Left 4 Dead: The Birth of a Genre

Left 4 Dead was a great game. It had the perfect mix of arcadey action and strategic gameplay to entice shooter fans of every skill level, while also having amazing writing and atmosphere that really sold the survival horror aesthetic. Sure, it wasn’t the first 4-player coop (Yahtzee even griped in his Left 4 Dead 2 review about how commonplace those sorts of games were), but it carved a niche for itself that is so prevalent nowadays that I’d call an entire subsection of Co-op horde shooters “Left 4 Dead clones”. Left 4 Dead famously came into existence when the… [Continue Reading]

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On Gold Weapons

Humans love to customize things. We want to leave our mark on the items that mean the most to us, and as a warrior culture we especially love to own weapons that have unique, stylized decals. In the programmed world of video games, where one need not worry about firearm maintenance or practicality, the sky is the limit for how many ways we can customize our guns. So why do so many developers immediately go for golden guns? When available (and they seem to be available in almost every game with weapon skins), a golden reskin will almost always have… [Continue Reading]

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A Bow Pretending to be a Rocket Launcher

All right, this one is a lot less literally a rocket launcher than the one Medic talked about. But since it’s my favorite primary weapon in the entire game, I couldn’t resist writing an article on the Plainsrider Bow with explosive arrows from Payday 2. Long ago I included the Western Pack on a list of DLC I recommend because, since Payday 2 didn’t (and still doesn’t) have any free grenade launchers or poison weapons, the Plainsrider Bow unlocks both playstyles in a single weapon. Firing arrows tipped with dynamite, the Plainsrider has a number of advantages over other explosives.… [Continue Reading]

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Payday 2 – Breaking the Stealth/Loud Dichotomy

Was Skyping with Medic the entirety of editing this video, and we were talking about hypothetical heist designs that wouldn’t fit easily into either the “stealth” or “loud” category. Payday has steadfastly maintained those two categories of heists for the entire six years of the franchise’s existence, but at this point there’s so much content in Payday 2 that I think they’ve got the resources and the options to branch out from either “hordes of cops filling the building in waves” or “sneak around and avoid the security guards and cameras.” My first idea for breaking the mold was a heist… [Continue Reading]

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The Gun That Won the West

I wrote a few articles in the past talking about some of my favorite firearms in video games, and after replaying Half Life 2 and seeing Father Grigori using the Winchester rifle I realized I needed to dedicate an article to the Wild West classic that didn’t stay dead. The Winchester rifle is an iconic firearm in western period pieces, designed for horseback riding and utilizing a lever-action reloading system that, while used by many guns at the time, nowadays is almost synonymous with the Winchester name itself. It’s a high-powered single-shot rifle with an iconic appearance, and that’s more than enough… [Continue Reading]

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Tactical Advantages You Can Gain with Weapon Skins

In the spirit of my old series where I cover all sorts of tiny aspects of Team Fortress 2 and the ways you can gain tactical advantages from them, I think the time is ripe to cover one of the more controversial cosmetic elements added to our favorite shooter. Cosmetic weapon skins have slowly spread across the Steam FPS industry like a plague, with Counter-Strike Global Offensive being patient zero, and for the most part their only function is to make an otherwise respectable weapon look garish or possibly badass. But is there a way to use them to your advantage? Of course… [Continue Reading]

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Upcoming Overwatch and Payday Halloween events!

Today was a big day for gaming announcements! Over on the Payday subreddit, players were able to discover leaks suggesting that new weapons, DLCs, heisters, maps, and difficulties were coming to Payday 2. Yes, that’s right, new difficulties. ‘Mayhem’ will be between Overkill and Deathwish, and ‘One Down’ is going to be the new hardest difficulty in the game.  While its name suggests that players will only be allotted one incapacitation before going into custody, we don’t know much more than that. Hopefully it comes with some balance tweaks beyond just that. And today the official announcement finally went live: Safehouse… [Continue Reading]

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M1014 – The Ubiquitous Shotgun

I’ve written two articles on several guns that make very frequent appearances in games I enjoy playing: The SCAR rifle and the Mac-10 SMG. This almost requires that I write third third article on the final member of the triumvirate: The M1014 shotgun. (We’re not counting the AK47, its popular enough that nobody’s surprised it appears in every game ever). In most games, the M1014 fills the role of the balanced upper-tier shotgun; there’s nothing wrong with it in particular, but some other gun might trump it in certain stats. In the original Counter-Strike, the XM1014 was one of only two shotguns… [Continue Reading]

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My Favorite Payday 2 Glitches

Payday 2 is built on an outdated engine and has received years upon years of updates, new content, and balance tweaks. Completely divergent mechanics like flamethrowers, explosives, grenades, vehicles, and weapon skins have found their way into the original relatively-simple gameplay, not to mention an ambitious skill system with infinite combinations of dozens of abilities. This is a prime environment for some completely insane glitches! 5. When the Arkansas Toothpick granted 230 Concealment. I think Overkill meant to buff it from 27 to 30, but forgot to finish deleting the old value. Maximum armor, RPG, and Flamethrower? No problem, guards will never see… [Continue Reading]

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Mac-10 & Cheese

Recently I talked about my brother’s primary weapon in his airsoft loadout, the SCAR rifle. His backup weapon is the Mac-10 SMG, which has an equally-illustrious career in video game history: The MAC-10 is an extremely compact submachine gun capable of spraying a truly devastating stream of bullets in a very inaccurate cone. This is not a sharpshooter’s weapon. Because of its high damage and compact frame, it has a reputation for being a criminal weapon, often appearing in the hands of villainous, poor or seedy factions. Left 4 Dead 2 factored this into the weapon’s design according to the developer’s commentary, which… [Continue Reading]

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