Drop your guns. Lower your fists. Sheath your swords. Put your bow... wherever you keep your bow. A bow-holder, maybe. Or, you know, maybe hang it over your shoulder, or just lean it against a wall or something. Today we're celebrating two of the most important weapons in games: the foot, and the other foot.
Call it a foot-fetish if you must: we're happy to proclaim we love kicking in video games. Below you'll find an animated list of our favorite ways to take our boots off the ground and slam them into someone's sorry kisser. Here are the most ass-kicking kicks that kick ass in PC games.
Dying Light: The double-footed flying dropkick
Let's kick things off right. There are few FPS games as physical as Techland's Dying Light: from running to climbing to parkour, we feel it every time we haul ourselves over a fence or bash a zombie with a electrified spiked blade. And there's nothing more physical than the double-footed flying dropkick. It's a full body effort, one that leaves you lying on the pavement, probably with a scraped elbow and a bit of gravel stuck in the skin of your forearm. It's worth it, though, to slam both boots into a zed's chest and send it sailing over the horizon.
Gif source: Vulkan on YouTube
F.E.A.R.: Bullet-time kicks
Just because it's called bullet time doesn't mean it's just for bullets. Monolith's 2007 horror FPS F.E.A.R. not only scared the crap out of us but gave us slow-motion power and the ability to kick dudes in the dome. Combine them and you've got a playground of slide kicks, scissor kicks, and sailing soldiers. Bring it on, Alma.
(Note to Alma: please don't bring it on. We're still terrified of you.)
Gif source: Rabbit's Respawn on YouTube
Dark Messiah: Might and Magic: Orc-kicking all the time, always
Arkane's Dark Messiah: Might and Magic (or is it Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, or Dark Messiah—brief pause—Might and Magic? Let the debate rage on) was a brutally physical fantasy playground. Kicking enemies off cliffs and into fires and onto spikes was so enjoyable it became a major distraction. 90% of my time was spent trying to maneuver orcs into a position where I could kick them into something. Anything. I have no idea what the underlying story was, because Dark Messiah comma Might and Magic ultimately became an adventure game where every solution was USE BOOT ON ORC.
Gif source: Ragnar Rox on YouTube
Vanquish: Rocket-knee slide into kick-flip
At some point in games, crouch-walking under things became passé and turned into sliding under things. And why the hell not? It's quicker and cooler. And if you're sliding, you might as well be kicking, too. Vanquish, which finally arrived on PC seven years after its console release, enhances your slide with rocket-powered knees, lets you steer, and finishes things off (as above) with a kick-flip that explodes a giant robot's head. Can't really ask for more.
Fistful of Frags: Cowboy kickin'
When you think of cowboys, you probably think of six-shooters and Winchester rifles and maybe a stick of dynamite. Even barroom brawls rarely conjure the thought of kicking, more like easily-telegraphed round-house punches and maybe someone getting thrown through those swinging half-doors at the saloon. Fistful of Frags, a 2007 multiplayer mod for Half-Life 2 turned standalone game, brings some much needed comical kicking to the Old West.
Gif source: Fistful of Frags on YouTube
Arkham Knight: Harley Quinn kicks a lot of ass
This is no diss on Batman himself: The Dark Knight is quite adept at kicking thugs into submission, and the kinetic combat and finishing moves in the Arkham games is super-satisfying when it comes to putting boots into goons. I gotta hand the Kicking Crown to Harley Quinn, though. She just seems to be having so much more fun than grouchy, dour ol' Batbrain.
Gif source: YouNicIce on YouTube
FIFA 15: Evan kicks a ball with his foot
Remember when our own Evan Lahti had a 3D scan of his face put into games? If not, here's a reminder: Evan had a 3D scan of his face put into games. One of those games was FIFA 15, and Evan scored a goal. As they call it in sports, a kicking goal. It's a sweet kick, and after it he does the thing where you hold your fingers in a heart shape. When asked for comment a few minutes ago, Evan said simply: "i love 2 kick"
Resident Evil 4: Spinning kick of exploding death
Stun a Ganado by shooting it in the face. Then finish it off by kicking it in the face. It's a little odd, sure, that the bullet is doing the stunning and the foot is doing the killing, but that's the power of Resident Evil 4's melee kick. That's the power of a well-placed foot. I mean, look at that. One of those damn things explodes.
Gif source: lonewolftony on YouTube
Mirror's Edge: Catalyst: Face-mask shattering kicks
Put your faith in Faith's footwork: running, wall-climbing, sliding, jumping, and kicking the shit out of anyone who slows her down. How satisfying is it to not only kick a dude in the head but see his face protector shatter into a hundred pieces before finishing him off with a couple of windmill kicks? The answer: very.
Gif source: The MRobz on YouTube
Duke Nukem 3D: The Mighty Boot
We've got to end our list (for now—I suspect we'll add to it in the future) with a Hail to the King. Duke Nukem's high-kicking (and shrunken alien-stomping) moves are still pretty mighty. Duke's kicking is so cool that even his own reflection is so impressed it can't reflect light back to him without being a half-second late. Kicking breaks the laws of physics. That's how great it is.
Did I leave out some of your favorite kick-ass kicks in PC games? Kick my ass in the comments and let me know what I missed.Christopher Livingston
Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.See comments