Evolution of the tree


Operation Wolf, C64, 1988

Ah, the good old-fashioned exploding barrel. Operation Wolf here features some fine examples, although while we were taking this grab we were disappointed to find some that didn’t blow up. That’s like a cracker that doesn’t crack. Very disappointing.

Doom, PC, 1993
This classic corridor shooter loves exploding barrels so much, you even find one before you first see an enemy. Indeed, there’s a good chance Doom’s deadly, toxic barrels of ick outnumber the enemies four to one. Check out the menacing shading. A class act.

C-12 Final Resistance, PSone, 2001

This game features a fully computerized target information system. As if we really needed to be told that barrels will explode. It’s even got a warning sticker on it – effectively saying ‘SHOOT HERE’. Still, the barrels themselves are proper 3D now. That’s progress.

Scarface, PS2, 2006

The thoroughly excellent Scarface features bigger explosions and has the added bonus of having groups of barrels together that set each other off in a chain reaction of fun. And then you can swear at them, which you probably can’t say for many games. Nice rust, too.

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, PS3, 2007

Sending pirates soaring through the air after blasting these handily-placed barrels is a hoot. Begs the question, though – why do baddies always leave flammable liquids lying around, then insist on using them for cover? Graphics – 1 AI – 0.