10: HE .44 Magnum (Resistance 2)
Resistance 2 has some interesting weapons. Whilst at first glance they appear similar to what you’d find in any other sci-fi shooter (riffle, machine gun, pistol), it’s the secondary functions that offer a more exciting way to dispatch enemies.
The best example of this has to be the HE .44 Magnum. Whilst appearing like your everyday sidearm, the clue to its unique properties can be found in its name, specifically the High Explosive part.
Fire a single bullet into a Chimera foe and it might make them pause for a second. Flick the secondary function switch and BOOM. Guaranteed to turn your nasty alien friend to red mist and put a satisfactory smile on your face.
The gun has often been described as overpowered compared to the other weaponry on offer, and I’ll have to agree. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing so long as you avoid being on its receiving end.
9: BFG 9000 (Doom)
The abbreviation of BFG has been called many different names in the Doom universe. Big Fragging Gun, Bio Force Gun – but we all know what it really stands for and it sums it up elegantly.
Point this beast towards the battle field and you have yourself a game changer. Why is it a game changer? Well it makes anything in its immediate vicinity die, quickly. It’s a plasma weapon that relies on energy cells, and is often regarded as one of the earliest examples of a ‘super weapon’.
Perhaps a predictable entry to my list, but one that sticks in your mind as being a stand-out experience in early FPS gaming. The BFG 9000 no doubt paved the way for some of the beauties you find in the later console generations and is a ‘classic’ by today’s standards.
8: FarSight XR-20 (Perfect Dark)
Saying the FarSight was a nightmare to use is an understatement. Its main function relied on tracking players through the wall, whilst scoped. As you can imagine this involved a frantic amount of controller manipulation (bearing in mind this was the N64 controller which did not make life easy) in order to get that killer shot. In addition to this, whilst scoped you were left completely vulnerable to enemies approaching meaning that timing of use was key.
So the FarSight was flawed, but this almost certainly was to ensure the gun was balanced. It seemed like a glimpse into the future of gaming
Shooting through walls was a cool idea, and felt like nothing else available at the time. The risk/reward factor of being difficult to use coupled with the one-hit kill divided gamers but if you spent the time getting used to its X-ray sight then not only would you look badass, but feel it too.
The gun also looked unconventionally cool with its organic body and distinct alien look. Rare certainly used a lot of imagination when designing the FarSight and it still remains as one of the most unique weapon designs I have seen.
7: RYNO V (Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time)
Assembly of the RYNO V is an on-going saga in A Crack in Time thanks to the need to find ten Holo Plans across the Omniverse. In fact, most players will complete the game without even meeting the gun.
For those who persevere in finding its plans are rewarded with a behemoth of a weapon. The gun, straight from the Rip Ya a New One line of weapons, is almost the size of Ratchet and fires an absolute mess of ballistics including minigun rounds and varying size rockets.
When this baby is in full flow munching through its humongous ammo capacity it is hard to even see what it’s firing or if you are hitting what’s in front of you. The only clue: the alarming rate your enemy’s health bar is depleting.
The pièce de résistance of the RYNO V comes in the form of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, which can be heard when the gun gets into full-swing. Divine.
6: M6D Magnum Pistol (Halo: Combat Evolved)
The Combat Evolved magnum doesn’t rely on any special secondary functions or otherworldly gimmicks, what you see is what you get – a really high-powered pistol that is perfect for popping Grunts heads.
Despite clearly being intended as a secondary weapon to the game’s main assault rifle, the stopping power and accuracy made it the choice for most players and the go-to weapon for those pursuing Halo’s Legendary difficulty.
This gun is serious business, it packs a punch and even supports a mid-range scope (what pistol has a scope!?) for dispatching those long-range headshots. Mix this gun with the Plasma Pistol and you have yourself a two-shot kill combo to use on the Covenant.
Fans of the Halo universe have clamoured for the magnum’s return since Halo 2, and to date have not had their wishes come true. This however is about to change with the release of Halo: Anniversary, a full-fledged next-gen remake of the original (and arguably best) Halo.
5: The Magnet Gun (Red Faction: Armageddon)
Red Faction: Armageddon felt like a step backwards for the franchise with its linear level structure and almost completely subterranean setting, which is even more of a shame since the franchise has now been disbanded by THQ due to poor sales. Despite this, what Red Faction does best is give you the tools to create maximum carnage thanks to its comprehensive destruction physics and interesting weaponry.
The Magnet Gun isn’t a gun in the traditional sense, if you shot someone with its magnetic rounds it will do next to nothing.
Fire your round on a building however and you’ll get to see what it’s all about as the structure is torn from its foundations and slammed into your unsuspected victim you then tag with a second round. It is death as an art-form, the Jackson Pollock of weapons as you crush enemies under tons of concrete.
The gun works both ways as you can also tag an enemy then a surface, sending them flying across the room and into the many stalagmites and lava pools. Sure you have to use a bit of creativity to take down your foes, but who doesn’t enjoy splicing pipes, concrete walls and even buildings with alien flesh?
4: Cerebral Bore (Turok 2: Seeds of Evil)
The Cerebral Bore, it does exactly what its name implies. The nasty piece of alien technology fires a small drill-piece complete with hooks to latch on to an enemy’s head. Once it has found home on some poor unsuspecting dinosaur’s skull it drills down, deep into the brain, and forces all manner of brain matter through its small intrusion. As if having your brain turned to rice pudding wasn’t enough, it also detonates, blowing apart whatever remained of your enemies head.
Firing the gun involved a small pause as it locked-on, but once it fired you knew there was no escaping. I remember playing this on the N64 with a number of cheats/glitches that meant you could continuously pump multiple bores into a single enemy’s head. Nice.
If you want to take a piece of your enemy’s mind with you and have always wondered “What would it be like to preform brain surgery with the high-tech equivalent of a corkscrew?” then look no further. Guaranteed to make the enemies wish they wore a helmet.
3: Zero-Point Energy Field Manipulator or Gravity Gun (Half-Life 2)
I toyed with the idea of including Half-Life’s Crowbar in the list since it is without doubt the iconic weapon for Gordan Freeman, but in the end I had to go with the Gravity Gun.
The Gravity Gun, much like Red Faction’s Magnet Gun, is more of a tool for killing than a weapon itself. The primary trigger launches a small burst of energy knocking objects and clearing paths, but it’s the secondary function that players will use most. Squeezing this trigger will manipulate the gravity around an object and suspend it in the air in-front of you.
Pull the trigger again and it will be launched towards anything careless enough to get in its way. If the Gravity Gun was included in most other games it wouldn’t have worked, but in the world crafted by Valve thanks to the real-world physics you can manipulate objects much in the way that you’d expect the Gravity Gun to work in real life.
Thanks to a number of key environmental hazards you can fire a broad range of objects at enemies from toilets and fence panels, to exploding barrels and circular saw blades. You feel like a kid when wielding this marvel of science, and when you reach a certain part of the Half-Life 2 campaign it even gets supercharged allowing enemies to literally be plucked off their feet and flung like rag dolls. It really is a testament to the fantastic physics engine Half-Life 2 possesses but make sure you remember as you’re crushing enemies beneath cars; it’s not a toy…
2: Fat Man (Fallout 3)
The Fat Man is a crude and unashamedly destructive weapon. In fact you’ll be lucky to fire it without crippling half your own limbs, or worse. But the scale of the Fallout 3 world makes the Fat Man just about possible.
For those of you unfamiliar with the mechanics of the Fat Man it basically lobs a small nuclear bomb a worryingly short distance in front of you and brings a world of pain to any nearby enemies. The gun is effectively a mortar and can be used with a surprisingly decent amount of precision.
It takes its title from the codename for the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan during World War II. Whilst most armoured foes can withstand a direct blast from the Fat Man, it will almost certainly cripple them preventing an effective counter-attack being launched.
If you like your weapons to come with a blatant disregard for safety and the environment, then look no further. In a world which has been ravaged by nuclear war and left baron by the resulting radiation, what are a couple more tactical nukes?
1: Lancer (Gears of War)
So the best video game weapon in my eyes has to go to Gears of War’s Lancer. The gun defines the franchise, an oversized assault rifle with the subtlety of a brick to the face thanks to the chainsaw attachment on its underbelly. It sits wonderfully next to the steroid filled soldiers of the COG army and is an instantly recognisable badge for the franchise.
Whilst the chainsaw is bound to catch most prospective buyer’s eyes, the assault rifle component should not be discounted. It’s hearty, reliable and packs a mean punch. Pump enough rounds into a Locust soldier and parts of his body will start to disappear. It also works wonderfully with the game’s cover mechanic, providing a heavy amount of suppressive fire whilst your team mates attempt to flank the enemy.
But let’s not kid around, you may come for the rifle but you’ll stay for the chainsaw. In a game based around camping behind cover, the chainsaw is the perfect insult to someone who has not been watching their back. Fire it up near an enemy and watch as you split them into two neat halves behind the blood splatters covering your screen. It’s the ultimate bragging rights and features predominantly in versus matches online. One of the most satisfying experiences you can have is shredding some poor victim online, knowing they cannot do anything other than watch as you turn them to minced meat whilst cheering down the microphone.