The Assault Rifle is a small arms weapon used by the Korean People's Army, People's Liberation Army of China, Venezuelan Army and other factions in Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction and Mercenaries 2: World in Flames.
Mercenaries: Playground of DestructionEdit
In Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, the Assault Rifle is the primary firearm used by Chinese and North Korean soldiers, being the standard infantry rifle of both nations, in addition to its occasional use by members of the Russian Mafia. It is the most common weapon encountered throughout the game. The Assault Rifle is a 58-year-old design by 2005, and shows its age in comparison to more precision-based and modern weapons, falling short of other weapons in the game in terms of accuracy, rate-of-fire, and ammunition capacity.
The Assault Rifle is a solid weapon in any combat situation; its status as the most common firearm in the game means ammunition is never far away, and it makes up for unremarkable accuracy with its solid firepower. The Executive Operations Reference Desk file on this weapon describes the Assault Rifle as: "Good stopping power, moderate accuracy, very loud." The real-life AK/AK-M is a famously noisy weapon, owing to its powerful 7.62x39mm cartridge, and use of an Assault Rifle will easily alert enemies to the player's presence.
The Assault Rifle is the ideal weapon for players who prefer to engage their enemies from medium to short range, as the weapon itself is somewhat inaccurate over long distances. The most can be gotten out of its accuracy at range while on the move by firing in short bursts, as its full automatic fire is meant for and only effective at short range. Crouching means the Mercenary shoots slower, almost at a semi-automatic rate, and accuracy is increased accordingly.
The Assault Rifle can be found in the Chinese and North Korean Supply Drops, correctly named in the description as the Type 56 and Type 58 respectively, and is the standard firearm of the Chinese and North Korean armed forces. Though nearly all of the Assault Rifles in the game will be of either Chinese or North Korean manufacture, there is no appearance difference and the Type 56 and Type 58 both appear in the game as the same weapon. The higher rate of fire of the Type 56, for instance (650 rounds per minute versus the usual 600) doesn't appear in-game if one gets the Chinese Supply Drop containing a Type 56, nor does a captured or NK Supply Drop-bought Type 58 have the longer-than-average barrel featured on North Korea's Kalashnikov rifle.
Mercenaries 2: World in FlamesEdit
In Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, the Assault Rifle is the standard-issue weapon of the VZ and PLAV but is also less commonly used by the Pirates. In this game, the AK-47 may have been replaced with the Type 56 or the AKM, nevertheless, still an AK-47 type rifle. The Assault Rifle is also later seen as an AK-103 in the hands VZA soldiers. The only differences between them are that the AK-103 has a slightly longer barrel, is also black/grey and can store less reserve mags. Since the AK-103 and AKM have the same name, it means that they are interchangeable ammo wise.
After Solano's takeover, the Venezuelan Army fully converts to using AK-103, a modernized version of the AK rifle family, which is mostly colored black. The AK-103 may have slightly higher accuracy but it also has fewer magazines than the AK-47 (the exact amount varies depending on the character).
The Assault Rifle is the second or third most powerful automatic weapon (1st most powerful automatic weapon is the PDW and the SMG has slightly more power), the Assault Rifle can kill a VZ regular in four shots to the body but it has poor accuracy. The Assault Rifle is best used at close range and will miss very often at medium ranges. It will be slightly more accurate when the player is aiming down the sights, not moving and shooting in bursts.
The AK-47 variant can be obtained in the VZA and PLAV supply drops. Most PLAV soldiers, all pre-takeover regular VZ troops and some Pirates are armed with the AK-47 variant of the Assault Rifle. The AK-103 variant is extremely common after Solano's takeover and during the first half of the game that it is almost impossible to run out of Assault Rifle ammunition (unless the player is deliberately trying to do so).
The Assault Rifle cannot be considered a poor weapon, but its potential for high damage is fairly limited due to the lack of accuracy and slower fire rate. After the Allies and China invade, more advanced weapons will be commonly available for the player to use against the increasing number of infantry with higher health.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- The Assault Rifle is the AK-47 - the world's most popular assault rifle with close to 100 million units produced. The full name is "Avtomat Kalashnikova model of 1947"; Avtomat- a Russian word meaning "automatic rifle", Kalashnikova- Kalashnikov, the name of its designer- and 1947 being the year the design was adopted by the Soviet Union.
- [Editor's Note: much has been left out. The AK-47 had one fatal flaw; it was difficult to build in quantity because it used a machined receiver housing. Kalashnikov went back top the drawing board and borrowed a concept from the German MG-42 machingun; its stamped and welded receiver housing. The redesign became the AK-M and went into full production in 1956. Due to the greater simplicity of manufacture, THIS is the version built in over 80 countries. Instead of exporting the guns, the USSR exported blueprints and machine tools so that local production could take place. With a few exceptions, the AK-47 was NOT exported and nearly all units remain in reserve in Russia right now.]
- Within the game of "Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction", two variants of the AK appear, though they both are simply labeled Assault Rifle and show no difference between them: the Chinese Type 56, and the North Korean Type 58, both of which are local copies of the original AK-47. The Assault Rifle in the first game is identical no matter what supply drop or on-the-ground source the Mercenary gets it from.
- China never received blueprints for the upgraded AKM due to the Sino-Soviet split (they eventually made numerous changes and improvements without the USSR's help) and North Korea's copy of the AKM, the Type 68, is not identified as being in Mercenaries while the Type 58 is.
- Interestingly, the Assault Rifle makes a different sound in "Playground of Destruction" when AI characters fire it versus when the player fires it.
- The Assault Rifle is the standard infantry rifle of two out of five factions in Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, those being the People's Liberation Army (China) and the Korean People's Army (North Korea), making it by far the most widely-used and most easily-obtained firearm in the game.
- The AK-103 is the real-life basis for the modernised, all-black Assault Rifle variant in Mercenaries 2. The AK-103 is part of the greater AK-100 series (consisting of AK-101, 102, 103, 104, and 105), and shows a return of interest in the older, more powerful bullet of the AK-47; the AK-103 utilizes 7.62x39mm instead of the 5.45x39mm round of the AKS-74.
- As of 2004, of the estimated 500 million firearms in worldwide circulation, approximately 100 million belong to the Kalashnikov family of rifles- consisting of a wide range of assault rifles, light machine guns, compact rifles, and carbines. Of that 100 million, approximately 75% are AK-Ms. The Kalashnikov series of rifles, and within that, the AK-M, is the most popular weapons system ever produced; of the 196 nations on Earth in 2016, 106 have their military and/or police and special forces equipped with Kalashnikovs.