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- "An assault rifle. This shit's gettin' more like 'Nam every second!"
- "Man, I wanted this rifle since I was nine."
The Assault Rifle (M-16 Assault Rifle in Left 4 Dead 2) is a Tier 2 replacement for the Submachine Gun and Silenced Submachine Gun offering a significant enhancement to the player's ability to hit targets and inflict damage; quite simply, it is a better overall weapon. It features a 50-round magazine with 360 rounds in reserve.
In summary, the Assault Rifle is unquestionably one of a player's best choices as a general-use firearm on account of its balanced accuracy, damage potential and adaptability.
In Left 4 Dead, the Assault Rifle is the most flexible and capable weapon available. Whether it is clearing a room, mopping up, engaging a Horde or sniping a distant Special Infected, the Assault Rifle will carry it off. It does have some shortcomings, but these are relatively minor and do not affect gameplay very much.
However, in Left 4 Dead 2, the standard Assault Rifle faces strong direct competition from alternative weapons (e.g. the AK-47) and players need to make their choices with a finer understanding of each weapon's pros and cons.
The Assault Rifle has five main advantages:
- Its projectile is capable of penetrating multiple targets (although not to the same degree as the Hunting Rifle or Sniper Rifle.
- It has a high rate of fire which, together with its longer range relative to the shotgun family, make it a very potent weapon against Tanks.
- It has the ability to fire on full auto (by holding down the fire control button) and to let off fast double-taps and short bursts (by applying light pressure to the fire controller).
- It has a large magazine backed up by a generous reserve ammo allowance.
- It has a tight cone of fire (limited shot dispersion) meaning that it is safer to use than a shotgun when firing near other Survivors.
On the downside, the Assault Rifle has two potential shortcomings, both of which can be minimized by skillful players:
- It is easy to waste ammo if a careless player adopts the bad habit of firing on full auto at all times. In co-op play this can be risky since a full-auto team member can become a liability, due to that person's repeated self-inflicted ammo shortages.
- On higher difficulties, the Assault Rifle's killing power is diluted relative to other weapons so that it requires at least three hits to take down a Common Infected.
Tactically, since the Assault Rifle normally only needs two or three shots to do its job and the recoil generated by full-auto firing degrades accuracy at mid to long ranges, burst firing or "headhunting" is highly recommended. The secret of firing short bursts (or even single shots) is to apply only a very quick and light pressure on the fire control button. If the player has trouble conserving ammunition, try to use a secondary weapon against Common infected, and use Assault Rifle against Special Infected, Hordes and the Tank.
Burst firing involves firing a short two- to five-round burst at individual targets before shifting aim and repeating the treatment. This is excellent when shooting at medium and long ranges (e.g. sniping a Smoker's head just above a distant roof line) and is effective on most difficulty settings except for Expert (wherein targets are more resilient). With burst firing, a player knows that after firing five or six bursts the magazine is about half-empty and is getting due for reload, something that is hard to gauge firing on full-auto.
"Headhunting" with the Assault Rifle takes advantage of its accuracy and the fact that Common Infected all have the same physical height. Firing at the heads of a Horde decimates their ranks quickly. (A variation, "Leg Chopping" works in much the same way: a crouching player aims low for their legs.)
With a team of four player-controlled Survivors in a finale, it is a good idea to have two players with Auto Shotguns and Assault Rifles respectively. Position the team in a closet or facing a choke point. The two shotgunners crouch in front while the two with Assault Rifles stand behind them and fire over their heads. When the Tank arrives, the team breaks up to engage and reform once it is dispatched. (Note that this tactic is less effective in Left 4 Dead 2, as the Director may spawn a Spitter (or a Charger in choke points like a hallway) to prevent Survivors from staying in one place for too long.)
- Higher rate of fire than its counterparts.
- Is highly versatile, being able to be used in almost any role.
- Laser sight effectively cancels out any accuracy problems.
- A skilled user can easily conserve ammunition.
- Has the fastest reload time out of the three assault rifle variants.
- An excellent choice of rifle where ammo is readily available, particularly finales.
- Has the lowest damage per shot of all the assault rifles.
- Somewhat inaccurate without a laser sight when moving.
- Burns through ammo faster than its counterparts. Even well-rationed deployment against 2-3 crescendo events is enough to empty the weapon and reserve mags.
- The versatility of this weapon is a double-edged sword. It's very good in any situation, but doesn't shine in any one situation. This is exacerbated by the fact that heavy deployment will result in chronic ammo shortages.
- Difficult to fire single shots.
Left 4 Dead 2Edit
The Assault Rifle returns in Left 4 Dead 2, but has some new animations along with a new name: the "M-16 Assault Rifle". Compared with the other two rifles (the AK-47 and the Combat Rifle), it is the "middle of the road" assault rifle variant in terms of capacity along with balancing stopping power and damage with accuracy and range, making it good for almost any situation.
Behind the ScenesEdit
Early screenshots show that the Assault Rifle lacked text on its left side at one time.
When the Assault Rifle was drawn in early versions of the game, the character would pull the charging handle as soon as they took the gun out. The sound for this animation is still played when the Assault Rifle is drawn out in the final version of the game.
The Assault Rifle was based on Counter-Strike's M4A1 assault rifle. Its "price" in the gun's weapon file is the same as the M4A1's, and it references the M4A1 in its "animation" listing. Its firing sounds are slightly modified versions of the sounds used for the M4A1. This is because in real life, the M4A1 is essentially a shorter M16.
It had a different reload animation as well. After replacing the magazine, the player would both pull the charging handle and hit the bolt catch.
- The Assault Rifle is modeled after a real-life M16A2, and the in-game texture states that this rifle is produced by the fictional company American Armory as the M16A2. However, it actually behaves like the real-life M16A3. The M16A2 is limited to firing in three-round bursts, while the M16A3 is capable of fully automatic fire. However, the weapon may be used with an M16A1/A3 lower receiver, which, when equipped, makes the M16A2 fully automatic.
- In reality, the most common magazine type is 30-round magazine. The game uses a 50-round magazine, a capacity that exists for the real weapon, but these magazines are highly uncommon due to a risk of a double feed, which would jam the weapon. However, most likely for game balancing purposes, the magazine does not jam in any way at all in-game. Nevertheless, the in-game model shows the proportions of a 30-round magazine.
- It has 360 reserve ammo, which means it may have originally had its real-life capacity of 30 rounds.
- The Assault Rifle was the standard issue assault rifle for the U.S Army during the Vietnam War, of which Bill is a veteran. This may explain why his AI chooses this gun whenever given the opportunity in Left 4 Dead, and why he will sometimes remark "Damn, now this takes me back!" upon doing so; however, this is historically inaccurate, as the M16A2 was not made until 1980, twenty years after the Vietnam War. However, Bill may be referring to the AR15 family of assault rifles as a whole to which the M16 belongs, or to the overall resemblance that the in-game M16A2 has to the original M16.
- The Assault Rifle's real-life counterpart (at least the A2 variant) actually behaves like the Combat Rifle that is found in Left 4 Dead 2―it shoots three-round bursts and isn't fully automatic due to the amount of ammunition wasted during fully automatic fire. However, it was made fully automatic because Counter-Strike's original weapon was an M4A1 (the original M4 is still safe-semi-burst), a gun designed in the 1980s to be a carbine version of the M16.
- The Assault Rifle's HUD icon does not show the flashlight mounted on the gun.
- On the left side of the Assault Rifle in Left 4 Dead 2, it says "AR2", a reference to the "Overwatch Standard Issue Pulse Rifle", the standard weapon used by the Combine, from the Half Life series.
- In some campaign posters, the Assault Rifle will look like an M4A1 with or without a scope. Examples of this are The Passing, Dark Carnival, Swamp Fever and Death Toll.
- In Left 4 Dead 2, the Assault Rifle's charging handle will be pulled every time it is taken out. In real life, it should only be done in order to pull the bolt to rear in case of a failure to fire (stoppage) or to chamber a round. Working the action with a round chambered would eject the round and chamber another.
- In Left 4 Dead 2''s The Passing, Bill's dead body is found with an Assault Rifle in his hands. It can be taken from his corpse.
- In Left 4 Dead 2, the reload animation of the Assault Rifle will include hitting the bolt-catch on the side of the rifle to chamber the first round, whereas the Left 4 Dead reload animation is just putting the magazine in and being able to immediately fire again without hitting the bolt-catch.
- The Assault Rifle, along with the Submachine Gun, were capable of a glitch called a "Power Shot" in Left 4 Dead. The glitch resulted in the entire magazine of bullets being fired at once. This was patched on September 22nd, 2009.
- In Left 4 Dead, when Louis finishes reloading the Assault Rifle (in third person), the magazine is out of place.
- In Left 4 Dead, sometimes after throwing a Pipe Bomb or a Molotov Cocktail, if a player immediately switches to the Assault Rifle and shoves a couple of Infected, a cut animation will play where the character pulls back the charging handle and adjusts their hold on the weapon.
- This weapon, the Submachine Gun and the Hunting Rifle are the only weapons that have reloading animations in which the magazine is actually removed from the weapon when seen from the third person view in Left 4 Dead 2. Other weapons' magazine will remain attached to the weapons if their reloading animations are played in third person.
- In Left 4 Dead 2, the default reloading animation erroneously shows the magazine being "rocked" into the magazine well to lock it in place, much like an AK would be reloaded. In real life, the M16's magazine well is designed to allow a magazine to be inserted straight in, locking it automatically, and be easily dropped out with the mag-release button once emptied.
- In Left 4 Dead 2, doing a shove while holding a fully-loaded Assault Rifle will cause a clicking sound. However, this will not happen with a partially-loaded Assault Rifle.
- There appears to be an animation glitch of some sort in Left 4 Dead 2 involving Francis - from the viewpoint of other players, the magazine of his assault rifle will occasionally disappear while firing.
- The firing sound for the Assault Rifle is re-used from Counter Strike: Source's M4A1.
|Left 4 Dead|
|Tier 1||Pump Shotgun / Submachine Gun|
|Tier 2||Assault Rifle / Auto Shotgun / Hunting Rifle|