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Old 09-27-04, 07:25 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Long Rant on Problems with Implementing Realism in FPS Games

A lot of people are probably aware that the levels in even the 'large-scale' games, like BF 1942, could be accurately most of the way across with a 9mm pistol. Some of you might also realise that miniguns actually spin up to full cyclic rate in less than half a second, and that the interim firing rate is in the thousands of rounds per minute - hardly a 'lag' that we see in most video games bearing the weapon.

So, I'm wondering, is someone ever going to make a game with realistic ballistic performance, or does the fact that realistic ballistics makes infantry into hamburger going to hamper such a game?

Some Real Life (TM) facts about fairly common battlefield weapons:
Average MMG (7.62x51mm) has an effective firing rate of 50-200rpm, requires a barrel change every few hundred rounds (unless it's being fired very slowly) and has an effective sighting range of over a mile, with an effective kill range of about two miles.
Average HMG (.50BMG, 30-06) works pretty much as described above, except for a generally lower fire rate, an effective lethality range of about 4-7 kilometers, and it will blow through buildings while retaining enough force to destroy cars. Some versions (the M2 MG for example) are specially sighted for sniping, and outperform most sniper rifles in this function.
A minigun fires a 'cone' of lead that is essentially impossible to evade or survive. The secret to infantry survival is to not get shot at by miniguns. Vietnamese soldiers refused to ambush any Vulcan escorted supply train, as it was pure suicide.
30mm belt-feld fully automatic grenade launchers, with an effective range of over 400 meters.

All of these weapons make infantry basically dogmeat. They'd turn any sieging action into what sieges actually are: hour, or day long, rushes until the assaulting force gives up or the defending force runs out of ammo. Modern solutions to this are obvious: stop trying to use infantry. They use heavy armour, bombing runs, howitzers and other massive shelling attacks to destroy 90% of the enemy soldiers, weapons and supplies before the infantry even considers going near it. This, of course, would be rather awkward in a first-person shooter which has no choice but to be an infantry game. Even games with vehicles, like BF1942 or Joint Operations, don't take into account the fact that those strikes occur en masse - you send entire divisions of tanks, not one or two tanks. A tank by itself is a deadly machine, but any jackass infantryman with an RPG can stop the show real quick. By attacking in phases (pre-strike with missiles, shellings and bombs; move in by armoured corps; observation and siege by snipers, HMGs and armour) the coordinated strikes preventing the enemy from attacking back (it's hard to line up a Stinger missile when some jackass is trying to blow your nuts off with a .50BMG).

Of course, the infantry invasion/siege would be next, but infantry aren't just slogging it out. They still have dozens of armoured vehicles, machineguns, grenade launchers and can often call in helicopter support, air strikes, shellings etc.

All in all this makes realism incompatible with FPS war games - FPS games are infantry, and infantry would be dogmeat if they actually tried to rush an enemy base like they constantly do in video games. Even if we some time had 1000 player games in the future so dozens of tanks and copters are going about, that would just again reflect how irrelevant individual guys with guns are in a battle.
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