Sitrep: An Ode to my Bestest Pal, Crappy Handgun


By on September 11, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Since the dawn of time immemorial, FPS games have been starting you with a crappy handgun. Yes even in the FPS games single-celled amoebas played. Irrespective of the fact handguns irl are terrifying and can calmly end lives and impact families for generations with but one bad “It’s not even loaded, see, bang, bang” incident, they remain the intern to those high calibre death machines we all look forward to.

The humble handgun — pistol, if you would, p’raps even musket — is regarded by gamedom as no more than a flaccid last resort. And he is my friend.

It wasn’t always like this. I didn’t really know Crappy Handgun beyond the fact he just always seemed to rock up and then I ignored him. I’m not a snob, hey, I will talk to anyone. But this guy was just always there contributing nothing, and when he did make a contribution, it was to my death, because I refused to put much effort into his silly pew-pew.

So you can understand how I might not have been feeling his sick vibe straight away. In fact I would I actively moan and exclaim “crappy handgun to the rescue” whenever ammo for my badder bitches ran low, which was and is always, because I don’t know the meaning of restraint. I have killed so many walls in video games.

It was on one such occasion where Bertha the M60 had given all she had to give and it was just me and Crappy Handgun. On the loose. Surrounded by foes. My team had grown weary of my insistence that “there are Murder Walls all over this map and vigilance is the price of freedom,” so it really just was me and Crappy Handgun. I imagined I saw an uncertain nod in the dull of his gun metal grey and then his O-face as I warmed his grip. Things were now not just awkward but also weird.

We laid low and I looked around for some other weapon to hang out with but there was none. What the bastard, I thought, I’m gonna die anyway but let’s at least try to go out in a comical blaze of derp somehow. So we stalked the land. Some overzealous buttwizard come around my corner too quick and it was like Crappy Handgun acted of his own accord, punching holes in this guy in a series of perfectly spaced ‘n placed rounds before he could even eat another Dorito.

The speed. The stopping power. What stopping power? Well, none, but I realised then that what I held in my hand was a beard made of bees. How relentless he stings, at first triggering annoyance, then frustration, then panic, because: This guy is acing me with a pistol. Crappy Handgun’s deep reservoir of intensity had been discovered, and we bonded, going on to achieve an upsettingly cartoonish killing streak.

I don’t know what it is about him exactly, but I know I like it. Maybe it’s what he inspires in others: They underestimate me when they us coming, they laugh even. Let their guard down. Maybe it’s what he inspires in me: A berserk last-stand indifference to survival that is, ironically, the driving force behind many a long string of kills. By me, and Crappy Handgun. Good guy. Glad I got to know him.

17 comments (Leave your own)

Except for the fact that in some games that crappy handgun ain’t crappy at all.

I love using handguns in games in general so maybe that doesn’t count. But still, as with the crappy handgun, it feels quite different to play with those. To calmly walk between all those lead-spraying MG or AR wielding soldiers while holding your trusty pistol and taking carefully aimed shots at your enemies.

Pistols have a certain kind of “style” to them that bigger weapons cannot provide.


Left for dead: A game that made a pistol useful always!!
Quick typo though:
“They underestimate me when they us coming,”


I still think my best streak on a Battlefield game was with the handgun in BF2142 on the 64p GON server.

Somehow I managed to kill 24 people before finally getting downed, which was just hilariously absurd. Crappy Handguns ftw :)


Does the game “Receiver” rate a mention here? It’s all about “crappy handguns” after all…


Handguns are awesome, in some games they’re the most satisfying gun to use, like in Bioshock Infinite.


Interesting you put a Half-Life 2 screenshot there (with custom skin as well). The HL2 pistol wasn’t crappy at all – it would fire as quickly as you could tap the mouse button, before the HDR patch you could “charge” up shots using an engine bug to fire all 18 shots at once, and it was also extremely accurate. Balanced out the machine guns which fired quicker but had crap accuracy.


Yuck. That was like reading vomit. It actually detracts from the widely appreciated joys of using a sidearm.

Editor should pay closer attention…


snacks: Editor should pay closer attention…


Ah, sweet STALKER series. You make the player lovingly cherish every single bullet for every single weapon in the game. Sometimes that rusty shotgun you found in a drain is the only thing left between your face and a mauling.


Tim Colwill,


As if Deus Ex needed any more claims to awesomeness, I’m fairly sure it was the first game I played to truly turn the pistol into an instrument of silent and methodical death.

I still play Zoey all the time in Left 4 Dead just because of her dual pistol amazingness in the intro.


As an ammo hoarder handguns are my primary weapon.


I’m a firm believer in the handgun in games. There’s just some situations where an assault rifle isn’t useful and the shotgun has long since run outta bullets.


Yeah well … your face … is like looking at vomit. yeah.


I love pistols in games that do them justice. I haven’t really played the series since but I always thought the original Halo had a very satisfying pistol.

Also I’m that guy in Counter Strike that plays entire matches just with a Deagle. It’s just so damn satisfying.

I do hate peashooter pistols like the ones from half life though. That being said the revolver from HL1 was awesome, just never seem to have any ammo for it.


soilder of fortune 1 and 2, very satisfying pistol gameplay


and the shotgun has long since run outta bullets.



jme: ><

Sorry, Shells? :D


Obviously the early 90′s Doom style games, yeah, pistol was pretty shit and you used it as a last resort.

Games nowadays, pistol can sometimes be that go to weapon. Source games where a headshot means death, the pistol can be your best friend. Countless times have I used the pistol for a bunch of kills in CS or DODS, even in BF, some spam of the pistol and you could get a few kills.

I also agree with Makena, the pistol and the hand cannon in Bioshock are great.

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