Making a Video Game Hero

When putting together the most capable shooter, which guns make our arsenal?

After a short break due to a wild summer of video games so far, we’re back with our next iteration of our ongoing “Making a Video Game Hero” series. Thus far, we’ve tackled the Action-Adventure, Platformer, and Sports genres. Today, we dip our toes into the shooter side of things.

Now, usually these experiments have us putting together a Frankenstein-like amalgamation of body parts from our favorite video game heroes. However, in a shooter, the hero is your arsenal of weapons. Thus, we won’t be slapping Master Chief’s noggin onto Marcus Fenix’s thighs. Instead, we’re putting together a gun loadout worthy of the world’s greatest gunslinger.

As ever, each series can only show up once. That said, we did include a few repeats in the runner’s up section. Give our list a look below and sound off in the comments with your own choices.


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Combat Rifle: Mk 2 Lancer (Gears of War series)
Runners’ Up: M1 Garand (Battlefield 1942), Bullseye (Resistance series)

Our hero’s combat rifle is their tried-and-true lead-spitter; it needs to be reliable, easily used in almost every situation. There’s something appealing about the M1 Garand in Battlefield 1942. Those massive skirmishes required some real perseverance, and the Garand was always a trusty sidekick.

The Bullseye, on the other hand, is a real show-stopper. You can tag enemies and then your bullets become homing beacons that basically don’t miss. Regardless of our hero’s skills, this gun is sure to murder their enemies.

However, both guns are missing something very important: a chainsaw. Look, maybe it’s impractical to have a spinning chainsaw nestled on the front of your assault rifle, but who cares? It’s awesome and helped spawn one of the more successful modern shooter franchises out there.

Borderlands

Sniper: Bessie (Borderlands)
Runners’ Up: AWP (Counter-Strike), Farsight XR-20 (Perfect Dark)

The sniper rifle should be incredibly powerful, which all of the prospective guns on our list unquestionably are. The AWP is a deadly tool in the cool hands of skilled Counter-Strike players. However, its slow loading leaves you open for counter-attacks. The Farsight can literally shoot through walls, but it’s technically a railgun, meaning its qualifications could be in doubt.

Bessie carries a similar risk/reward ratio to the AWP. That said, its otherworldly accuracy and bullet velocity make it the contender we’re choosing. In the hands of a true Vault Hunter, there isn’t a more efficient dealer of death than this old girl.

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Handgun: M6D Pistol (Halo: Combat Evolved)
Runners’ Up: Golden Gun (GoldenEye), Smart Pistol MK5 (Titanfall)

Our two runners’ up in the handgun category are both probably superior due to their gimmicks. The MK5 has a lock-on mechanic that insures your bullets go into your enemies even if you can’t aim. The Golden Gun, on the other hand, is a guaranteed kill if you hit your target. But neither gun tops the M6D for us.

While both other guns bring exceptional power in their own ways, the M6D gives our hero superior versatility. Sure, it’s a handgun, but it can effectively fill the role of both assault rifle and sniper in a pinch. And, in the hands of a true pro, its headshot damage is next level. Hail to the Chief.

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Shotgun: Super Shotgun (DOOM Eternal)
Runners’ Up: Model 1887 (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2), VK-12 Combat Shotgun (F.E.A.R.)

There was something special about running akimbo Model 1887s in Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer. It was one of the most ridiculous loadouts in Call of Duty history. The VK-12 is similarly devastating, though it’s more about how good the gun feels to fire that gets it a slot on this list.

All that being said, the Super Shotgun is our choice. Not only is it ridiculously powerful at close range, but it has a built-in grappling hook. The demons of Hell literally can’t get away from you. In Doom Guy’s deadly arsenal, the Super Shotgun is the most fun.

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Melee: Ulaks (The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena)
Runners’ Up: Reinhardt’s Rocket Hammer (Overwatch), Energy Sword (Halo)

Unsurprisingly, Halo is the first game to show up twice on this list. There might be some debate between the Gravity Hammer and the Energy Sword, but we’ll take the one that lets us turn Master Chief into a Jedi every day. Reinhardt’s hammer isn’t as memorable, but it does have rockets.

The rules of the list keep us from giving Halo two slots, so instead, we’ll go with the weapons that were born in the dark. The Ulaks are, of course, deadly in the hands of a trained assassin. Plus, Assault on Dark Athena never gets the love it deserves.

valve index

Special 1: Gravity Gun (Half-Life 2)
Runners’ Up: Laptop Gun (Perfect Dark), Shrink Ray (Duke Nukem 3D)

Here is where things get interesting. When you round out a video game shooter’s arsenal, you have to include some specialty weapons. Whether they be lasers or rockets or just really big guns, these are the jaw-droppers.

The Laptop Gun and Shrink Ray are fun guns; that can’t be denied. However, the Gravity Gun was a complete game-changer when you got your hands on it. The fact that you can use literally anything as ammunition makes this a must-have in our hero’s arsenal.

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Special 2: Gjallarhorn (Destiny)
Runners’ Up: Flak Cannon (Unreal Tournament series), Sasha (Team Fortress 2)

Both the Flak Cannon and Sasha can rack up kill counts quickly; however, they lack the battlefield-changing power of the Gjallarhorn in Destiny. The regal-looking rocket launcher is named after the horn that heralds the end of the world. Frankly, the gun more than lives up to its namesake.

The Gjallarhorn uses special “wolfpack rounds,” which turn the gun’s projectiles into homing missiles. That lets you blanket boss characters in copious bombs. From a damage dealt standpoint, this bad boy is simply next level and easily takes a spot on this shooter list.

Turok 2: Seeds of Evil

Special 3: Cerebral Bore (Turok 2: Seeds of Evil)
Runners’ Up: Redeemer (Unreal Tournament), RYNO (Ratchet and Clank series), Tactical Nuke (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2), BFG 9000 (DOOM), and so many more

Now for the tough part. There are simply too many weapons out there that could take this final slot in our shooter list. Fortunately, our decision is made a little easier because of the rules of the list. We can’t include either the Tactical Nuke or the BFG, even though in terms of must-see gaming moments, those are definitely up there.

That said, there are still plenty of games that haven’t made the list yet with disgustingly powerful weapons. However, there is one that stands out above the rest, and that’s Turok’s Cerebral Bore. Seeing your enemy’s skull get drilled into and their brain explode out of that hole you just gave them was mind-blowing back in 1998. Now, imagine that visual on a system more powerful than the toaster-like Nintendo 64.


So, there you have it; a shooter loadout that is sure to make our hero more than capable of fighting through any situation. Are people going to disagree with some of our choices? Absolutely. But those people are undoubtedly wrong. Make sure to stay tuned for our next foray into digital Frankenstein building.

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