Which game first introduced the concept of weapon recoil?


This morning while watching a video of Wolfenstein 3D from 1992 and Doom (1993) I noticed that weapons don’t need to be compensated for any recoil. Then on my trip down memory lane I watched a Half Life (1998) video and there, automatic weapons at least seemed to have some form of recoil.

There must have been something happening in between that introduced this feature into the game design of FPS, that is almost ubiquitous nowadays.

Definition of recoil

For the definition of recoil, I will use the definition used in the Counter Strike wiki, which I found to be a good summary of what I thought it is:

Recoil is the backward momentum of a gun when it is discharging bullets and causes players’ screens to “shake”. This often causes the shooter to sway away from their intended target after the first shot due to the momentum “kicking” the shooter’s aim. The higher the recoil, the more the screen will vibrate.

To which I will add a picture to illustrate (CSGO recoil pattern of AK47):

CSGO AK47 bullet spray

My question

This led me to wonder:

Which game introduced this concept of recoil when shooting and thus the compensation necessary to be accurate while shooting say, full auto or rapidly, in a FPS ?


The first shooter to display weapon recoil, that I have managed to find, is the Dirty Harry (1990) video game.

The game is a side-scroller in which players must guide Dirty Harry throughout San Francisco. He wears a blue suit, although it can be exchanged for a white suit. He wields his signature Smith & Wesson Model 29, and players have the ability to draw the weapon without actually firing it. The Smith & Wesson Model 29 also exhibits a recoil effect when fired.

To fulfill the FPS requirement, Time Crisis (1995) might be your best bet as it was an arcade game so the point of view is your own eyes. I know from personal experience that the arcade machine forced recoil.

Most sources tend to be relating this back to the police Fire Arms Training Simulator (FATS) training systems, like this article does, pg 15::

Now we use large screen TVs and soldiers stand with plastic M-16s that fire laser beams that when you hit the target on the screen, the target drops. The law enforcement community extensively uses a device known as the FATS trainer: Fire Arms Training Simulator. You hold the gun in your hand, you pull the trigger,the slide slams back, you feel the recoil, you hit the target, the target drops, you miss the target, the target shoots you. It is a very effective law enforcement training device.

But if you go to the local video arcade, you’ll find an almost identical device. A game such as Time Crisis for example, in which you’ll find that the pistol, the slide slams back, it recoils in your hand, if you hit the target the target drops, if you miss the target the target shoots you. The only difference is in the FATS trainer, if you shoot the wrong target, you’ll be reprimanded, ultimately even fired.But when the kids are playing the game there is no adult supervision, there is no standard, there is no control.

Or mass murder performed by children, as this article does:

  • Silent Scope has a mounted sniper gun with a scope. You sneak
    up on people and shoot ordinary people for no reason. When you
    kill, blood splatters everywhere. You get extra points if you
    shoot your victims in the head.
  • Time Crisis and Time Crisis 2–This has a realistic recoil
    action gun. Guns make sounds like real gun sounds. It is 3D.
  • Mortal Kombat series, Mortal Kombat Ultimate–This has
    joysticks. You use your fists and legs and feet. Bodies explode
    blood when you hit them. Mortal Kombat Ultimate says on the
    screen–“There is no Knowledge that is not Power.” Does that
    mean that if you know how to kill someone, then you will have

Source : Link , Question Author : Pierre Chevallier , Answer Author : Lady_A

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