It's no secret that most video games focus on racking up body counts and using violence to solve your problems. Almost every protagonist is capable of using a gun, sword, strategically-positioned red barrels, and, well, just about anything to get the job done. This TA Top Five, however, celebrates those weapons which let you destroy your enemies with a sense of style that epitomizes both the gameplay and the character wielding the weapon.
Number 5 - The Lancer - Gears of War Achievements
The Lancer is one of the few weapons of this generation that was instantly iconic. A military-grade machine gun with a chainsaw attached to it is, without a doubt, a striking image. What comes next is even more striking: evisceration. Buckets of blood spilling out of a Locust coupled with the screams of terror from the unwilling victim of the whirring steel blade came together to create a graphic image that screamed "next-generation."
The Lancer also serves as the perfect representation of everything the Gears of War franchise represents from a gameplay perspective. A weapon capable of short-to-medium range fire with decent stopping power that excels when used in short bursts from behind covers but also capable of instantly destroying an enemy that gets too close? That sounds like a perfect instrument of destruction for the cover-based style of combat pioneered in Gears of War.
In the interest of full disclosure, the Lancer was originally Number One in the first draft of this list. It dropped to the bottom of the list when it was pointed out another way that the Lancer also epitomizes the gameplay of Gears of War. Chainsawing a Locust leaves an incredible first impression, but by the 500th time you perform the exact same action, the novelty has worn off.
Number 4 - Nevan - Devil May Cry HD Collection Achievements, /Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds Achievements
Honestly, pick one of Dante's weapons. Any of them. Nevan is, to this writer, the epitome of over-the-top flash out of all of Dante's arsenal. Acquired in Devil May Cry 3 after defeating a Succubus in an Opera House, Nevan is an electric guitar that spits out purple orbs of electricity. Dante uses the weapon by playing a Pete Townshend-level power chord and, sometimes, just by beating a demon over the head with the guitar itself.
The Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds Achievements version of Dante also uses Nevan as a weapon. Fitting the crazy fighting system of a Capcom Vs. title, Dante's fighting-game self strums a power chord and creates a vertical torrent of purple energy. The result is a multi-hitting anti-air move that is incredibly effective, quick, and perfect for keeping a combo going until it's time to go for the finish with Ebony and Ivory. Nevan may not be the most effective weapon in Dante's arsenal, but it distinguishes itself by being just as over the top and flashy as Dante himself.
Number 3 - Rail Driver - Red Faction: Guerrilla Achievements
Red Faction: Guerrilla is a sandbox title based around destroying the environment. Buildings, bridges, walls, and smokestacks are all designed to be destroyed in both the single-player and the multi-player. Most of the weapons focus on either blowing things up real good or dropping enemies. The Rail Driver is a long-range sniper rifle used exclusively for the dropping of one's enemies, but unlike the other firearms, it's equipped with an X-ray scope. This scope makes all the difference, as not only can you see your target through anything other than solid bedrock, but your laser projectile shoots through everything, no matter how thick the wall.
In a game based around destruction of the environment, it's a weapon that ignores the environment, which gets across just how important it is to take cover.
Number 2 - Bionic Arm - Bionic Commando: Rearmed Achievements, Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Is it a mode of transportation? Is it a weapon? The bionic arm from Bionic Commando is both, and in every game in which it appears, it's the best part. From swinging across chasms, to deflecting bullets, pulling down trains, and even charging through Ryu's Hadoken, the bionic arm is incredibly versatile. In the original game it may not directly harm enemies, but as the franchise evolved, it became an integral part of the player's arsenal.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the first appearance of Spencer in a fighting game, gave the world a unique fighting style based around the bionic arm. Spencer can grapple foes from across the screen, using moves from his own game. The highlight of course, is his ultimate, which whenever it is used on stage during a tournament causes the collected crowd to shout "Bionic.......ARM!"
Number 1 - Plasma Cutter -Dead Space Achievements
The plasma cutter is not a weapon; it's an engineering tool first and an emergency necromorph dismemberment device as a distant second. Perhaps that's why the plasma cutter is very satisfying to use, and going through Dead Space using only this tool is how the game was designed in the first place. The lack of a traditional weapon from the start of the game is what makes the opening sequences of Dead Space terrifying. Making do with a sub-standard weapon, the player has to learn proper control of the plasma cutter if he or she wants to survive.
That is the one of the greatest fusions of gameplay design, satisfying combat and a weapon that is unique enough to stand out from amongst the thousands players have used over the years. As Isaac Clarke gets more comfortable hunting down necromorphs, the player gets used to handling the plasma cutter.
The One Gun achievement in Dead Space worth 76 pointsBeat the game using only the Plasma Cutter One Gun is not a punishing achievement in that it restricts players and cuts off parts of the game from them; instead, it's a suggestion from the developers on how to truly enjoy Dead Space. The plasma cutter is one-of-a-kind and, in this Newshound's opinion, the greatest weapon of the Xbox 360 generation.
Honorable mentions go to Half-Life 2's Gravity Gun, which would have been number 6, and from Halo, the plasma grenade. Both of these weapons pulled off unique physics and helped create thousands of YouTube montages.
What are your Top Five weapons? There are so many to choose from that it's unlikely any two TA Community Members will have the same list!
The TA Team will be bringing you The TA Top Five every Sunday until we run out of coolness to debate and discuss. If you have an idea for a Top Five you'd like us to do, be sure to let us know in the comments!