Readers discuss the most enjoyable weapons to use in games, from a simple bow and arrow to the iconic cerebral bore from Turok.
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Malam and covered everything from a gun in a first person shooter to a favoured sword in a role-playing game.
Plenty of classics were mentioned, from the likes of Destiny, GoldenEye 007, and Half-Life 2, but the overall favourite seemed to be a simple shotgun, especially the one from Doom.
Worth the effort
It’s got to be the Handcannon from Resident Evil 4 for me. It’s a ridiculously overpowered Magnum that makes Leon totally unstoppable, so it’s fun to just blast through the game as a massively destructive force!
What makes it really special for me is you can only unlock it by getting a five star rating on each of the four Mercenaries maps with all five playable characters. It was a huge challenge for me so when I finally managed it, it felt so rewarding.
Low tech favourite
It is a truth universally acknowledged that bow and arrows are generally the best weapons in games, and on all the occasions I’ve started Skyrim anew with the intention to be a radically different character to my last I always gravitate to skulking around caves slinging arrows into people’s heads.
That said, over the years there’s been some truly iconic and unique weapons and I couldn’t let this Hot Topic go by without the following being mentioned:
- R-Type’s Force
- Oddworld Stranger’s Wrath – all of them are quirky and fun
- Half Life 2’s gravity gun
- Portal’s portal gun
- Perfect Dark’s laptop gun (and the Farsight that shoots through walls)
- Bubble Bobble’s bubbles
- God Of War’s axe
- Returnal – all of them but my personal fave is the Electopylon Driver.
Best weapon’s got to be the super shotgun from Doom 2 hasn’t it? The sound it makes alone – blam! Like god slamming his car door. With the reload animation, which was sadly absent from Doom 64, and sound it’s just incredible. This gun and the pinky demon go together like a horse and carriage. I don’t know how many thousands of times I’ve waited for one to waddle up real close and then blasted it in one shot. It’s always the same oinking sound and gory death animation over and over, but it’s still satisfying to this day.
As far as strange weapons go, Nevan from Devil May Cry 3 springs to mind. It’s an electric guitar that shoots out bats – that old chestnut! – which is really unwieldy to use, although I’m sure an expert player (i.e. not me) can use it to great effect.
My most hated weapon is the flamethrower from the original Contra on the NES. It’s clearly a troll weapon that is useless even compared to your starting pistol, and my heart sinks any time I collect it by accident. The good news is that Konami improved it massively in subsequent games. I also feel duty bound to mention the Klobb from GoldenEye 007 on the N64, which is so weak I get the feeling that the enemies eventually fall over and die out of pity.
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There are lot of great guns in Destiny, which is no surprise as it has, for my money, the best gunplay of any modern gun. Lots of people will have their favourites, and I don’t play it much nowadays, so I’m probably out of touch a bit, but my favourite is still the Gjallarhorn.
For those that don’t know it’s a golden rocket launcher whose rocket splits into multiple little rockets when you fire it. It is so satisfying I can’t tell you, especially against Destiny’s bullet sponge enemies.
Of course Bungie nerfed it eventually, which ruined all the fun, and now I’m not even sure whether it’s been vaulted or not but at the time it was the gun everyone wanted and I have very fond memories of being the only one on my team who had it.
My favourite weapon in a game is the cerebral bore from Turok: Rage Wars on the N64. I got the game free from Special Reserve and if people are not aware of Rage Wars it is an offline multiplayer Turok game with, I think, teams and individuals/bots fighting it out with different weapons in arenas. It’s a long time since I have played it (20 years).
My brother and I always used to look out for the cerebral bore weapon as once you locked on to the enemy and fired it, it would home in on the person and bore(!) into their skull. It always made a horrible noise when it happened! Although when we did use it we laughed each time because it was so ridiculously overpowered!
My least favourite weapon is the spiny shell which first appeared in Mario Kart 64 on the N64, like the cerebral bore I think it is overpowered. I think this weapon would be the worst weapon for a lot of people.
I like all the varying weapons in all of the Gears of War games, there are some I don’t like but most I love the noise they make and the damage they do in game. The Gnasher (basically a shotgun) is very enjoyable to use but very overpowered in online multiplayer. I like the active reload mini-game on Gears with all the weapons, I thought that was and is a very clever game mechanic.
One final weapon that I like is the rocket launcher in Red Faction 1 on the PlayStation 2. I liked it so much because my brother and I use to go into the deathmatch levels and create tunnels into the walls and the floor with it to see how far we could go, as Red Faction 1, like the other games, had
I did almost complete the single-player campaign on the first game but got stuck at the end and we did play the deathmatches properly, but we also spent a lot of time just digging tunnels with the rocket launchers!
GC: The cerebral bore was in Turok 2 first.
It’s kind of ironic given that Fallout’s gunplay is pretty terrible but probably my favourite weapon in a game is the mini-nuke. A lot of time with video game guns they’re all hype and no show but this did exactly what it says on the tin.
It’s not completely broken because ammo is in very short supply but if you’re in trouble, just whip out the old nuke catapult and boom! Instant mushroom cloud. Very satisfying.
I have particular favourites when it comes to first and third person shooters and their combat. The two I use most of all are the shotgun and the sniper rifle.
I found that the guns used in the Resident Evil 4 and 5 games were so much fun, especially the levelling and upgrading of your favourites. It especially makes it more rewarding when you see the blasting effects and damage caused when taking out the various enemies from varied ranges!
Mass Effect and Far Cry was also a lot of fun when upgrading these two weapon types. Anything more nuanced, like pistols and automatic machineguns or rifles, are not overpowered enough for me. Switching between shotgun and sniper rifle is how my personal tactics in most games work. I have always loved the headshots of the upgraded sniper weapons from afar, whether it’s sci-fi or modern day simulators.
The automatic shotgun in Resident Evil 4 was definitely a firm favourite and the Black Widow Sniper in Mass Effect Andromeda was also a winner.
One final gun I always found very satisfying to use is the Magnum gun. GoldenEye 007 and the early Resident Evil games were the ones to try this weapon type out and say goodbye to heads. Always looking forward to more of the same type of fun whilst utilising the same tactics for future games.
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