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We’ve Always Hated Overpowered Guns in Shooters – Remember the AWP?

by Joey Davidson | March 30, 2014March 30, 2014 11:00 am PDT

Within the active community of Titanfall fans, there’s one major weapon the just about every player hates. It was recently nerfed in an update, though a lot of players insist its plain existence is problematic.

I’m talking about the Smart Pistol.

This weapon has a huge reticule on the screen. Line that reticule up with enemy pilots or grunts, wait for the locks, squeeze the trigger and enjoy an instant kill. A gun that requires little effort to use and absolutely no skill with aiming has, of course, made a lot of the core Titanfall community angry.

Me? I don’t use it. It stinks being killed by a Smart Pistol user, but there are other, more interesting and more fun guns in the game’s arsenal for play.

This Smart Pistol? It’s nothing new. It’s perhaps one of the easiest guns I’ve seen in a shooter, but the hate it attracts is approaching 20 years in age.

Follow me back, my friends, into an earlier era of gaming. This was before we loved Steam. It was before we hated Steam (remember that?). And it was even before Valve had introduced Steam.

I started playing Counter-Strike when it was still just a Half-Life mod. This was pretty much one of the first global multiplayer shooters outside of the Quake and Unreal side of the genre. It was slower, more methodical and easier for the masses to play than, say, Tribes.

Man, remember Tribes? Get good at skiing and you could take on the whole world by yourself in that game.

Anyways, Counter-Strike was, for me, the dawn of online hatred for overpowered weaponry. The weapon that drew all the ire from gamers? The AWP. Or, as it was originally called, the Magnum Sniper.

Counter-Strike - AWP

With the AWP in builds prior to CS 1.1, a shot that landed anywhere on the body was a kill. Head? Kill. Chest? Kill. Left pinky toe? Kill.

You think the Smart Pistol is overpowered, friendo? Live life in the late 90s and early 2000s around those unbelievable AWPers.

The AWP was nerfed over subsequent releases, the its signature shot sound and ability to kill with pretty much any shot above the legs made it an anger inducing weapon.

We all knew the best snipers in the game used the Scout, a bolt action rifle that only delivered instant kills with headshots. Get good with the Scout and no one complains about how much of a “noob” you are.

What I think separates guns like the AWP from the Smart Pistol is the skill required to use them. You still had to line up your shot with the AWP. You had to actually aim the gun squarely on one of your opponents to enjoy the one-shot-kill delivery.

Counter-Strike - AWP - 2

With the Smart Pistol? You just have to be approximately good with it. If you camp and aim remotely well, you’ll rake in the kills. The same can actually be said about Titanfall‘s shotgun, but that’s an overpowered gun for another day.

Put a shooter online with a slew of weaponry available to players, and I guarantee the community will single out one or two as “way too overpowered.” Which guns do you hate for these reasons?

Smart Pistol GIF

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Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...


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