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What's better: Breech-loading grenade launchers, or creating construction blueprints?

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Kicking the door in to return after a wee break, I am delighted to discover that last time, you decided door violence is better than tagging locations for teamies. Sure, tagging is practical, it's helpful, it's kind, but can it really solve problems that wouldn't be solved by slamming a door into someone's face? Of course not. This week, I ask you to pick between risky destruction and precise construction. What's better: breech-loading grenade launchers, or creating construction blueprints?

Breech-loading grenade launchers

I always gravitate towards high risk/reward weapons, anything with a big punch that also leaves me vulnerable. Two-handed warhammers (and kirkhammers), claymores, double-barrelled or pump-action shotguns, revolvers the size of a labrador, and especially single-shot breech-loading grenade launchers. If I nail this shot, you will burst. If not, oh god, what do I do for the next whole second. Or worse, where might that grenade bounce to?

If a game offers me one, I'm using it. They look great, they sound great, they create pretty explosions, they require split-second calculation of arcs and bounces which soon develop into satisfying intiution, and they create a good rhythm of violence as I make it rain ragdolling corpses. Ploompf kaboom kruck kshlick chak.

A blurry screenshot of reloading a breech-loading grenade launcher in GTA Online.
Please excuse the blur; all the explosions made GTA Online quite enthusiastic about screenshake and special effects | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Rockstar

Destiny 2's Fighting Lion stands out as my favourite breech-loading grenade launcher, and my favourite gun in Bungie's whole MMOFPS (with tens of thousands of kills recorded). This is one where the grenades don't detonate on impact with the ground, letting you bank and airburst shots with glee. I also really liked Far Cry 2's M79, sticking with it despite unlocking the fancier drum-loaded launcher. And I always laugh when I drive right over the missed grenade I shot one-handed from my motorbike in GTA Online. But hell, I like them all.

Ultimately, I like creating problems for myself. In my pursuit of power and violence, how far will I push it before I'm undone by hubris. I retreat behind cover and hope I've calculated your movement well enough that you can't reach me before I reload. I try to keep my cool because my aim will only get worse if I start to panic, and I certainly don't have time for a second reload if I blow that. I could switch to my backup weapon, but would that keep he safe for the next 200ms at the cost of killing me 800ms later when I'm overwhelmed? And heaven help me if I miscalculate the arc and a grenade falls far, far too short. The solution to my problems, and often the causes thereof, are big explosions from a cool little tube.

Breech-loading grenade launchers also have some of the best weapon sounds in video games. Honestly I might enter some individual games' sounds as future potential best things. Not to bias this serious research we're performing (and certainly not stack the deck with as many individual grenade launchers as I can), but some of them really might be.

Creating construction blueprints

Build something. Build something carefully, placing every wall and fence and conveyor belt and power cable and processor and silo and flower and statue and track loop in exactly the right spot. Now create a blueprint of your construction and away you go, ready to drop a duplicate with but a few clicks of a mouse my dear boy. That's the joy of creating construction blueprints (not to be confused with the common thing of crafting blueprints, which create preset items).

Blueprint magic in Factorio

In games like Planet Coaster, where making something pretty is just as much fun as making something functional, the consistency and timesaving of blueprints is a godsend. Or at the extreme end of the functional scale, I cannot imagine playing Factorio or Satisfactory without using blueprints to duplicate complex industrial infrastructure and sprawling scaling production. It's dead handy in craft-o-survival games too, where you might need to rebuild bases in new places, or might not have the luxury of time to carefully place every block and plank.

Blueprints are convenient, sure, but more than that they ease you into thinking about the game on a larger scale. You've solved this issue by piecing together many individual parts, and now you can treat that whole assemblage as one single part to use in a far larger solution to a far larger issue. They help a game expand its scope. You can better see a forest when you're not individually rotating trees.

But which is better?

I'm always glad to find a game has blueprints. I'm even more glad to discover it'll let me ploompf kaboom kruck kshlick chak explode myself because I got cocky. But what do you think, reader dear?

Pick your winner, vote in the poll below, and make your case in the comments to convince others. We'll reconvene next week to see which thing stands triumphant—and continue the great contest.

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