Aussie Archer On Gaming's Portrayal Of Bows: 'Crysis 3 Is Utter Archery Porn'

Gaming has seen the recent revival of the bow and arrow as a weapon. It features prominently in Crysis 3 and Tomb Raider and gets a fair spin in Far Cry 3. But just how accurately is this venerable projectile slinger portrayed? Let's hear it from an actual archer.

Atomic's David Hollingworth is very familiar with the ins and outs of firing arrows, describing himself as once being "quite a competent archer" and citing his experience hunting and target shooting with a compound bow.

Hollingworth examines the three games mentioned in the opening paragraph, starting with Crysis 3. Interestingly, Crytek's shooter does a good job of getting the details right, so much so the Predator bow basically makes the game "utter archery porn":

The devil’s in the details, and Crytek certainly seems to have been paying attention, even down to having an offset grip so as to keep the bow's strings away from the bulging forearms of Prophet's suit. Many archers wear armguards on their bow arms to keep the string from almost literally peeling the skin away. Even a light 22 pound (~10kg) bow will leave bad bruises.

Tomb Raider is the least impressive of the bunch, both in terms of art and gameplay. The way in which the game's protagonist, Lara Croft, is able to upgrade a simple wooden bow into a sophisticated killing machine is beyond reality, while her "draw and stance ... screams awkwardness."

As for Far Cry 3 it's the sound effects that seal the deal, with Hollingworth describing the "rattle" of the game's arrows as "distinctive and immersive".

Of course, Hollingworth prefaces his observations with the fact that the games are just that — games — and there's nothing wrong with creative license. That doesn't mean it's not fascinating to look at how these titles portray archery from a real-world point of view and giving kudos to the developers when they do get the little things right.

There's more detail in the full article, so head on over to PC Tech & Authority and check it out.

A real archer on the accuracy of in-game bow-shooting [PC & Tech Authority]


Comments

    People get pissy and anal about guns in videogames, there's no reason we shouldn't be accurate about archery either if its gonna be a focal weapon in a game.

      I think the main reason that there is little controversy is that the number of people who have gone on a killing spree with a bow is slim to none.

        No no, I should apologise, I mean as in they get pissy about the ACCURACY of the portrayal of guns in terms of sound, feedback etc and how they're represented.

    The problem with Archery is that it's a far more visceral form of shooting than using a gun. I've got both compound and recurve bows and have been shooting arrows since I was 10, rifles on the other hand, while there are some aspects that cross over, tend to be far, far simpler to use and much more 'point and click' like a computer game.

    Archery tends to have so many factors to get right compared to guns; Greater projectile drop, holding the bow at the correct angle in all 3 dimensions, consistent draw, are your arrows straight?, how you hold the bow (not to tightly, not too loosely), arrows are affected by the wind more, and of course, if you're using a re-curve you can expect to have about 5 seconds of accurate aiming before your hand starts to shake :P

      holding the bow at the correct angle in all 3 dimensions, consistent draw, are your arrows straight?, how you hold the bow (not to tightly, not too loosely),

      You just described shooting F-Class or big bore at 1000yds.

      Last edited 02/03/13 4:26 pm

        As someone who's done a decent amount of both I can confirm there are many in the calculations facing someone hoping for that perfect shot in with both fire arms and bows.

        The main difference is the range at which they come into play. That and I've never seen a semi or full-full auto bow (Crossbows don't count, that's an entirely different weapon.)

    I'm not a fan of tomb raider's either... There's no weight behind it, it's very unrealistic, and it literally may as well be an automatic weapon with the way she simply rattles off shots at her crosshair in the same quick manner every time :-/

    Her stance alone makes me cringe.

    By the way, I do love the new tomb raider, I just think the bow wasn't well-executed. I read in the kotaku review that using guns made the reviewer feel "dirty" or cheap... But to be honest, with how light and lazy the bow is, I've enjoyed using the handgun -much- more. Weird! :-P

    I haven't played Crysis 3 but it sounds like it nailed it? Skyrim didn't do too bad, considering the bows in oblivion were piss-weak and lobbed arrows at very slow paces through the air, lol. I can't remember enough of Turok to be certain it got it right...

    I shoot a recurve, and even then, Crysis 3 does a pretty good portraying accurate draw weight etc.

    Is it just me or is the string hitting Lara's breast in that picture? It can't be like that in the actual game, surely?

      Fun fact!
      there is a peace of equipment used in archery that known as the chestguard. Not all archers need it but it's of interest to a particular sub group .

      "Many archers wear armguards on their bow arms to keep the string from almost literally peeling the skin away. Even a light 22 pound (~10kg) bow will leave bad bruises."

      Now think that but with nipples

    Skyrim has the best arrow dynamics.

    BAH! TF2 FTW!
    Cant beat that Huntsman

    I remember shooting a bow without a bracer. That left a nice mark.

    Watching a friend run around with the bow on Farcry 3 was what convinced me to buy that game.

    Not only is Tomb Raider's bow completely devoid of proper bow physics, (it's a straight shot, not even an arc of any kind) you can even run around in the rain and it has absolutely no effect on it at all. Granted, the bowstring may have been a modern synthetic or been waterproofed, but the wood of the bow itself would start to warp and the arrows would also similarly be affected by the rain, especially the fletching.

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