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The Next Level In Gaming

Ah, shotguns. Shotguns shotguns shotguns. I love shotguns. In videogames, I mean.

When it comes to games where shooting is a primary feature, there’s always one kind of gun I will seek out, and keep with me no matter how pointless or useless it is in the current situation. This only makes the situation worse in the current era, where so many games are adamant on copying the Halo system of two weapons at a time. Still, I can’t deny that I love shotguns. They’re loud, powerful, make loud noises, and they’re one of the most satisying weapons in a game. However, with games insistant on becoming more “realistic”, the shotgun is slowly getting phased out as a weapon to be reckoned with, and is slowly becoming another average weapon you can only really use effectively in close encounters, like the real thing. Well, this is dedicated to some of the best shotguns in gaming of recent times. Shotguns that kill, maim, boom, and let us appreciate the fine art of killing. I asked people on facebook to contribute with some of their favourite shotguns in games, and so as well as some of my favourite shotguns, you’ll also get to read about the shotguns of choice for other gamers, too.

Doom 2 – Super Shotgun (Suggested By Gaz Kerr)

We’ll start off with the old school entry, before concentrating on the new school.

The Doom series obviously being one of the series which helped bring the First Person Shooter into prevalence, and Doom one and two being considered classic games. The Super Shotgun was one of the only new weapons introduced in the second game, and packed a much more powerful punch than the regular shotgun ever could. Two barrels which fired simultaneously per shot, and with a more powerful spread and pellet rate meant that the Shotgun fired faster, wider, and more powerfully. Taking down those pink demons never felt so good.

The boomstick blew away the giant pink monster with a massive, eruptive force. Please don't read anything into this caption.

Gaz is famous on the interwebs for his Dramatic Readings on youtube, as well as his One Man Barbershop Quartet of Still Alive.He can be found at

Painkiller (Suggested By Daniel Ellingham)

My knowledge of Painkiller is sadly very limited bar what that stallion Yahtzee covered in his review. While the shotgun in the game doesn’t fire lightning or ninja stars, I’ve been informed by my friend Dan that it carries about 100 shells, and you never have to reload it. Also I heard that the secondary fire causes the shotgun to fire ice beams. I’ll repeat that. A shotgun that also fires ice beams. I want to play Painkiller just for that. It sounds like one of the most epic shotguns around. For now though, I’ll have to stay on the non-playing side, and just point out that a shotgun that good deserves to be in this list.

Seems like a shotgun to the face would be quite a Painkiller. Because you'd be dead

I wouldn’t want to give a shotgun with that description a… cold shoulder


Gears Of War Series – Gnasher (Suggested By Phillip Godfrey & Luke Tugwell)

Gears of War is one of the best new series of games to come out in the latest generation of gaming, with Epic Games providing a series of games that are… well… epic. *sigh*

One of the reasons for Gear’s success may be the incredibly satisfying gunplay on offer, with machine guns with chainsaws attached, the boomshot, longshot, magnums with recoils capable of destroying weaker mens arms, and of course, the Gnasher shotgun. 8 shells of carnage in every clip, completely devasating at close range, and useful in way more situations than you’d ever give it credit for, especially considering how useless the gun becomes at long range. But that never really becomes an issue, considering how up close and personal you tend to get, especially in the single player. More reliable than just chainsawing everything, and almost as fun, the Gnasher shotgun will soon become one of your best friends soon after beginning Gears of War.

Hopefully they’ll bring it back for Gears of War 3. No Brumak Farming.

(Don’t get the Brumak Farming Joke? Why not check out Ed’s Review of Gears of War 3… From the future!?)

Grand Theft Auto Vice City – SPAZ Shotgun (Suggested by Adam Hargrave)

Vice City was arguably the best Grand Theft Auto, before or after GTA4. It oozed style like a snail oozes… whatever a snail oozes. Everything about it was simply fantastic, and another of these things was the array of weapons you could use to destroy your foes. The best of these being, obviously, the SPAZ shotgun. Cold, automatic, powerful, capable of ripping a hole through everything. But enough about my failed date with a Transformer Robot. This gun was mine and many others’ weapon of choice, and for good reason. I wouldn’t want any other weapons during a rampage, in any case. Though, to be fair, I used to sit at the top of Sunshine Autos, knowing they’d never come up the stairs, leaving me to destroy everything below with the SPAZ. Ahhh, memories.

Grand Theft Auto – San Andreas – Dual Sawn Off Shotguns (Suggested By Callum Smallwood)

GTA: San Andreas. The biggest GTA game in terms of map size, things to do, and weapon selection. While the latter stages of the game’s missions were like shark jumping in slow motion in terms of realism compared to the beginning and what you expected, one thing stayed the same in terms of what is believable and not; the awesome reckoning power of the shotguns. None moreso than the Dual Sawn Off Shotguns. Obviously, the awesome reckoning short range power of a shotgun, doubled, there’s no reason why this wouldn’t have been most peoples’ choice of weapon whenever the situation called for it. Of course, with the ability to upgrade your shooting skills, why would you deny the shotguns when you’re levelled up to max?

That’s not all! As Callum pointed out when suggesting the shotgun to me, its powers translate amazingly to the rarely-mentioned 2-player mode, where they’re capable of destroying cars in only 4 hits. Sadly they probably don’t make the countryside any less of a waste of time.

There isn’t any fun pictured in this image, because there isn’t any to be found.

Timesplitters Series – (Suggested By Callum Hamill)

One of the biggest misjustices of recent times was Free Radical going under. Second Sight was one of the most underrated games of the last generation, and the Timesplitters series was one of the most amazing First Person Shooter series around. Among the incredible amount of challenges, characters, maps, customization, and so forth, again, lay weapons good and awesome enough to keep you wreaking havoc for a long time to come.

Both the Dual Shotgun (or Shotgun x2 configuration, tomatoe tomato) and the Tactical 12 Guage were some of the best weapons you could choose. Both powerful, but with the Shotgun x2 being slightly less powerful but quicker to reload, where the 12-Guage was more powerful, but took forever to reload. Though, if you needed that many shots in the magazine to take someone down, you probably deserved to die.

Can we all just agree to petition or something that Timesplitters 4 gets made? With shotguns, if necessary. Or Monkeys. Maybe I should make another article like this about monkeys…

Fallout 3: Combat Shotgun

So, you’re traversing the wastelands in a post-apocalyptic world. You have everything you need; clothing, medical supplies, Combat Shotgun…

Wait, you don’t have a Combat Shotgun? No wonder you were just polygonally raped by all those Super Mutants. (Note to self: check if ‘polygonally’ is real word)

The Combat Shotgun was my weapon of choice for most of my Fallout adventure, and for good reason. 12 to a barrel, each once a devastating blast after another, and with ‘bloody mess’ added, nothing was more satisfying than shotgunning fools in the head over and over again.

No, I don’t want to set the world on fire, but I never said anything about shotguns ;)

Half Life 2 – Combine SPAS-12 (Also Suggested By Seamus Butler-Ellis)

Everyone can agree: Half Life is amazing. Half Life 2 is even moreso amazing. You don’t get the Shotgun until partway through Ravenholm, and when you do, you learn to love it like family. Not just because it’s a shotgun, and shotguns are amazing, but the alternative fire releases both barrels, causing a blast of destruction that’s as awesome as it is loud. Combined with the fact that the shotgun is amazing at range, and you have a gun that not only destroys everything even at range but with more than enough ammo scattered about the land, you’re never going to want to let go of the shotgun. Unless you choose the far superior Gravity Gun, but I think we can appreciate the shotgun comes in far more useful than the gravity gun does, and buckshot can kill better than random items.

Looks like the forces of evil and shotguns are going to... Combine! Ill leave now

Hey, it’s a better topic conclusion than a pun about the gravity of Gordon’s situation and… dammit.

Halo Series: Shotgun (Suggested by Steven Goodall)

My friend Steven suggested the Shotgun from the Halo games, and for good reason. Mainly propagated throughout the game during the Flood sections (Bungie too, realise that shotguns are the optimum tool for undead disposal), it’s powerful, quick, and as Steven points out “Almost brokenly long-ranged”. It’s indispensible for demolishing the hordes of flood, useful in close combat, and a useful tool in multiplayer. That long range soon becomes a valuable quirk of the weapon that ensures you won’t want to drop it for a long while.

Left 4 Dead Series – Automatic Shotgun

Shotguns are one of the best weapons in Zombie games. As much as other people will tell you that in the case of a real Zombie invasion, shotguns won’t be the best weapon at all, in the realm of videogames, shotguns reign supreme when taking down the braying Zombie hoardes. This is the truest when it comes to the Left 4 Dead series. All the time I’ve been slaying the infected, I’ve rarely strayed away from the Automatic Shotgun, and for good reason. 10 shells a clip, quick firing rate, and devastation all around when this gun is out. No matter what other weapons I’ve tried, I’ve yet to find a more reliable, fun gun to use taking down the hordes than the Automatic Shotgun. Also, when we used to play the first Left 4 Dead, we’d lock anyone out of the safe room who wasn’t carrying a shotgun. You learned the optimum way to survive quickly. You could say you were… Left 4 Dead

Oh, come on!

And what Ed considers the greatest shotgun in gaming now:

Grand Theft Auto 4 – The Ballad Of Gay Tony – Automatic Shotgun (And Explosive Rounds)

This whole article for me was just a lead up until I could basically tell everyone to buy Episodes From Liberty City just to experience the Automatic Shotgun. I simply cannot hype this gun up enough. It is simply the best shotgun in gaming. It may even be one of the best games in the last few generations of gaming, ever.


Did I mention this gun is given to you by a wildly eccentric billionaire, voiced by Omid Djalili? Did I mention your first experience with this shotgun is on top of a recreation of the Empire State Building? Did I mention that you’re not even entirely clear it fires explosive rounds at first until you start shooting them off the building? What about it’s stupidly long range which makes it more accurate than the Assault Rifles as well as more powerful? The ability to set cars on fire in two shots? The ability to obliterate everything and everyone in your path? Large cartridge, quick reloading, relative cheapness to supply ammo (granted if you use your friends)? Did I mention Omid Djalili?

If I had billions, a golden Uzi, and voiced a character in GTA, I'd be dancing too

Everything about this shotgun is just the best thing ever. As much as I never try to make people buy things for a singular reason, this shotgun alone is worth the price for Episodes From Liberty City. Granted, it’s only in the Ballad Of Gay Tony, but considering you also get Lost and the Damned, and two massive adventures that outweigh most current games despite originally being downloadable content?

We salute you, Rockstar Games, for bringing us one of the best weapons of anything, ever. Anything else I add would just be a superfluous love letter to this brilliance.

So thank you for reading. Your opinions of the best gaming shotguns, and your own additions should go below in the comments.

As for me? Well, looks like I’m heading for a…

…wait for it…

Wait for it…

Shotgun Wedding! :D

(Garvaos’ Notes: You’re fired)

- JokeSound

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Jokesound On April - 23 - 2010

3 Responses so far.

  1. Tom-B says:

    Thanks dor taking the time to write such an interesting article.

    I have a few points :)

    I’d have to argue that it’s pretty much accepted Doom launched the FPS genre to any kind of mass audience and also that the double barreled shotgun was the only new gun in Doom2?

    Keep up the good work!

  2. ben says:

    dude the one near the end is is just gay

  3. Garvaos says:

    I got to say Doom 2 shotgun has a pretty epic Shot Gun. I am surprised the shotgun from Bioshock 1 didn’t make it into here. Fully modded with Eletric buck! Yes Please!!

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