Thursday, 25 June 2009

The impracticalities of the gory weapon

Ultra violence is one of those pleasures in life that we can sadistically enjoy when it is in a movie, or being pumped out of a gaming machine, rather than through real life experiences. After viscously chainsawing through my tenth Locust infantryman of the day in Gears of War 2, a thought suddenly struck my mind at how such a chainsaw oriented thing probably wouldn’t be implemented into a military regime.

Okay, it would be the most horrific experience imaginable in mid battle to saw someone in half from their shoulder, with blood spurting out everywhere, as you stand triumphantly over a twitching meat fountain. Also, I am not too familiar with the Geneva Convention, but mounting chainsaw bayonets for such acts of inefficient horror (not exactly a quick or subtle kill), might not be the act of a peacekeeping force.

The Lancer in Gears of War 2, if you weren’t already aware has such a thing mounted on its underside, ready to chew through obstacles, crates and anything squishy enough to erupt like a claret volcano. It is also one of the most fun weapons that I have ever come across in a game, and often encourages those wielding it to brave the flying hot lead for the opportunity to rip limbs off in an act of suicidal lunacy.

Such a weapon that encourages the user to break away from their cover for a start is not the best of all ideas. Neither is a close quarter combat tool that actually requires revving up, the best idea in a spur of the moment situation that such ‘in your face’ encounters are. Also, half of the hand to hand combat situations arise, I imagine, in an attempt to be at least a tiny bit subtle. The roar of a chainsaw and the grotesque splatter marks it will leave behind might get you noticed a tiny bit.

Of course the main thing to consider when thinking of it practically, is that chainsaws are actually designed to be useful tools for men (or women, maybe) to cut trees down with. If you start using such things for the unintended use of making bad things go away forever, just think how long it will be before you need to start picking the bits out. The chain would jam far too easily, and so instead of being an intimidating giant, wielding a device of doom and horror, you will in fact just be a 100% screwed dim wit with a stopped, dripping paperweight of doom and horror.

I can imagine that frozen marzipan would be implemented before chainsaws in any modern military power. It would definitely be easier to conceal.

Of course, as much as an accurate military simulation that Gears of War 2 is, I am very sure that the developers were not necessarily thinking about how such a thing would work in the real world. Guns in games aren’t meant to work in the real world, and that is probably what makes them more fun to use than the ones that are modelled on actual firearms.

If we were constrained by realism, then we wouldn’t have been given so many gaming gems over the years, such as the Land Shark Gun, BFG 9000 and bottomless pockets to carry six of each, plus ten first aid kits. Let’s just hope that innovative weaponry keeps turning up in virtual worlds, rather than the now overused MP5s, M4A1s and AK47s.

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