Top Ten: Videogame WeaponsPlatforms: All
We love videogames as an expression of creative talent, nothing is more god-like than creating worlds to explore and new characters to interact with. What we also love in videogames is our ability to destroy or influence that world and its characters, and if we can do that with a kick ass weapon then the experience amplifies. From the bottom of Mario's boots to the nuclear winter inducing 'Fat Boy' from Fallout 3, we have had a long and interesting history of ways to kill things. In light of this expression of creation and destruction, I give you my top ten favourite weapons.
10: Plasma Grenade - Halo Series
"Get it off! Get it off! Get it- [BOOM]”
Some people are cool; they can carry that air of confidence and walk like a cool person. Now isn’t it funny that, especially in the summer, if you put a wasp into the equation with a cool person the resulting panic dance they do to escape the wasp relegates them once again to mere mortal status. There are many great weapons in the Halo series but for me the plasma grenade is the gaming equivalent of a wasp on the shoulder....not that I have ever known a wasp to explode of course. The panic, the desperation, the jumping and the crippling inevitability of what is about to happen to you make this an absolutely genius weapon.
Check out this bit of magic.
9: Defibrillator - Battlefield 2
Gaming, and especially gaming online, often boils down to bragging rights about who killed who in the most embarrassing way. I contest that there is probably no worse way to be killed (or at least no more embarrassing way) than lying on a hill sniping away to your hearts content only to hear “Clear!” and then a buzzing electrical charge. What I love about the defibrillator is that it was originally a bug in the coding of Battlefield 2 and was never intended for killing but it was decided to leave it in, this decision alone has provided me with hours of both entertainment and embarrassment.
Here are a few examples of a really bad doctor, where's that Hippocratic oath went to!?
8:Rail Gun - Quake 2
Overpowered guns can ruin a game and with the Rail Gun this could have so easily been the case. Luckily for us those clever folk at iD Software successfully balanced the weapon by giving it a long reload time and also making sure you had to be on the money with your aim. There was a lovely rhythm that came with mastering the Rail Gun and as a one hit kill weapon (more or less) it was essential that it required skill to use otherwise life would’ve been far too easy.
7: BFG 9000 - Doom
It had to be here, you knew it, I knew it and your next door neighbour probably knew it. A top ten videogame’s weapon list would’ve looked wrong without it. There’s not too much I can say here that hasn’t been said already and said many, many times. The BFG 9000 gave us a real ‘wow’ moment in Doom through giving us the satisfaction of lliquidising enemies with ease. BFG indeed.
6: Remote Control Batarang - Batman: Arkham Asylum
“Come on boys! He's just one man! One man dressed like a lunatic and armed to the teeth.”
Batman: Arkham Asylum for me was a joyous surprise when it was released, sneaking under the radar like the caped crusader himself. Other than the great story, the visceral combat and the beautiful visuals we were treated to a plethora of great gadgets and weapons. My pick of the bunch, and by far the coolest, was the remote controlled Batarang. Having trouble with a sniper? Throw your Batarang, fly it into him and while he is dazed quickly move in and put him down. Need to distract some guards? Fly it between metal detectors to lure the guards away. I am not a fan of achievements but I did chuckle when I flew the Batarang back into myself (I mean who wouldn’t want to hit themselves in the face with a flying weapon?!) and saw that I had unlocked the ‘Catch’ achievement.
5: Portal Gun – Portal
“Cake, and grief counselling, will be available at the conclusion of the test.”
A game built around a gun. That’s essentially what Portal is but by Zeus it’s a fantastic thing to have a game built around. Out of the top ten this is probably the least ‘weapony’ weapon, the most aggressive act you will ever commit is dropping some turrets from a great height. As a facet of cerebral weaponry it has no equal, and if we are all being honest with one another I think I can safely admit that we all want one for Christmas...along with cake, obviously.
And if we did get a real life Portal gun it might look something like this fantastic fan film.
4: The Creeping Dark – The Darkness
“There's always a little light in the darkness.”
As far as I am concerned The Darkness is an underrated classic, a great plot with some of the best voice acting in a videogame all wrapped up in a gritty New York setting. As Jackie Estacado you are, through a curse, given some particularly nasty supernatural powers to use as you go on a mission of vengeance. Out of all these powers I truly loved the Creeping Dark, these are snake like creatures that you could send out into the night to dispatch your would be foes. As a weapon the Creeping Dark is elegant and deadly and pervades an overwhelming feeling of menace. Here is hoping that we see a strong return for this power in Digital Extremes follow up early next year.
3: Hidden Blades - Assassin’s Creed
“Requiescat in pace"
I have been trying to think of a way of writing about the hidden blades for a while now, and what is holding me back is trying to make sure I don't insinuate that knives are cool. They aren’t, they can be very dangerous things in the real world. However in Assassins Creed they act as the perfect stealth weapon, easily concealed, lightning fast and deadly. The Assassins Creed series has always had a real elegance in its movement and also within the combat, the hidden blades are a fine example of that design. Want to assassinate in style? Look no further.
2: Blue Spiny Shell - Mario Kart
The great thing about the blue shell is that it’s very much a love hate relationship. We all have had the sweet taste of victory robbed from us at some point by this menace and what makes it worse is that you know its coming and that there is nothing you can do. On the flipside however we have all also felt the smug satisfaction of gleefully pressing the fire button as we trail at the back of the pack, all the while waiting to hear one of our friends shout in frustration “Alright, who did that?!”. Joyous and frustrating, the perfect balance.
It does appear that the blue shell is not always 100% effective.
1: Engineer Sentry - Team Fortress 2
“A spy is sappin’ my sentry!”
I may make myself sound crazy here, or at least crazier than normal, but its very rare in a videogame that you actually care about your weapons. Having a sentry in Team Fortress 2 is a lot like having a child, you raise it as a level one sentry and through care and nurturing you see it through its adolescent level two stage and finally watch it grow into a proper adult level three sentry. And much like a child you try to protect it from the world, constantly keeping an eye on it and making sure it’s fit and healthy. That’s pretty much where that analogy stops as I can’t think how to tie together the fact that an upgraded sentry, well looked after, can decimate the best Team Fortress players. It’s a beautiful and absolutely devastating thing.