Guerrilla Armory: VSA LS36 Shotgun

The Guerrilla Armory is back with an exclusive look at the VSA LS36 Breacher, another powerful weapon from the extensive lineup from Killzone Shadow Fall. We sat down with art director and firearms designer Roy Postma to talk about the design and inner workings of this VSA counterpart of the Higs VC30 Shotgun.

How does the LS36 shotgun stack up against its Helghast counterpart, the VC-30?

It’s a fully automatic shotgun opposed to the classic pump action. And actually, it's a type of weapon I have wanted to do for a long time. The huge firepower and the extremely satisfying feeling it gives, by just firing it in game, makes it an instant favorite. That said both weapons still match up nicely. The fully automatic firing of the LS36 comes with a cost, it requires reduced shell sizes to improve the cycling and reduce the massive recoil lowering the individual damage per shot. Also, it's more limited when it comes to using different ammo types compared to the VC30. But still, firing this beast is truly a blast!


Were there any real-life shotguns that served as visual inspiration for the LS36?

Well, I started by looking at the Auto Assault 12 for its simple, yet powerful looks. But from there I haven't really used a 'real' counterpart for reference, as most of these types of weapons tend to be a combination between an assault rifle and a shotgun. In essence, they look like an assault rifle with a bigger barrel and this was pretty much the exact opposite of what I wanted to achieve. I really wanted to give players that distinct feeling of having a shotgun in their hands. So then you start thinking about how you'll give the weapon a truly unique feel, especially from a first person perspective. How do you make it stand out from the other guns, especially assault rifles?


So I started with the look and feel of a shotgun and worked towards a more assault-type rifle from there. This led to a more modern coat and the full auto assault rifle twist. We kept the stacked barrel, but gave it a different function by letting it house an oversized gas system to cycle the weapon. We retained the typical shotgun front-grip as a cocking mechanism to keep operation and animation in sync with what you'd expect from a shotgun. To add contrast, we covered the back mechanics with a clean and functional VSA style housing and outfitted it with a bullpup setup for the drum magazine.


Ammo drums are quite unusual for a VSA weapon – especially since the Helghast shotgun doesn’t have one. Why the change?

Well, the reason for this is actually quite functional. With this weapon being an automatic shotgun, we needed a bigger ammo drum. Simply put: I just could not realistically fit the amount of rounds required in the classic tube or your typical VSA style box magazine, while at the same time keeping the gun manageable. Besides, I liked the aesthetics as a little tribute to the AA12.


Does the Breacher come with any attachments?

Nope. For shotguns, we actually don't really have any attachments besides the sights. But with so much gun in your hands, you shouldn't really miss it...


Thanks, Roy! The Guerrilla Armory will be back with another new weapon from Killzone Shadow Fall soon. In the meantime, check out the high-res screenshots in the gallery below.

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