Hello and welcome brothers and sisters to the first in a new series of feature articles, PixelEight. PixelEight is pretty straight forward, it’s a list or countdown of things in gaming. I said it was straight forward!
In celebration of me finally getting around to finishing DOOM, I started to think about all the powerful, epic, or just plain crazy guns that I’ve had the pleasure of dispatching all who stood before me with. I’ve been gaming for around 25 years now, on PC and a plethora of consoles, but I still remember the feeling the first time I ever picked up the Minigun in Wolfenstein 3D.
This list isn’t going to be a list of the best or the most powerful guns in gaming, but the ones that stood out to me as being bloody awesome! We all have our favourite weapons, our go to boomsticks, so if your first choice doesn’t appear, there’s just so many excellent weapons to choose from, and only eight slots to fil, some are going to be left out. This is after all my list, but feel free to write yours in the comments below.
Just for the sake of me not overdoing it and making this a list of weapons from DOOM, I’m going to limit myself to ONE weapon per franchise. Also, I’m only going to be including things which are STRICTLY guns, so Mega Man’s Mega Buster won’t be on here, neither will Delsin Rowe’s neon bolts from Infamous Second Son. The reason I’m saying this is because I need to remind myself that the Swarm plasmid from Bioshock IS NOT A GUN!
It is however, totally badass!
So without further ado, welcome to Eight Awesome Video Game Guns!
Take a look at this site, and I think you can tell that I like pixels. I’m rather fond of sprites. So despite never playing Ratchet and Clank, just the very idea of this gun is awesome to me.
The Pixelizer from Ratchet and Clank has a short to medium effective range, and a shotgun spread. It fires a green pixelated energy pulse at your enemies. It doesn’t have the highest damage output but when the pulse hits enemies they are turned into sprites. The weapons description states:
“This close-range arm cannon fires a burst of energy that blasts enemies back in time. A time when resolution was a lot lower”
While it doesn’t have the best damage output, transforming the enemies into pixelated versions of themselves, does have some knockback and disorientates enemies for a short time, allowing you to get up close and personal for maximum damage. What’s more it even works on bosses!
When the gun reaches level 5, it’ll become the Pixelizer HD, raising it’s capabilities across the board, and giving it a cool new charge feature giving it and even larger energy blast.
“Charge up this new-and-improved Pixeliser to release the giant “Megablast 64.””
Next up is the Hyper Blaster from the Quake series, but specifically the one from Quake 2. Maybe it’s just me, but I always felt that the Hyper Blaster in Q2 was a lot more effective than in subsequent games. With its high rate of fire, just shy of the Gatling Gun, and each shot dealing more than twice the damage, the Hyper Blaster was always my weapon of choice. While the manual does warn about fast energy cell depletion, with an Ammo pack power up you’re carrying 300 energy, more than enough to cut even some of the tougher enemies in two!
Its major downside is that it uses the same ammunition type as the BFG 10K, DOOM’s BFG-9000’s bigger brother. Which means that once you reach the late game, you’re probably going to want to swap it out for the Gatling Gun, to save your energy cells for when you need it most.
Still, you can’t go wrong with a well-placed burst of energy rounds in multiplayer!
One of my favourite guns in GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64, was the Sniper Rifle. Yeah, I was that guy that sought out a cool hiding spot, and sat there with the Sniper Rifle, until I could get a clear view of my enemy’s/friend’s melon. There was always the downside of course, that I would be found out, and seeing as I hadn’t been running around the level looking for other guns, I would likely by highly outmatched in a close range fight, and once I was found out, I would have to find a new hiding spot. Not an easy feat on some of those classic GoldenEye maps.
That’s when Perfect Dark came along with a whole new take on the sniper rifle, the FarSight XR-20. Not only could you find a sneaky little hiding place, to sit and camp, but you never had to expose any of your squishy bit’s to direct enemy fire, as the FarSight could both see and shoot through walls! Not only that, but this alien rail gun, could locate and track enemy movements, and kill any enemy in a single hit, regardless of shields.
To quote the in game description:
“The Farsight rifle is a Maian hybrid of an X-ray scanning device coupled with a rifle that can shoot through solid objects. The scope can lock onto and track life sources, though the device does not pan as fast as a running enemy can move.”
It’s only real downside is, while it’s zoomed in, seeking through walls, you can’t see things right in front of your face. So if your tracking an enemy two rooms away and you just so happen to be shooting through an explosive barrel… oops.
And yes, the FarSight was available in multiplayer, and as you would expect, is considered one of the most over powered weapons of all time! Were it not so cheap, I’d put it higher on the list!
Ah Contra. Just saying the name evokes images in my mind of ham sandwiches, Saturday morning cartoons, and difficulty spikes liable to take your head clean off. Especially when playing solo. There was always one pick up though, which was guaranteed to make you feel invincible…
That was Barrier, which granted temporary invincibility… but a close second was the Spread Gun!
As soon as that little red winged “S” appeared on screen, it was a mad dash to grab it before it got away, and when you did it was on! A wave of five shots, replaced your standard boring one, spreading wider and wider as it traveled through the air, taking out multiple targets, on multiple elevations all at once!
However this wasn’t a simple case of holding down the trigger. The Gun was semi automatic so it shot as fast as you could hit the button, but tap to rapidly and you’d find your five shots cut down to three, or less. I guess you could call it a cool down, in which the gun wouldn’t operate at maximum capacity. It still packed one hell of a wallop though!
Later iterations in this series would switch the gun to automatic and remove the cool down, which sounds cheap, but is still far from it when the main character can be killed by a sudden change in wind direction. unless you had the Barrier power up, it was hardcore mode, all the way!
Anyone who played Contra, would remember the sheer elation of getting this pick up, and difficult levels suddenly getting much easier. It’s a downright iconic weapon, and well deserving of a place on this list.
I want to start off by saying, I don’t like dubstep. I don’t has the luvs for the wubs. For the longest time, I didn’t like Saint’s Row either. I’ve never really been big into games like Saint’s Row and Grand Theft Auto. However, when I first saw the Dubstep Gun, that was it, I had to play this game.
From my perspective this gun makes so much sense! Dubstep is so bad, that the creator found a way to weponise it! Makes perfect, logical sense.
The Dubstep gun is an incredibly powerful weapon, that fires off pulses and beams of neon light, doing some massive damage to those it hits. It requires no ammo, but does need time to charge, it has a high rate of fire, and through upgrades can become one of the most powerful weapons in the game!
The gun comes with four modes, and each one plays a different dubstep track, but this isn’t purely a cosmetic change. As the gun is powered by wubs, the rate of fire and power of the energy the gun fires, is increased or decreased based on the track. An additional upgrade is “Explosive Wubs”, causing the projectile beams to explode on impact.
While the gun is being fired NPCs in the vicinity, will start to party. People will start dancing, cars will start bouncing, and it makes every single one of them a sitting duck for indiscriminate musical violence!
Uh… if you’re into that sort of thing…
I will admit, not being into dubstep, this gun gets really annoying, but being as good as it is, and quite the spectacle to behold, it does take a while for the novelty to wear off, and is always a useful weapon to have on you, when you get sick of the challenge, and just want to lay waste to everything in your line of sight.
The Dubstep gun was based on a YouTube video called Dubstep Guns by Mike Diva.
I wasn’t sure where I was going to put this particular weapon on the list, but from the moment I decided to write a list about video game guns, I knew it was going to be on here. It’s just such a fun weapon to use.
In Half Life 2, around a third of the way through the game, you arrive at Black Mesa East, into the care of Eli Vance and Judith Mossman, and in reuniting with Alyx, Eli’s daughter, she is keen to show off the Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator, which she colloquially calls the Gravity Gun.
The Gravity Gun is a device of Human design, retro engineered from Combine technology, which was used to contain and transport hazardous material, but eventually just ended up being used to lift heavy stuff. And that’s exactly how you use it! The gun’s technology is not fully understood, but it utilises the energy of an unknown exotic material, believed to be a Xen Crystal, to generate positive or negative mass, drawing an inorganic target object closer, or repelling it at immense speeds, without weighting down the user, or causing as much recoil as it really should. In other words, by manipulating gravity this weapon turns ANY object in the environment, whether they be bricks, crates, street signs, or exploding barrels into a deadly projectile. Most notably the huge sawmill blades, found in Ravenholm, which can be launched, cutting your enemies in twain!
Towards the end of the game, the gravity gun is subjected to a “Confiscation Field”; while all Gordon Freeman’s weapons are taken from him and dissolved, the Gravity Gun is somehow supercharged by the field, changing the make-up of the material inside the gun, giving it far more power than it’s had up to this point, and granting it the ability to now grab organic matter as well, allowing you to grab and throw Overwatch soldiers around like rag dolls. There’s nothing getting in your way now!
I absolutely loved the first Turok Dinosaur Hunter on the Nintendo 64. People always go on about how Silent Hill used the lacking render distance to build an eerie atmosphere, but long before that Turok did the same thing. The short render distance into a grey void, really gave the sense of being lost in some jungle, envelope by a thick, impenetrable mist.
The Seeds of Evil came out. *sigh*
I didn’t like Turok 2: Seeds of Evil very much. Sure, objectively speaking it was a far better game in the way it was made, the controls were pretty tight, and the weapons felt good to use, but I was looking for more dinosaur hunter, and suddenly I’m fighting aliens. None the less, I trudged through the game until I picked up a strange weapon. “What does the Cerebral Bore do?” I asked myself, and pointed it at the nearest enemy.
I had never before, nor since felt it necessary to apologise to a video game mook.
The Cerebral Bore locked onto the enemy and a whistling screeching thing, wheeled out from the end of my gun, latching itself onto the enemy’s head, and as blood and gore spurted everywhere, there were the hideous sounds of a dentists drill and the skull crunching, followed by a pop and the head was gone!
Cerebral (brain). Bore.
Oh… that’s what it does.
According to the lore, the gun of unknown origin, locates its enemies by sensing their brain waves, and creates a target lock. The projectile, a small golden coloured sphere, with a drill bit and various sharp barbs, is then launched, seeking its target’s head, and latching on. The drill like mechanism then proceeds to bore into the skull, using suction tubing to expel flesh, blood and bits of bone that may otherwise clog the drill, and once it penetrates into the brain, a small concussive blast detonates, vapourising the enemy’s head.
But you’ll not truly appreciate this weapon until you’ve seen it in action.
The Cerebral Bore has become and iconic weapon in gaming, for its horrifying and gory method of executing its target.
Choosing just one gun from the DOOM series is a Herculean task worthy of Ultra-Nightmare difficulty. Seeing as I’d just spent my time playing DOOM (2016), I felt like I was far better equipped to only talk about the guns in that game which narrowed my focus but didn’t help the cause. Nearly every weapon in DOOM (2016) is so well balanced, and useful in particular situations, and I found myself regularly using all of them. Well… except the Plasma Rifle, I really didn’t like that weapon.
Early in the game I was very impressed with the Heavy Assault Rifle. The standard machine gun in most shooters rarely manages to leave a lasting impression, I was about to list a few but, I can’t actually think of any off the top of my head. DOOM’s heavy Assault Rifle was different. After picking it up, I went back to the trusty shot gun, but along came a robot friend with a mod kit, and I could get mini rockets as a second function? Wait, WHAT!? I finally tried out the Heavy Assault Rifle and it quickly became my gun of choice for the majority of the game from then on out.
All the way up until I got my hands on the Super Shotgun. This epic break action double-barrel shotgun may be slow on the reload, and requires to be reloaded after every single firing, but there’s something so satisfying about emptying both barrels into an unsuspecting something as it comes around the corner, at extreme close range, and watching it become a fine red mist, long before the feeling of surprise can cross its mind.
Later on as you upgrade your Super Shotgun, the reload becomes quicker, the shotgun penetrates demons, making two or more somethings into demon smoothie in one shot, and then finally after completing the Mastery Challenge, you can shoot TWICE!
I know it doesn’t sound like much, but being able to double tap this already mighty boomstick, means that you send two loads of white hot buck shot into the nearest hell spawn, making like work of even the ridiculously sturdy Barons of Hell!
And just look at the damn thing! It’s a work of art!
The coming together of wood and steel, the engravings on the firing pin housing. Sure, it looks old, and a bit beaten up, it’s literally been through Hell. However, when I think of the very basic concept of “gun”, it’s an image of this baby that comes to mind!
So you’re probably asking why I chose the Super Shotgun, instead of the BFG-9000. Don’t get me wrong, the BFG is more hellish than half of the creatures you face in the game, the way it tears through a room evaporating every demon unfortunate enough to be standing somewhere parallel to the trajectory of its immense energy pulse. However, it’s a little obvious isn’t it? Like I said, this was a list about the guns that I love to use, and while the BFG is powerful and a truly iconic video game weapon. It’s a desperation move to clear a room, not the gun you whip out when you want to cause some mayhem.
That’s all from this update, but it’s not the last you’ll see of PixelEight! While I’ve decided against a solid updating schedule, opting instead to simply post when I can, I want PixelEight to become something of a regular feature. I have a number of other lists and countdown ready to give life to, including a couple about Pokémon, more on weapons, a few more topical lists, and a growing series of Minecraft lists.
If you like what you’ve read here, please like this post, and share it to your social media, you can follow me at any of the links in the right hand sidebar, and please leave a comment down below to tell me what your favourite guns are and what other lists you might like to see me cover in the future!
Until next time brothers and sisters,
Peace and High Scores!