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Most older FPSes, such as Doom or Wolfenstein 3-D, allowed the player to pick up and carry all available weapons at all times. Duke Nukem 3D allowed players to carry up to eleven different weapons at once. More modern games, however, tend to go for a slightly more realistic angle, originally made popular by Halo: Combat Evolved, which limited the player to two different weapons at once, plus grenades. In order to pick up a new weapon, players had to discard one of the two they already had. This is generally regarded as a positive change for the genre; among other things, it meant that every weapon had to be useful. The handgun in games of the Doom era was a weak, inferior weapon, only to be used before any others are found or if all other ammunition has been expended. In Halo: CE, however, because the pistol took up one of the two slots, just like every other weapon, it was made quite powerful in its own right, and is favoured by players for mid-range headshots.

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