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Real life versus games?

by Nick Haywood on 10 October 2005, 15:55

Tags: FPS

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Like FPS? You’ll LOVE this!

What do you do with a spare weekend and a yearning to play a good squad based FPS or tactical shooter? Why not go out and try it out for real? Well, when I say ‘real’, I mean as real as you can get without actually getting carved into chunks by 5.56mm bullets fired from a rooftop somewhere.

This weekend saw a few of Team HEXUS head up to Sheffield to take part in an Airsoft weekend, part of the All Out War series being run by a group of enthusiasts… and boy oh boy, do these guys take it seriously.

From the weapons and kit, uniforms and comms through to tactics and manoeuvres, you’ll very likely not find a more realistic enactment of modern combat than at one of these events. There’s an immense range of weaponry on offer, all of which fires 0.2g 6mm plastic ball bearings. Their range is very similar to that of a paintball gun, but happily, getting hit by a small ball bearing hurts a hell of a lot less than a paintball does.

I spent the weekend as both a ‘combat journalist’ and a US/UK coalition trooper fighting a militia insurgency in Chad… I was actually at a disused steel mill in Sheffield, but the scenario and set-up were realistic enough to make for some adrenaline filled, heart-stopping moments. Coming under heavy fire and being pinned down, knowing the enemy is closing in and just hoping your own forces can rescue you in time while you defend your territory is pretty damn scary… but then working as a team to fight room to room, pushing the bad guys back through the buildings sends so much adrenaline through the system that you’re shaking at the end and dripping with sweat despite the rain and cold outside.

To add to the realism, the organizers had laid on an APC as well as a range of other army vehicles to ferry us in and out of the combat zone as well as hack into the hotspots and lay down huge amounts of fire to cover beleaguered troops… all we needed was a couple of Hewys and it would have been complete… but apparently that’s for another day…

So now I’ve given you glimpse of what we were up to, be sure to check back later for a detailed report on the weekend including which member of Team HEXUS was ‘BOOM! HEADSHOTTED!’, which member was shot by his own team and what the world sounds like after a stun grenade is lobbed into a small tile lined room… with you in there too!