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What's better: Ricochet attacks, or blue shadows on dodges and dashes?

Vote now as we continue deciding the single best thing in games

Last time, you decided that Diablo's Tristram theme is better than chain explosions. I hadn't peeked at the votes while voting was still underway so I'm a little surprised by the outcome, given how much of the discussion favoured explosive practicality over emotive plucking. This week, I ask you to pick between two different types of cool missing. What's better: ricochet attacks, or blue shadows on dodges and dashes?

Ricochet attacks

Honestly, it's a coward's move to shoot someone by shooting at them. Ooh, are you so afraid of them that you need to point your gun at their head? Coward. A cool murderer does murder by shooting away from someone and still killing them. Pow. Pting. Pschloorppt!

The skill of an intentional ricochet murder is impressive. The noise of a ricochet is often great. And hell, an unintentional ricochet kill is funny.

I have fond memories of more intentful, tactical ricochets in many games, bouncing shots off walks to avoid shields and cover. Or to combine the practical and showboating, I adore ultraviolent shooter Ultrakill's marksman revolver, which has the alt-fire ability to toss a coin in the air, then perform a murderously mega ricochet attack by shooting the coin. Oh, and Metal Gear Solid's Revolver Ocelot is surely the patron saint of ricochet shots, bringing the highfalutin antics of Wild West gunslingers to the military-industrial complex.

The majority of my ricochets came in Destiny 2, where Ricochet Rounds are a potential perk on many guns. Admittedly I favoured that mostly for the secondary stat bonus than tactical potential, but that made the rare accidental ricochet kills even more delightful. And the autorifle Hard Light actively encourages ricochet violence by giving bonus damage on bounces, so I did begrudingly enjoy the fleeting moments when it was in meta and players sprayed rainbow discos across the map. Tell me about some of your ricochets, reader dear.

Of course, we must consider the counter-argument that ricochets are for no-skill babies because it's hard to aim at people but easy to miss them, so should we praise people for missing on the outward shot? The scientific community largely consider this argument to be spurious or—worse—a 'joke'.

Blue shadows on dodges and dashes

I posit that of all the agreed-upon effects and colours for video game actions, none is cooler than leaving a trailer of blue shadows when dodging or dashing. While the novelty of fireballs and ground-pounds and everything would eventually wear off, tell me with a straight face that you'd ever grow tired of leaving cool blue echoes while dodging from one side of the kitchen to the other, or from bed to your wardrobe, or onto the bus, or down the supermarket, or... you wouldn't. You couldn't. Every time, you'd look at the cool shadows forming in your wake and be delighted. You would.

But which is better?

It's a real toughie. Both are very cool, but ricochets have the extra element of skill and reward, but is that enough to outweigh how cool blue shadows are? I can't decide. 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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About the Author
Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.