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Veteran Member - Level 11
I had a little downtime today...taking a break from all the
hustle and bustle often associated with vacationing (although I am delinquent
on mowing the yard). Funny how that works, no? Take time off work to relax and
find that sometimes it ends up being busier. Anyway, I've been re-reading some
of the video game related news that I just kind of glossed over the past few
weeks, when something relatively minor and inconsequential caught my eye. It's
funny (at least I think so...a little bit anyway) how I'm not really one to
follow (or blog about) the big stories - the controversies; the breaking news;
the big announcements; the major industry events...you get the point. I figure
the experts are far better at covering those items, so I often just notice
little things. Irrelevant things. But I can notice the heck out of some little
It was while reading the July 2012 issue of Game Informer
and turning the page to this two page spread that shows Lara Croft wielding a
long bow with these big bold letters that read "And Into The Fire". Well, the
story is actually six pages in length and of the 10 or 11 pictures illustrating
the next Tomb Raider story, nearly half of them include a bow and arrow. I'm
not a huge Tomb Raider fan but I do like the direction the series is taking the
character by making her more realistic and respectable instead of just showing
off her curves in a skin tight wetsuit or short shorts that have to make rock
climbing at least a tad more challenging. So this little detail was the bow and
arrow, but not just because it was in Tomb Raider.
It made me think of another game that has recently received
lots of press coverage.
I'm not sure when Crysis 3 was originally announced. Was it
at E3 or maybe sometime before (or after)? Regardless of when it was announced,
the footage and coverage seemed to center around the fact that your character
will be equipped with a bow and arrow. Well, maybe "center" is a bit of a
stretch, but it certainly didn't go unnoticed. Even Game Informer's own Matt
Bertz published a story on this feature in his article, Crysis
3: Bringing A Bow To A Gunfight.
And if that wasn't enough to convince you, I could mention some
of the artwork we've seen for Assassin's Creed III, although honestly its
setting seems far more natural to include the bow and arrow than Crysis 3 does.
"Not as clumsy or
random as a blaster. An elegant weapon for a more civilized age." -Ben Kenobi
I have to wonder if the bow and arrow is going to be the
weapon that all the games feature now until something else comes along. Maybe
it's me, but it seems like most shooters all seem to gravitate towards one
another and share similar content and/or ideas. In the early days of shooters I
always wanted to see submarines or submarine bases included in the games. Now
it seems like nearly every shooter includes this setting (this is something I
have blogged about a time or two - I definitely recall blogging about all the
dam maps). I remember many of my fellow gamers, myself included, wanted arctic
maps...and now, it seems like the frozen tundra isn't as rare as it used to be.
It wasn't all that long ago, verticality was the big buzz word - maps that
stretched the vertical level from what we were used to having experienced in
previous generations of shooters. Now, the cityscape and skyscraper setting
seems to be the hot spot developers are focusing on. Of course it's not limited
to maps and setting. Early in the development of Future Soldier, the game
boasted of unmanned drones, both ground and aerial versions. How many games
have we seen that featured drones these days? Looks like Black Ops II might
feature them too.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if you are a
fan of whatever is being duplicated. A few years back, I recall blogging about
something simple, yet featured in far more games than I would've liked to have
seen it - the crossbow. Yes, I posted a whole blog about games featuring the cumbersome
and inefficient crossbow and how I wasn't really a fan of this weapon.
the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Whip Out a Crossbow
But the bow and arrow, now that is a weapon I actually enjoy
using in video games, so I look forward to its implementation in Crysis 3,
Assassin's Creed III and maybe even in Tomb Raider. I think my love of the bow
and arrow was inspired by a few movies - certainly the way Legolas wields his
in Lord of the Rings, but even more recently with Hawkeye and the way he was
portrayed in the blockbuster hit - The Avengers.
I thought I would share some of my personal favorite video
games to feature the primitive yet effective bow and arrow (don't worry, I'll
keep it to five). Feel free to share your own favorites, or tell me whether you
feel the same way about it as I do the crossbow.
1. Team Fortress 2
- Well, this one shouldn't be a surprise. I don't play the Sniper class a lot
(because I suck at it) but when I do, I often equip him with the Huntsman. The
Huntsman is nothing more than a bow and arrow. But, oh...a powerful weapon it can
"Now, hold on," you keep saying. "Aren't bows
and arrows primitive and harmless?"
Why don't you ask the dinosaurs? Except you can't, because
the cavemen bow and arrowed them to death.
- Huntsman publicity blurb
I love when the whole opposing team is rushing a particular
area or trying to hold a certain point on the map. I will quickly switch to the
Sniper class armed with a Huntsman and just fire indiscreetly into the group
for headshot after headshot. My fondest memory that I have recounted far too
many times is of a Scout who snagged our flag and was headed back to his base.
As he bounded back across the battlements about to disappear into the safety of
his base, I fired an arrow at him, pinning him to the wall and causing him to
drop the flag. It only prolonged our defeat, but that warm feeling you get when
you know you've just crushed the delight out of the person who is carrying the
flag to victory was worth the loss.
2. Minecraft -
This one might be a bit of a surprise...it was for me, but yes there are bows and
arrows in Minecraft. It's odd too, because when I play Minecraft I actually try
and stay away from the bad guys and not fight unless I am cornered. Well, the
skeletons are equipped with bows and arrows and they are ridiculously brutal
with them. They will lay waste to you in no time if you don't take cover or
flee the area. You can craft your own bow and arrow which is great for ranged
attacks, or you can be creative and devise something even better. With seven
cobblestones, a red stone and a bow you can create a dispenser, which is sort
of like a vending machine. Whatever you load into it, well when you activate
the dispenser it shoots it out. Armed with this knowledge, I stacked two
dispensers on top of each other, filled them with arrows, wired it to a
repeater and a button, and aimed it at the front door to my residence. So now,
whenever the bad guys stack up at my front door, like they tend to do, I can
click the button which opens the door and then stand back and watch these two
dispensers (which are really nothing more than a glorified bow and arrow) fire
off four arrows in rapid succession. Press the button and four more arrows fly.
I've already op-tested and killed me two zombies with it (and myself once).
Pretty clever, if I do say so myself (killing the zombies, not myself).
3. Soul Calibur -
I don't know if there is a character that has used the bow and arrow more than
Link. I don't want to say he's used the bow in every game he's ever been in,
but certainly he has used it in a majority of them. And perhaps my favorite game
was Soul Caliber II for the Game Cube. Soul Caliber II remains one of my
all-time favorite fighting games and I used to love playing Link in this game
even though I wasn't very good with him (much more of a Kilik fan). My tactic,
regardless of how cheesy it was, would be to spam arrows and then try and sneak
in for a grab and throw that would almost always result in a ring out. I never
remembered just how many bows Link
has used until researching this blog. There has been more than one or two,
that's for sure.
4. God Of War 2 -
I'm in the middle of playing God of War 2 (on again, off again) and was pleased
when I acquired Typhon's Bane. The God of War wiki describes it as,
"A magical bow-like weapon, Typhon's Bane
allows Kratos to fire gusts of wind instead of arrows. It can be leveled up as
well, increasing its power and to gain new abilities."
I think I like this
weapon so much because when I was a kid I used to watch this cartoon every
Saturday called Dungeons and Dragons. Hard to believe they ever allowed that on
T.V. huh? Well, they did. And my favorite character (wasn't it everybody's?)
was the Ranger, who was equipped with this magical bow that could do all sorts
of amazing feats with the arrows it shot.
5. Gears of War -
Some could argue the torque bow has more in common with a crossbow than a
traditional bow and arrow, but it's called a torque bow, not a torque crossbow,
so I'm going to include it. Besides, using it seems more like a bow and arrow
than a crossbow. The bow part is up and down, not left to right. Some people
didn't like the weapon, but I did. Firing that bolt and sticking a player was
always a rewarding feeling. The Gears of War wiki states, "The Torque Bow fires an Imulsion-fueled,
explosive-tipped, armor-piercing projectile that resembles a large arrow (or
rather, a crossbow bolt). The projectile has a timed fuse which is designed to
explode a half-second after penetrating a target, blasting it apart from the
inside - almost invariably causing critical injury for the unfortunate target
(if not instantaneous death). The weapon's name comes from its unique tandem
Honorable Mention -
There are plenty of games out there that use the bow and
arrow...games like Turok, Red Dead Revolver, and another of my favorites -
Gauntlet...but none are as impressive as Skryim. Now, I don't play Skyrim, but
I've certainly watched others play it enough to know that if I did, I would be
using the bow and arrow...a lot. I dunno, maybe it's nostalgia and I'm hoping to
have one of those moments like from the Hobbit where you shoot an arrow at a
dragon that hits its unarmored spot resulting in the mystical beast's death.
Sure, it would probably never happen, but it is worth contemplating. Even if
that never happens, seeing videos of trick shots from the game makes it worth including.
Well, I should end this here before I remember another game
that features the primitive yet powerful bow and arrow. Besides, I think I hear
somebody at the door. Maybe it's a zombie or skeleton.
Who is it?
I use the bow and arrow when I'm playing Minecraft quite a bit. I see you were facing a spider jockey in that screenshot. Those guys are really tough.
I was actually thinking about writing a blog similar to this; I'm glad I'm not the only one who had this running through their mind. The concept of adding primitive weaponry into modern era games intrigued me. I guess it's true what they say though, "History repeats itself". And the Bow and Arrow was known as a invention made way ahead of it's time when it was first used. It is still known as a powerful weapon even to this day and that is saying something.
Anyways, all that aside, very interesting post.
Love using the huntsman in team fortress 2! I suck with sniper, more of a medic or pyro
That better not have been a Link's Crossbow Training drop at the end there, good sir. >:
Aside from that though, a blog of equally good taste and length, as per usual.
Bow and arrows are cool, what can I say?
I think the bow and arrow mechanism has always been appealing to me.
There's no better feeling in videogames than pretending that you are sniping the hell outta some fools with a bow while banking headshots... especially as a marksman in Skyrim!
Even though I'm horrible with ranged, primitive weapons in games, Dragon's Dogma really made me enjoy playing as a Magic Archer. Sure I could play as a Ranger and use long bows that fire far beyond that of a normal bow, or I could play as a Strider or any other class that uses the more averaged sized bow, either way I'd be missing alot. But with the Magic Archer and his Magic Bows that fired off bolt after bolt that could home in on enemies, I had tons of fun.
I gotta say, I don't mind the bow and arrow trend lol. I've always liked the bow and arrow, and Skyrim has made me like it even more. There's nothing quite like sneaking through dungeons, and poisoning your arrows to get one shot kills.
I don't think the bow and arrow is THAT primitive of a weapon.Though now that you mention it , bows have been a bit overused now.Perhaps just a pattern or maybe some kind of inside thing.Regardless the bow and arrow is still deadly and and weapon that I would rely on most games if they include them.
Glad I'm not the only one who is a terrible sniper....
Far Cry 3 will also be featuring a bow in the modern era as well. Call of Duty Black Ops had a crossbow, so I'm sure that will return in Black Ops II (but with a thermal scope and drone support of course, since it's now the future). Anyone else think of more "bow-centric" modern-set games coming out?
Nice article! A little off-topic from this being about bows and arrows, but I would say that Gears of War features terribly primitive weapons for it being a future game. I mean, the characters seem to wear near nothing in terms of armor and it takes half a lancer clip or a shotgun blast from less than a foot away to take someone down. I know that that is how the game was meant to feel like, but it feels like you are fighting with BB guns with little to no background story to back up the guns' lack of firepower.