Dual Wielding in Video Games
by ZackC on October 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM EST

Dual wielding weapons in video games have always been a dream for gamers. This is because everyone knows that more is always better. The struggle though, is how to make dual wielding effective, and not over powered. Most games are able to incorporate dual wielding effectively, but they all do it a little differently. For example, the new game Dishonored, gives the player a sword and then the player can use anything in the other hand. Halo gives the player the ability to dual wield small weapons, thus giving the player options, while not making the combinations endless. Saints Row on the other hand, constructs it in ways that if the player is going to dual wield a weapon; it will be with the same weapon. Every game does it a little different, but they all work.

Dishonored, the new stealth action game that has just come out, has a good mechanic for dual wielding weapons. The idea is that the player chooses what weapon to have in the left hand. This system allows the player to switch quickly between different weapons quickly. While this system allows the player to have full control of their left hand, their right hand uses a sword, and the player cannot change that. This way gives more freedom than other ways.

Halo 2 was the first in the series that used dual wielding. The way Halo did it, was to make some weapons dual wield capable. However, the player can only carry two guns at a time. When the player dual wields, they cannot hold on to the second gun that they are dual wielding with if they want to switch guns. This restriction on the number of weapons allows the player to play the way they want, but it gives the player more options than just one gun at a time. There are other games that follow Halo’s example and allow the player to choose different combinations of guns, but most put dual wielding in the way Saints Row does.

The final way of putting dual wielding into a game is the Saints Row way. In Saints Row, the player can purchase many different guns, including several guns that you can duel wield. The dual wielding in Saints Row the Third is automatic, and the player has no choice. Unlike the other games where it is a tactical choice, in Saints Row, it’s almost an un-lockable feature and a bonus for doing so well. Other games force the player to duel wield when they have the ammunition. This happens if you are playing a game in which your character walks over a gun, automatically retrieves it, and starts to dual wield.

Dual wielding is something that developers like to put into their games. It allows the players to have more options as to how they play the game. Games that are open ended in a fashion normally give the player more options, the way Dishonored does. Games that are more straightforward keep the dual wielding options limited.  No matter which way the developer decides to incorporate dual wielding, it almost always turns out good in the game.

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