Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Here it is, after much debate on Facebook, the Cantina Crowd list of the Top Ten guns in video games! The rules (if you could call them such, since I made ’em up as I went along) were as follows;
- No melee weapons (obviously)
- No superweapons (ie. Hammer of Dawn, Orbital Ion Cannon, etc), but vehicle/ship mounted weapons DO count.
- Has to be from a game that saw general release (No alpha/beta test games that never made it onto the market!)
Had quite a few interesting suggestions, some of which I’d never even heard of and had to go away and research before I could decide if they deserve a place in this list (my eternal thanks to Brad for introducing me to the Cerebral Bore!). I’ve avoided including any real world guns in this list, since they’re all pretty tame by comparison, and saying things like “My favourite gun is the M16-4A with an ACOG sight and under-slung shotgun” makes you sound a bit of a douche. So without further ado, here’s the list, in ascending order.
10) IM-822 Handheld Ore Cutter Line Gun (Dead Space) – The Line Gun is the Plasma Cutters souped-up big brother. When upgraded this gun will comfortably fill the width of one of the games innumerable corridors, slicing off limbs and leaving twitching dismembered corpses in its wake. The power and size of this weapons blast allows it to take down multiple enemies (the mutated Necromorphs) in a single shot, even passing through enemies to continue the messy slicing with those behind. And its alternative fire is (rather bizarrely) the Line Rack Mine – a timed explosive that can reduce a pack of Necromorphs to nothing more than gristle and goo. Although its firing rate is far from dazzling, and its reload time feels like an age when there’s a pack of face-eating minsters closing on you, all is forgiven when that blazing line of death-dealing light blasts through your enemies. This is real fun with power tools!
9) Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device (Portal 1+2) – The only entry on this list that’s not explicitly an offensive weapon, the Portal Gun as it’s more commonly known is apparently a quantum tunnelling device which has the ability to create two linked portals on most flat surfaces. Regardless of the distance between them, anything that passes through one portal will emerge from the other instantaneously. Basically make one portal in your kitchen, and the other in your local pub and voila! No more cab rides/long walks to and from (although I can imagine the drunks would be an issue)! This is possibly the coolest non-lethal gun ever, it’s so brilliantly simple, and has so many ingenious and devious ways it can be used – as is seen when you play through the Portal game’s, and have to get creative. Or just angry. I favour angry.
8) Enforcer (Unreal Tournament) – Ah, the humble enforcer pistol. Your basic starting armament in all the award-winning Unreal Tournament series (except for the awful UT 2003, but the less said about that the better), the Enforcer is a solid, reliable weapon that is instant hit (you fire, it hits the target, no annoying transition time like you get with missiles and the like), and has the same range as the in-game sniper rifle, and a similar accuracy too! This means that in the hands of a skilled player the Enforcer is a compact dose of lethality. And guess what? You can pick up a second one, giving you double the killing power and awesomeness. Just don’t use the alternate fire, because it’s bloody useless.
7) BFG 9000 (Doom) – The grandfather of all super weapons, the mother of video game overkill, and a really big gun. Getting your hands on this bad boy in the original Doom was like Christmas come early. Suddenly those CyberDemons didn’t seem so scary – probably because you couldn’t see them behind the massive blast of the BFG firing. A huge angry sphere of green and white plasma that vaporised all in its path with a huge blast radius, followed by a massive spread of invisible lasers that did even more damage, and usually finished off whatever had survived the initial blast (which often wasn’t a lot). Ok, it used a lot of ammo (40 plasma rounds per shot) and if you were too close to the target it would wreak horrendous damage upon you too, but hey, what do you expect? You want to rip those demons a new one, there’s gonna be some risks. Just stand back, grin maniacally, and reduce the minions of Hell to smouldering ashes.
6) Yamato Cannon (Starcraft 1+2) – The only entry in this list that’s not from an FPS, nor carried by a human-sized character. The Yamato Cannon is mounted on a Terran Battlecruiser (both Behemoth and Minotaur classes mount them, for you SC nerds out there), and uses an intense magnetic field to focus a nuclear explosion into a cohesive particle beam. It basically takes nuke and turns it into a massive laser blast, so none of that awesome destructive power is wasted; it’s all concentrated on that one single target. Only the most powerful units in the game can take a hit from this weapon without being instantly destroyed, and when you consider that with careful husbanding of resources (or a reliable ally in multiplayer) you can build, say, twelve battlecruisers all armed with these bad boys, you can see why it makes it onto this list.
5) Cerebral Bore (Turok 2: Seeds of Evil) – This is a particularly nasty weapon which until we started taking suggestions for this list, I was completely unaware of (probably as a result of never playing any of the Turok games). Once fired, this weapons projectile whizzes off, tracking the targets brainwaves. It then latches onto their skull, drills deep into their brain – spraying bits of brain and skull out behind it – before exploding, messily decapitating the unfortunate target. That is a spectacularly unpleasant way to kill someone, and yet is a very cool weapon, the very sight of which would scare of would-be attackers in the games multiplayer.
4) Redeemer (Unreal Tournament) – The Redeemer is a man-portable Thermo-Nuclear missile launcher. Yep, that’s right, the good folks over at Epic Games (or Epic Megagames as they were called when Unreal Tournament first hit the streets) decided that standard rockets, assault rifles, and plasma powered weapons weren’t enough for their game, and that you needed more firepower. And the Redeemer certainly delivers. Although it’s technically classified as a superweapon, I’ve allowed it into the list because it’s carried by a single person – that is, the launcher, targeting system, and payload are all carried by one person like some kind of bazooka on steroids. The primary fire shots the massive missile in a straight line until it hits something or someone, whereupon it explodes with a massive blast radius that atomises every target in it – including you if you’re stupid/mad enough to be that close. The alternate fire is even better, because it allows you to actually fly the missile yourself, piloting it through doorways and corridors, and find where your prey is hiding before you detonate it, reducing them to greasy smears on the walls. Although whilst piloting the missile you’re completely defenceless, so it’s best launched from somewhere relatively safe. And far away.
3) Astartes MK Vb: Godwyn Pattern Bolt Gun (Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine) – Being a massive Warhammer 40k fan, I could rant on about the holy Bolter for hours (and have done before, much to the annoyance of all non-40k fans around me), but here I shall focus on the one used in the THQ video game Space Marine. The Bolter fires a self-propelled .75 calibre bolt, composed of a diamantine tip, depleted deuterium core and mass-reactive detonator. What this basically means is that the Bolter fires little rockets that explode once they’ve penetrated their target, blowing them up from the inside. It also has a low recoil (thanks to the self-propelled nature of its ammo) and an excellent range meaning that it’s effective at pretty much any range, be it a mad charge into the enemies midst, or picking off targets at long range. Plus it’s the first in-game representation of a twenty-five year old weapon that actually got it right!
2) Needler (Halo 1/2/3/Reach) – There are few things more terrifying than rounding a corner in Halo multiplayer and coming face to face with an enemy wielding a Needler (or two Needlers in Halo 2). In a matter of seconds, this esoteric Covenant weapon can fill your brave Spartan with somewhere between nineteen and thirty (depending on which game you’re playing) glittering shards of pink death. And as if that wasn’t enough, moments after they’ve embedded themselves, the shards explode. And don’t try running away, even with that ever-reliable zig-zagging pattern, because the needles will track you like a cloud of angry pink Bees. So in summary; a rapid-fire weapon that shoots homing, exploding crystalline needles. Nice. Or nasty, depending on who’s being shot with it…
So here we are, the top slot in the list! But what clenched this most auspicious of awards? Well, before we get there, I’d just like to take a moment to say there were quite a few names I expected to see in the suggestions that were conspicuous by their absence – weapons such as Unreal Tournament’s Flak Cannon, and the Ghostbuster’s Proton Pack – but I suppose it comes down to who saw the question, and had the time/inclination to actually answer! Anyway, here you go, the number one slot…
1) Mk2 Lancer Assault Rifle (Gears of War 1/2/3) – A low recoil, medium range assault rifle with a firing rate of 800 rounds per minute, and an integrated carbide-tipped chainsaw bayonet. It’s a big gun with plenty of dakka and bloody chainsaw on the end! So what you can’t shoot to bits at range, you can dismember in a loud and messy fashion when it gets close. The chainsaw bayonet is so good that often in multiplayer, all it takes is a rev of its distinctive engine noise to scare away enemies closing in on you. However, thanks to its low recoil, the Lancer can be used to keep enemies at bay if fountains of gore aren’t your thing. Although it’s best range is short-medium, it’s still reasonably effective at long range, allowing decent players to dominate any battlefield with their standard issue weapon. Plus, did I mention the chainsaw?
So there you have it. Filled with rage/despair that your favourite didn’t make it in? Or maybe you want to congratulate me on a damn good call? Whatever, feel free to shout/applaud me in the comments. Or if you really want to see a completely different view on this list, check out Mr. Fish’s list on his blog Fishy’s View!