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In-Game Weapons And Their Proximity To The Real Thing

Angelini Talks Gaming With DEVGRU Operator Craig Sawyer

Tom’s Hardware: How well do software developers model weapons after their real-world counterparts when it comes to rate of fire, accuracy, recoil, weight (and its effect on movement)?

Craig Sawyer: From what I've seen lately in games, weapon appearance and rate of fire appear plausible. What remains uncalibrated is the effect various calibers of ammunition have on a target. As an example, you shouldn't be able to knock a guy down from long range with a pistol with the same effect as a belt-fed 7.62 mm machine gun. That machine gun should also allow you to penetrate barricade material much better as well.

Why pick up a heavier weapon and lug it around if it won't chew through cars, walls, and people? In the real world, they do. When a game represents damage properly, I like using larger-caliber weapons, even if they impede mobility.

Craig getting his blast on with an M60E3 machine gunCraig getting his blast on with an M60E3 machine gun

Tom’s Hardware: How does a GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun) deliver "splash" damage? How much more effective is a GPMG compared to a combat rifle in real life?

Craig Sawyer: The splash damage you mention can be just as devastating as the lead itself, depending on the terrain. If you're in loose, rocky, sandy territory, low misses really do pick up rocks, sand, and other objects, splattering them right through the target and causing significant additional damage. It's a very effective technique when executed properly, and can be like multiplying your rate of fire. In other conditions, however, shooting low might not have as much effect due to a lack of loose material that can be turned into additional projectiles.

In the desert, I start my machine gun bursts intentionally low and allow the pattern to climb into the target. This throws up additional sand, dust, rocks, and additional frag into the target, as well as the bullets themselves.

Craig fires a Browning Automatic Rifle, not something you'd see in a modern shooterCraig fires a Browning Automatic Rifle, not something you'd see in a modern shooter

Tom’s Hardware: Many gamers don't mind using pistols as primary weapons because certain engines allow them to run faster, or squeeze off more high-damage shots on-target than a rifle. How does a Tier 1 operator view the role of a pistol? Have you ever had to draw your pistol as a result of a primary weapon system failure?

Craig Sawyer: I won't speak for the unit, but I personally view the pistol specifically as a backup. It's a side arm that you reach for when your primary goes down in close quarters, or when a long gun isn't appropriate for the task at hand. I want my pistol simple, reliable, and effective. I don't want any accessories on it when I know I'll be ripping it from the holster to fight for my life at close range under adverse conditions.

I've used my pistol quite a bit in real-world operations, but never because my primary went down. It's usually because I'm clearing tight spaces or working in a capacity that doesn't allow me to have a long gun in my hands. Except for instances when it's counter-indicated, I use the long gun.

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