BTW, for the comment that BF4 is too arcade, play hardcore sometime. besides medkits, your health does not regenerate. loved BF series since 1942. Waiting to see what the next BF has in store for us 😀

    • STALKER is where I learned how stripper clips work (with the Mosin-Nagant), and when you get the scoped Mosin, you reload on bullet at a time, which is accurate and cool. The game also has atmosphere out the wazoo! I just wish it were on consoles because I really don’t like PC gaming much (not a fan of playing games with keyboards). With STALKER, Metro, and the upcoming Survarium, the Russians are really coming up in the game world.

      • Cryostasis has some pretty detailed gunplay like that, the Mosins in particular. And you get an SVT and PPSh to play with too. Too bad it runs like dogshit on virtually every computer I’ve seen.

      • If you don’t like playing with keyboards, why not attach a joypad to your PC? The Xbox adapter for PC is ~$20 and it pays for itself the first time you buy a game on Steam for less than $60.

      • RO also has similarly accurate approach – sniper Mosin is reloaded one by one. But, more importantly, even with a regular Mosin (or K98), you can top up the mag before expending all rounds, but of course you also have to do it one by one.

        What’s more interesting is that if you have an SVT or an AVT, you can also reload from stripper clips rather than by swapping mags. This is historically accurate, as the standard loadout for them was actually mostly stripper clips, and the idea was that mags were to be swapped only when time was of absolute essence, and otherwise you’d top up from the clips.

  7. Not to come in here with the mainstream, but they got all the reloads correct in the latest Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Battlefield 4. As well as good attention to detail on the manual of arms for each particular weapon.

  8. Yeah I’ve always liked Red Orchestra from that angle but let’s face it, you’re still playing a video game. And not a particularly engaging one. While they are integral to boosting the numbers of the next gen of gun owners, I haven’t cared much for the FPS genre since Counterstrike because frankly the 536th brown shaded flawed attempt at “gritty realism” =/= fun. To me at least. And being cussed at by a bunch of 12 year olds mouthbreathing into their headsets doesn’t do anything to improve the experience.

    • I could still equip a colt, armor and a flash bang with my eyes closed and I haven’t played in 10 years. It’s also why I will always think Usp > Glock.
      Dammit, I suddenly have a strong craving for some dust…

  9. I haven’t played RO in years, but I loved the PanzerFaust. It was a game where armor ruled, but an infantryman was deadly against tanks at close range.

    • Unfortunately they ditched PF in RO2 (arguably it was too overpowered in the hands of an experienced AT – you could bust tanks from really great distances). However they replaced PTRD with PTRS (labeling it as Panzerabwehrbuchse 784(r) for Germans), and added AT grenades. So now the usual way of taking tanks out is to use smoke grenades to provide a screen for AT guys to come really close and lob a nade on top. PTRS, on the other hand, is a very tricky beast to master, with notoriously poor ammo penetration – but if you know just the right spots and can get the angle of the shot close to perfect, you can still bust tanks from a significant range. And if not, it’s still reasonably good at knocking off tracks, immobilizing the tank.

  10. The problem with RO is that it forgot to be fun. The kind of games that insist you use your entire keyboard is required to operate a bolt-action rifle (with bayonet) all tend to be like this.

    If you need your games to be so “realistic” that you need every action represented by user input, you should probably just go to a paintball or airsoft range.

    • The controls in RO2 are pretty much the same as in any standard FPS these days – WASD to walk, mouse to look, two mouse buttons to shoot and to aim. Buttons to sit down / stand up, one more to quickly go prone, and numbers to switch weapons and their modes.

  11. Red Orchestra 2 is just okay as games go. The guns are generally quite good- with an exceptionally glaring mistake of a P38 that fires with the decocking safety engaged. The problem is the game engine runs like trash on hardware that can run other games great- on my rig I can average 60 fps overall in the Bioshock Infinite benchmark at Ultra at 1080p, however in RO2 I can barely manage 40-50 fps. And no lies, RO2 doesn’t look *half* as pretty.

    In addition, I’m boycotting Tripwire Interactive. They screwed up Killing Floor real bad- they monetized it with for-pay DLC and nerfed the weapon costs down to the point that it’s almost impossible to play on anything higher than Suicidal and expect to beat the game. My group of college friends dumped over 200 hours into that game, back when it was fun and playable on harder difficulties.

  12. Red Orchestra also treats the round count in magazines accurately. If you trade out a half spent magazine for a fresh one, you will eventually reload to find a half full magazine.

    • It also gives you warnings when you reload, based on perceived weight. “New magazine is almost full”, “new magazine is about half full”, “New magazine is nearly empty”.

  13. Day of Defeat was pretty damn good, but it’s been a long time since I’ve played it. And since I don’t play that many games anymore, I’m not sure how it compares to most recent releases.

  14. RO doesn’t always get guns right. The one thing that drives me crazy is the SVT and AVT, both of which have refurbed bolts. Even after being corrected, the devs didn’t fix it becuase the SVT of one of the guys there is like that, so surely it’s historically accurate.

    RO and RO2 was fun for a bit, but the community is pretty elitest at times. The game still has some bugs and clunkiest that makes the game frustrating at times (mainly being stuck or unable to get out of prone). I have a better time playing ArmA2 with a good group, though to be fair ArmA2 was also a big pile of bugs for a long while.

  15. Check out Receiver:
    It’s an interesting game where you have to actually manually load bullets in a magazine, insert magazine in the gun, rack the slide, etc. The gameplay itself gets tedious quickly, but the gun mechanics are pretty cool and at times it does give you a feel for what it might be like trying to manipulate a gun with enemies coming at you.

    • That looks like a pretty cool concept actually. I like the idea of “sprinting is supposed to be a rare thing” mechanic.

  16. Good mention of DayZ but I’m surprised at the lack of ArmA being discussed. The ArmA trio is an improvement of Operation Flashpoint which a more civilian version of VBS1 (Virtual Battlespace Systems 1), a military simulator. Truer (not perfect of course) ballistics are modeled as well as proper ammo and inventory management.

  17. There used to be a Quake multiplayer mod for ‘realism’. It was the first ‘realistic’ FPS I’d ever played: you could only carry 2 weapons; you only had 2 spare magazines, which you dropped when reloading; and getting shot caused you to bleed until bandaged.

  18. Impressively accurate portrayal of the Broomhandle Mauser – 10 rounds in the magazine well, reloaded with a stripper clip (unless you have a full auto Schnellfuer – 20 round detachable magazine).

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