Immersive sim bugs are the best kind of bug: Shadow of Doubt's snipers are leaving behind thousands of spent bullet casings as they fail to hit their targets

A sniper stands amidst 1000s of spent bullet casings in Shadows of Doubt.
(Image credit: ColePowered)

Being a lone gunman is harder than it looks, and no one knows that better than the luckless snipers of Shadows of Doubt. Turns out the game's sharpshooter assassins—added last month—aren't so sharp after all. They're trapped in a loop of missing their targets, leaving behind literal mountains of spent bullet casings as they try and fail to pull off headshots (via RPS).

The problem was pointed out by the devs in a recent update on Steam. "Reports of Sharpshooter Assassins missing their intended targets have been circulating around the city," goes the post, "leaving piles of shell casings everywhere. The department is currently seeking a fix for these less than accurate shooters."

Which is almost a shame, honestly. One of the beautiful things about Shadows of Doubt's infini-immersive sim nature is that all its procgen murders actually have to happen. The game doesn't just magic up a corpse and a body of evidence out of nowhere. The crimes need to take place, meaning your wannabe Lyudmila Pavlichenkos have to set up in a suitable location, aim, and fire. Then aim, then fire again. And again, and again, and again, until their target is down and they've presumably spent north of $6,000 on ammo. Next time, perhaps try knives.

So it's one of those bugs which actually highlights the depth of a game's ambition and the charm of its systems, and I reckon I'll be sad to see it go once ColePowered manages to fix it (the game's latest experimental branch says it has "Potential fix for sniper excessive shooting scenario"). With any luck, the studio will leave the hapless deadeyes in as a rare spawn of some sort. Perhaps every sniper the game generates has a chance of absolutely sucking at it, leaving you with a mountain of evidence to trawl through and a great story for the boys down at the station.

Anyway, Shadows of Doubt remains in early access, and celebrated its first birthday since hitting Steam a couple of weeks ago. A 1.0 release is planned for this year, and god willing there'll still be the odd useless goon in there to keep us all entertained. 

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.