Let me something straight before we begin: I like guns. Yes, the real ones. I'm not a huge gun nut, but I appreciate firearms to an extent some do not. This interest in firearms led me to purchase a wonderful new indie game called Receiver (check it out if you haven't). In Receiver, the main draw is, without a doubt the realistic mechanics of the firearms.
Turning your safety off and pulling the hammer back are concepts not seen in any other game that I've played, and it's a really unique experience. As a fan of firearms, this really impressed me. It also got me thinking about the most unique feature of the game: manualing loading your magazines, and keeping track of them. More importantly, it got me thinking about how a small feature like that would be magnificent in these mundane, modern shooters we get shoveled out every year.
no but seriously how is he holding that gun
Imagine, if you will, you're in a firefight. Four enemies have you pinned down. Two of them have to reload, so you pop out of cover and take the shots. The first two go down no problem, but as you move to the third, you realize you're dry. You scramble back behind cover, tossing the empty mag to the side. You search one magazine, three rounds. You search a second, four. As the two enemies are closing in on your position, you frantically fill the magazine up to eight. As you see them rounding the corner to your position, you slam the magazine in and unload. Both are down, with three rounds to spare.
Now I'm aware that might turn some people off, and you might even think it sounds silly, but to me, a more realistic approach to these bland shooters could be what turns these games from silly fluff to solid games. Don't get me wrong, I like military shooters, but I feel like the current path they are headed on is neither new or original, and I feel like most people are getting fatigued. These franchises need a new hook, an innovative element to keep them fresh and relevant. That's why I think ammo responsibility could be a key feature that would make these games more immersive and fun. It could add a much needed layer of difficulty to these games. More importantly, I feel like it could lend itself rather well to a more narrative driven game like Spec Ops: The Line.
Imagine how well that could translate the stress and anxiety of war and combat? Put the stress not on the character, but also the player THEMSELVES as you make them responsible for having their magazines loaded properly? I think it would work, and I think it would be more fun, to be honest.
Now some of the other mechanics from Receiver would translate poorly, in my opinion. The safety would be redundant, and manually reloading would simply take too long and bog down the gunplay (which my idea is in danger of honestly, if not done correctly). i believe though, that even as an optional difficulty mode, ammo responsibility could bring alot to this stale genre. I realize the chances are slim, simply because the CEO's won't want to risk alienating their "core" audience of these games, but a man can dream, can't he?