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GameSpot: How Games Get Shotguns Wrong

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

From DOOM’s iconic Super Shotgun through to Gears of War’s Gnasher, the shotgun is one of the most popular and versatile weapons in video games - a trusty firearm that packs a devastating punch, particularly in close encounters. But the gaming shotgun that we’ve come to know and love takes a fair few liberties from its real world counterpart.

In this episode of Loadout, Dave Jewitt visits the Royal Armouries to talk to Keeper of Firearms & Artillery Jonathan Ferguson, to chart the vast differences between real shotguns and their gaming counterparts.
 

NinjaBoiX

Gold Member
The only game that made awesome shotguns is Halo 5. Even Infinite fails on this department.
I do like the buckshot lines that accompany shots fired from the shotgun in Infinite, it’s a satisfying visual effect that seems to help hip-fire aiming.
 

Doom85

Member
Not really interested in accuracy, all I know is pretty much every Resident Evil game when I get the shotgun, I’m all:

Happy Season 9 GIF by The Office

Always Sunny Reaction GIF

Happy Pumped Up GIF by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
 

Romulus

Member
People think shotguns have this ridiculous spread after like 10ft. Its all about ammo types. Federal Buckshot is essentially a firing squad of 9+ pistol calibers rounds every trigger pull. Even shotgun pistols with 2 inch snubby barrels have only like a 3 inch spread at 30ft lol. Out of a full length shotgun buckshot is deadly at 200ft, a slug is lethal at 350ft+
 

Lone Wolf

Member
People think shotguns have this ridiculous spread after like 10ft. Its all about ammo types. Federal Buckshot is essentially a firing squad of 9+ pistol calibers rounds every trigger pull. Even shotgun pistols with 2 inch snubby barrels have only like a 3 inch spread at 30ft lol. Out of a full length shotgun buckshot is deadly at 200ft, a slug is lethal at 350ft+
Many people buy shotguns for home defense because of the myth that they hit everything in front of them. I think movies and tv are where they get firearm education.
 

Dream-Knife

Member
People think shotguns have this ridiculous spread after like 10ft. Its all about ammo types. Federal Buckshot is essentially a firing squad of 9+ pistol calibers rounds every trigger pull. Even shotgun pistols with 2 inch snubby barrels have only like a 3 inch spread at 30ft lol. Out of a full length shotgun buckshot is deadly at 200ft, a slug is lethal at 350ft+
Most game developers have never used the guns they recreate digitally.

That being said, even using flite control is only really effective at 50 yards.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
People think shotguns have this ridiculous spread after like 10ft. Its all about ammo types. Federal Buckshot is essentially a firing squad of 9+ pistol calibers rounds every trigger pull. Even shotgun pistols with 2 inch snubby barrels have only like a 3 inch spread at 30ft lol. Out of a full length shotgun buckshot is deadly at 200ft, a slug is lethal at 350ft+
Yup.

Im no gun expert, but I've seen shotgun videos. Not only is the spread small, but the distance is decent too. Video games make the effective range like 12 ft.

 

Romulus

Member
Most game developers have never used the guns they recreate digitally.

That being said, even using flite control is only really effective at 50 yards.


I agree, but it wouldn't take much research to figure it out. I think it's more about balance. If you had actual buckshot shells it would be unbalanced because of the range.

I would say from experience that 50 yards is a good baseline for "max" range, but it does extend beyond that depending on the definition of effectiveness. The spread itself can be seen as an advantage for moving targets because of the volume of lead per trigger pull. 9x more chances can be a suppression tool or hunting. Just one of those pellets can be a fight ender too beyond that range. Hunting, defense, military combat all have different applications.

As you can see here, for scoring a hit the pattern is still very tight at 50 yards. I would not hesitate to fire flite control up to 65 yards in a hunting or specific combat situation. In my experience at about 60-65 yards is where it ends. I've fired dozens of boxes of these exact shells.


But I would guess less than 1% of the deadly force encounters are beyond 50 yards, so alot of buckshot is just overkill for most any defensive situation. The FBI says 7 yards and closer are the vast majority of the deadly shooting. I just know from my testing we were landing pellets at even 100 yards and they were going through 2 inches of plywood. Granted only a couple of them would hit the target each shot, but that's no joke getting hit by one of those.
I would just think if I was developing these top-tier military shotguns or future scifi shotguns, they would have better range than mine and they usually don't come close.
 

FeldMonster

Member
The only game that made awesome shotguns is Halo 5. Even Infinite fails on this department.
Halo 5 does have a fantastic shotgun (though I prefer the sound of the Halo 4 shotgun; I think it is the best sounding in any videogame). Rage 2 is also a contender for one of the best performing shotguns in videogames.

I do have to say though, I think the higher range, lower damage of the Bulldog in Halo Infinite is one of the few gameplay choices I prefer in Halo Infinite over Halo 5. It is more useful in more situations, though unfortunately there is now no counter for the sword.
 
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Dream-Knife

Member
I agree, but it wouldn't take much research to figure it out. I think it's more about balance. If you had actual buckshot shells it would be unbalanced because of the range.

I would say from experience that 50 yards is a good baseline for "max" range, but it does extend beyond that depending on the definition of effectiveness. The spread itself can be seen as an advantage for moving targets because of the volume of lead per trigger pull. 9x more chances can be a suppression tool or hunting. Just one of those pellets can be a fight ender too beyond that range. Hunting, defense, military combat all have different applications.

As you can see here, for scoring a hit the pattern is still very tight at 50 yards. I would not hesitate to fire flite control up to 65 yards in a hunting or specific combat situation. In my experience at about 60-65 yards is where it ends. I've fired dozens of boxes of these exact shells.


But I would guess less than 1% of the deadly force encounters are beyond 50 yards, so alot of buckshot is just overkill for most any defensive situation. The FBI says 7 yards and closer are the vast majority of the deadly shooting. I just know from my testing we were landing pellets at even 100 yards and they were going through 2 inches of plywood. Granted only a couple of them would hit the target each shot, but that's no joke getting hit by one of those.
I would just think if I was developing these top-tier military shotguns or future scifi shotguns, they would have better range than mine and they usually don't come close.
Shotguns are basically dead in the military outside of breaching.
 

Romulus

Member
Shotguns are basically dead in the military outside of breaching.


Yeah most people in the military are new to shooting and the AR platform is great for that. Super low recoil and has an effective range over 400 yards, while being very competent at short ranges too.
 

S0ULZB0URNE

Member
People think shotguns have this ridiculous spread after like 10ft. Its all about ammo types. Federal Buckshot is essentially a firing squad of 9+ pistol calibers rounds every trigger pull. Even shotgun pistols with 2 inch snubby barrels have only like a 3 inch spread at 30ft lol. Out of a full length shotgun buckshot is deadly at 200ft, a slug is lethal at 350ft+
Came to say something similar.
 

Dream-Knife

Member
Yeah most people in the military are new to shooting and the AR platform is great for that. Super low recoil and has an effective range over 400 yards, while being very competent at short ranges too.
It's not that, it's just the shotgun serves little purpose in that application. An AR is a better tool.
 

Knightime_X

Member
Question: Does your shotgun do shit damage?
Yes or no.

Yes?
You done fucked up.


Is it extremely strong?

No?
Congratulations!
No further action needed.

Yes?
Congratulations!
No further action needed.
 

Romulus

Member
It's not that, it's just the shotgun serves little purpose in that application. An AR is a better tool.

I just posted it had better range and less recoil while being very good shorter ranges. Doesn't that sound like a better tool? I used both for years in the military, and I'm no stranger to the shoot house either.

And it absolutely is also about new shooters in the military. I've been on firing ranges with boots and most of them have never fired a weapon, and you have to account for the lowest common denominator in which most women and smaller men cannot handle a 12g. Hell a lot of them complain about the 7.62.
 

Knightime_X

Member
Realistic shotguns would be OP in FPS games. Straight up. They would be the only gun worth using for anything other then ArmA (actual long range engagement)
Not really.
They have the worst rate of fire outside of sniper rifles.
You miss you die.

If they're too weak then they're useless for CQC.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Always amuses me how this kind of thing really seems to upset Americans. I have never heard or seen a real gun in my life and hopefully that'll never change.
Only time I've seen or shot a real gun is in Vegas. And it was the biggest waste of money ever.

In Canada, the firearms ratio is supposed to be decently high too, (but not like the US which is off the charts compared to any other country). Most of those guns must be for hunting at the cottage because I have never seen any family or friend ever bring up owning, carrying, showing or bragging they got a gun (if they actually have one).
 

I_D

Member
The first time I ever fired a shotgun was a few years ago.


We were firing at skeet targets, which were thrown through the air.
The machine throwing the targets was about 50 feet away from us, and we also stood at an angle so that it was throwing them farther away from us, rather than across our vision.

The result was that, even when the skeet target was about 100 feet away, I could still nail it with ease. It was honestly not even that fun, because it was so easy to do.

And that was my first time ever shooting a shotgun. Since then, I can hit targets easily from 50+ yards.
And that's just with your standard buckshot rounds.




Video games get shotguns' effective-distance massively wrong. I don't think a single game has ever gotten it right.
 

Digity

Member
Escape From Tarkov does shotguns well. Sound powerful and are actually useful at range even more so if you load in some slugs.
 
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IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

Gaming shotguns come in many shapes and sizes, from the archetypal Remington 870 seen in the likes of Resident Evil and Battlefield 2042, to the sci-fi styled SPAS-12 that inspired Aliens’ iconic Pulse Rifle. Whether they’re packing double barrels or drum magazines, shotguns have made quite the impact on our pop culture. But how close are the shotguns found in our games to the real-world weapons they represent?

In this episode of Loadout, Dave Jewitt visits the Royal Armouries to talk to Keeper of Firearms & Artillery Jonathan Ferguson about the breadth and variety of shotguns, from the classic double-barrelled flintlocks through to the ridiculous revolving Striker shotgun.
 

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

Shotguns can be some of the most satisfying weapons to wield in video games. Are they ideal for every situation? No. Can they be a pain to reload? Sure. Do they offer incredible destruction and visceral joy? Yes and yes.

But their sound design can go a long way in helping to achieve that so let's look at 15 shotguns with some of the most insanely satisfying sounds in video games.
 

Diddy X

Member
So I get shotguns are pretty OP in real life, ofcourse you can't make them the same in videogames so I'm ok with them being close combat only, still very fun.
 

Dream-Knife

Member
Only time I've seen or shot a real gun is in Vegas. And it was the biggest waste of money ever.
I assume it was one of those select fire ranges? Yes if you don't even know how to hold one you're not going to have a good time. It would be like handing your grandma a controller and tell her to take down Nameless King.

Full auto is worthless in most weapons aside from belt feds, MP5, M3, and a few others (mostly subguns).
Always amuses me how this kind of thing really seems to upset Americans.

Why depict real guns if you're going to get them wrong?
 
Next do a video about how videogames get grappling hooks wrong. Or maybe how different jumping is in real-life.

Some things are better suited for gaming, regardless of how accurately it portrays real-life equivalents.
 
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