What's Your Favorite Weapon in a Shooter?

When a game puts the right weapon in the right hands, the results are magical.

by Rob Zacny
Sep 20 2017, 2:45pm

If the measure of a true friend is whether they lift you up and encourage you to be your best self, then the Scathelocke Auto Rifle in Destiny 2 might be the greatest friend I've made in years. It's been at my side for every victory, and a comfort in every defeat. It accepts my shortcomings, but never fails to rise to the occasion for those moments when I'm capable of transcending them.

The Scathelocke starts out as a pretty ordinary automatic rifle like dozens of others in Destiny 2, but it has a secret that you'll discover when you spray rounds down range: as you empty the magazine, the Scathelocke gets more and more accurate. At a point in a sustained burst where other guns' recoil effects might be starting to shake you off your target, the Scathelocke is laser-focused. Every time you fire this thing, it basically turns into "The Tommy Gun Scene" from Miller's Crossing.

In fact, there are times it almost seems to take on a life of its own. More than once I've been in close-quarters combat in the Crucible and someone has vaulted skyward to try to get over and around me. It's a move that I often struggle to counter because it so often causes my target to disappear from my field of view. But no sooner have I brushed the sticks in the right direction than my screen seems to lurch as the gun reacquires its target, eager to finish the job. Did I get the kill? Did the gun? What matters is we got the kill. Together.

In time, someone is probably going to decide to rebalance the weapons and my beautiful bestie is probably going to be Harrison Bergeron-ed into irrelevance, but for this shining moment I am enjoying one of those great partnerships that comes along every so often in a shooter where a weapon perfectly matches my strengths, weaknesses, and personal inclinations. When it's day is done, I'm going to raise it to the virtual rafters of my home office, joining other all-timers like the Unreal Tournament rotary rocket launcher, the Penetrator (you don't know the half of it) from FEAR, and the harpoon gun in Bioshock 2.

But I'm probably not the only person who has gotten attached to favorite weapons in different shooters. What were your own personal weapons of legend? Let me know in today's open thread!