Let’s do one more of these shall we. Honestly, I could go on forever, but after a certain point the whole premise of the list goes out of the window and it just turns into me gushing about video game weapons. But I’ll look at the final three weapons I put onto my initial shortlist and then move onto some other kind of list next time.
Hidden Blade – Assassin’s Creed series
I spoke about the Assassin’s Creed series and Ubisoft not too long ago. In that post I lamented the thing about the franchise that I always lament. How I pine for the days of the early series where it was a game about setting up elaborate assassinations and using crowds and populous to hide from your pursuers. Rather than the chaotic dervish of death that players become in the more modern iterations of the series.
One of the biggest casualties of this change is the hidden blade, the weapon that still acts as the game’s emblematic symbol. Yet, when was the last time the thing seemed all that important. In so many video games outside of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, “assassination” is an instant kill manoeuvre. These days, the game with that very word in that title seems to rarely make use of this mechanic. It’s the thing about Origins that bugged me the most; no matter how powerful you became, and how meticulously you set up a scenario where you’d get the drop on a powerful enemy, assassinating them only ever knocked a chunk off of their life bar.
The hidden blade is such a cool visual concept too. But with the franchises becoming about so much more from a gameplay perspective, I wouldn’t be shocked if we get to a game where the blade it just absent all together. At this point, I should probably cut my losses and get deep into the Hitman series, as that seems like the game that’s continuing the spirit of the original Assassin’s Creed games at this point.
Coldheart – Destiny Series
I spoke about Destiny once already. But why not talk about it again, where there are just so many different weapons to pick from. A near infinite number in fact. Originally, I had wanted to highlight one of my favourite Legendary weapons. But after thinking about it a while, it felt a little strange to go lauding some randomly rolled weapon that I had a particular soft spot for. Especially now that the game’s new weapon rotation system means that weapon is going to become useless along with the new expansion.
So instead I’d highlight another one of my favourite exotic weapons, the tailor made guns that all have some unique perk about them. And Coldheart, when it was introduced as a very unique weapon in the game. Destiny’s first Trace Rifle, the gun fires a continuous beam of blue energy that grows in strength the longer it connects with an enemies weak spot. As a primarily PVE player, the Coldheart rarely leaves my current inventory, being useful in almost all situations.
Like I mentioned with the Polaris Lance, Bungie are experts at blending both visual and audio design into their gunplay, giving the players a real sense of visceral feedback when they’re using particular weapons. The Coldheart’s design, coupled with the low hum and quick pattering associated with it hitting the sweet spot on an enemy makes it so satisfying to use. Based on this past year, I feel like my time with Destiny might be coming to an end, but there are no end of fantastic experiences I’ve had with that franchise, a great many of their weapons being among them.
Wave Beam – Metorid Fusion
There comes a certain point in any “metroidvania” game where you become so overwhelmingly powerful that you find yourself in a postilion where you’re simply charging through the entire map, mopping up those last collectables before hitting the game’s final boss. In Metroid Fusion, there are two weapons like this, the first is the Screw Attack, in which the very act of jumping blows enemies to bits, while the other is the Wave Beam.
An upgrade that allows Samus’s primary weapon to pierce just about anything. Enemies, the environment, you name it. That, coupled with the fact that at this point in the game your attacks are about twice as tall as the player and the limitless speed with which you can fire your weapon, It turns Samus into this unstoppable wall of death. I have a soft spot for Metroid Fusion, it being the first game I played in the franchise in earnest, shortly before Metroid Prime.
And there are so many pieces of equipment from that franchise I could have picked, but the weapon that always made me feel like this galactic bully, destroying all the horrible beasties in my way was hard to miss up. As much as I’d love to see what Metroid Prime 4 ends up being, the less confident I am that the game’s every actually going to come out. In the meantime, I wish Nintendo would just pay some third party developer to make another 2D game on the Switch. Y’know there are a ton of people just itching to do that very thing.