Evolution of the tree


Elevator Action, Sinclair Spectrum, 1986

OK, that’s just a black line, isn’t it? No – I’ve got it – it’s a pen. You’re going to draw us to death? No? Oh, right. It’s a gun. And it fires pathetic dots, which trigger one-hit kills? Good-O. Well done, old chap. You got us. How far games have come...

Alien 3, C64, 1992

This is more like it. A sub-machine gun that literally rips aliens into pieces. It was perfectly weighted too, so that you could run at full tilt towards an alien bitch and have her disintegrate just as your noses were about to touch.

Exhumed, PSone, 1996

Apparently the pyramids are full of huge guns. Sure, you can find Egyptian relics too to beat the mummies and jackal-headed fiends that populate the levels, but why bother when you’ve got one of these babies? Sure, it’s just a sprite, but at least it looks dangerously chunky.

Black, PS2/Xbox, 2006

The story here isn’t so much about the way the guns look (though they are rather striking in shiny 3D gun metal), but how they sound. Turn up the volume and hear gunfire so realistic, you’re liable to get an armed response unit caving your door in within minutes.

Resistance: Fall of Man, PS3, 2006

It’s testament to the quality of the game that Resistance is still getting played some two years after its release. The reason? Its guns are just so satisfying to fire. Go on – try emptying a whole clip and tell us you didn’t enjoy it.