First person shooter games are usually the most popular and highly rated games around. They are certainly some of the more higher profile titles around. But they’ve brought around some of the more biggest technological advances in game engines because of it.
Something else they’ve brought over the years is a plethora of interesting and iconic weaponry.
Guns, guns and more guns? Well, actually no!
Some of the weapons are more intricate and interesting than just something to blast enemies about with. So I thought it would be fun to list my top 9 of these and why they’ve stuck in my head for so long.
So, coming in at number 9…
#9 – The BFG9000 (Doom)
From the first moments I played Doom I wanted a PC. At the time I only had a spectrum so it was kind of a big leap! I was completely taken with the main weapon and, as I was only just in college, found the acronym hilarious.
But lets face it, this weapon doesn’t just destroy things. It’s pure overkill and that’s why we all love it.
#8 – GEP gun (Deus Ex)
Representing the brute force methodology that was not intended for this game, we have the GEP missile launcher from Deus Ex. There were plenty of moments in the game where you came across a troublesome robot that couldn’t be knocked out by the riot rod, tranquillised, or even sniped at a distance. They did nothing! However in these situations the GEP gun was your friend.
Most of the other weapons and tools were sneaky-sneaky, but if you just wanted to blast your way through you needed one of these.
#7 – The Gravity Gun (HalfLife 2)
Physics in games has been with us for quite a while now and it’s nothing spectacularly new. However when this gun was introduced it was not quite so widespread.
It didn’t redefine physics in games, but it did take the whole idea to a new level. Rather than just picking things up and stacking boxes, you can defend and attack using radiators and fridges and televisions and whatever else you’d want! However I did want more power! Give me the power to lift cars and throw them at buildings! Ahem- enough of that.
#6 – The Shotgun (Doom)
Shotty has been our faithful companion in almost any first person shooter game (yes the unreal flak launcher is a shotgun thanks). It has appeared in many guises and forms but it’s always a single powerful shot, with an aim that’s always terrible except at short range.
Although generic it’s also versatile and for many, the constant weapon of choice.
#5 – The Rocket Launcher (Quake)
The quake series gave us many things. Without the Quake 2 engine there may not have been Half-Life for instance. However the gift that Quake truly gave to us was the ability to Rocket Jump.
This was not the first time the Rocket launcher graced our screens, existing in Doom and Duke3D as well as many other games. After all, how could it not? However it was Quake that refined it, polished it and prepared it for our future.
If you’re not familiar with rocket jumping I highly suggest playing through the trials of the recent Quake-Live browser game where rocket jumping is essential to make any progress!
#4 – The Lightsabre (Jedi Knight series)
My friends and I had all played through the, admittedly very good, Dark Forces game. Within which you got all the famous weaponry of the Star Wars saga such as the imperial blaster rifle, the Tuscan cross bow, etc…However there was one huge omission.
We all wanted to go running around with lightsabres, chopping off the arms of imperial soldiers and generally force-choking the world. However we didn’t get our chance until the sequel was released. And how fantastic it was! Not perfect by today’s standard but it really was quite excellent for the time. It was probably the main reason to buy a new PC at the time and I was glad of it! If you’ve not yet swung a lightsabre around in some kind of cyber-arena I highly recommend any of the recent fps Star Wars games!
#3 – Disc Launcher (Tribes)
When Tribes came out I was still on a dialup connection and was therefore racking up huge phone bills while I rocket-packed around the tribes world. The disc launcher is really the iconic weapon of this series and was the bread and butter weapon of any tribes veteran. In some ways it’s a rocket launcher with style.
Soon (or probably now by the time you read this) Instant action will be releasing the original Tribes (not the 2nd one sadly) and we will all be able to bask in it’s glory once again! Shazbot!
#2 – Portal Gun (Portal)
Again I am cheating! Yes this is obviously not a weapon, but more a tool from the fantastic fps-puzzle adventure, Portal.
Firstly, if you’ve not played this then do the following. Stop reading, get steam (if not got already), buy Portal, play it. Honestly there is no reason in the world you have for not playing this. It’s not the best FPS in the world but it is the best alternative fps made to date.
So why is the portal gun so good? How can you even ask! I can’t even bring myself to give a crass description of its functionality here. if you don’t know, follow the above instructions. For those of you who do know, well…you understand.
#1 – Crowbar (Half Life Series)
Crowbar, I choose you!
OK so I’m a Half-Life fan-boy. I won’t deny it nor apologise. This is the iconic weapon of the series and has been retained throughout the series despite the gravity gun’s appearance. Again I picked this because of what it represents rather than it’s effectiveness in game.
If you see a silhouette of someone holding a crowbar…well it could be someone about to break into your house, but it’s more likely to be Gordon Freeman. This weapon goes with the character and for me represents the greatest game series ever made.