SHOOTING FROM THE HIP
PC Gamer US Edition|January 2022
Celebrating the modern shooters that make aim-down-sights optional.
Morgan Park
SHOOTING FROM THE HIP

Celebrating the modern shooters that make aim-down-sights optional. By Morgan Park

There is no better bliss in an FPS than the perfect hipfire kill. Sometimes, we hipfire because it’s faster or because it’s accurate, and sometimes we just want to best our foes with a bit of style. There’s an implied flex to the hipfire that I absolutely love—as if you’re such a good shot that you don’t need to plant your feet on waist-high cover and look down a scope to pop headshots. What a power move!

The FPS was founded on hipfire. Some of the best shooters ever made are fun, in part, because of the hipfire. And yet, the last 20 years of video games has seen this empowering ability nerfed into the ground. Most modern games favor the ADS (aim-down-sights) mechanic as a requirement to be accurate. There’s lots of fun to be had with that kind of game as well, but the ‘right mouse aim/left mouse shoot’ standard slowed shooters down and relegated hipfire to an inaccurate secondary fire. Thankfully, the hipfire is back on the rise in recent years with excellent FPS throwbacks and modern takes that marry the two aiming styles together.

Hipfire has been on my mind as I play through Back 4 Blood, Turtle Rock Studios’ spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead. Now nine years removed from Left 4 Dead 2, I still consider it some of the purest FPS fun you can have with friends due in no small part to its hipfire-heavy gunplay.

I was afraid Back 4 Blood would lose some of this magic when I learned it’d feature modern FPS mechanics like sprinting and ADS. Now 15 hours into the game, I think my prediction was true, but hipfire is far from dead in Back 4 Blood.

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