Plasma Pistol – The plasma pistol has seen some changes, which should alleviate the usefulness of the “noob combo.” Being a noob (in the Halo sense, which equates to anyone who’s having an off night) myself I was never attracted to this weapon. But the one shot shield drop, and now the ability to stop a vehicle is enticing. Big change this time around is power dissipation if you run around with the weapon charged up.
Plasma Rifle – More useful than the UNSC’s SMG, but not by much. Your best use of this weapon is still in combo with something shooting ballistics. Of course, the five shot/melee combo is still devastating. As I found out numerous times during the beta earlier this year.
Needler – The bringer of pink death is bigger, badder, and pinker than ever. Due to the increased power of the shards of pinky goodness, you can only carry one at a time. No more dual wielding, which is just as well. In Halo 2 a properly timed dual wield could spit out needles faster than Lindsay Lohan snorting a line of coke. That’s pretty damn fast, and there’s none of that tweaking side effect with the Needler.
Carbine – Made for the quick and accurate player, the Carbine now completely dominates the Battle Rifle. Still, the funny dirty yellow beam and little recoil leave a feeling of dirty alien residue on our hands. The Covenant is not as fond of reloading as the UNSC marines, as is evident by yet another weapon with a large clip. The Carbine you used in the beta has been toned down and balanced for the final game.
Beam Rifle – The equivalent of the UNSC’s Sniper Rifle. You do have the advantage of no reloads, but the rifle overheats easily. If you’re not careful you’ll spend the whole match walking around holding the rifle in surprise because it burned your delicate fingers. Master Chief should look into getting some sort of thermal protection for his hefty metallic gloves.
Fuel Rod Cannon – The equivalent of the UNSC’s Rocket Launcher. Like the Beam Rifle, the Fuel Rod Cannon shoots faster than its marine counterpart. Add in a larger clip and you’ve got a devastating weapon that still hasn’t seen multiplayer action. The Fuel Rod Cannon has been slightly updated to fire more like the human rocket launcher, rather than the mortar like qualities seen previously. We’re not saying you can put it into custom games, but we are suggesting where there’s a Forge there’s a way.
Energy Sword – No other weapon in Halo 2 drew a more decisive line between players. Bungie hasn’t confirmed or denied any changes to the Energy Sword for Halo 3, but we’re assuming standard uses like the lunge will remain in some form. What we expect is for the sword to have an energy meter in multiplayer, to cut down on sword whoring.
Plasma Turret – Your standard turret, except it fires plasma that is slow and devastating to vehicles.
Ball Turret – Same as a regular turret, except it has a ball around the gun allowing it swing around while protecting the user.
Plasma Grenade – The best thrown piece of ordinance in Halo 2 returns almost as it was before. Plasma nades still don’t stick to walls or objects, but they nicely adhere to enemies.
Spiker Rifle – The dual wieldable spiker is inaccurate, fast firing, and based on old technology. Of course, the rapid firing of spikes at your enemy more than makes up for it’s lack of accuracy. If you had to choose between the SMG, Plasma Rifle, and Spiker Rifle, the Brutes have the superior dual wieldable weapon in the group.
Mauler – Dual wieldable Brute shotgun. Other than that, nothing is known about this weapon. Expect it to be nearly useless alone, but paired with something with a little range could prove to be a handy tool to keep around. And like all Brute weapons there are blades aplenty, so melee follow-ups will be prevalent.
Brute Shot – If you liked the Brute Shot before, you’ll love it in its new form. The clip size has been slightly increased, and you can still get some quick kills if you compensate for the bouncy explosives.
Gravity Hammer – The weapon of choice for Tartarus, the big tragic mistake of a boss in Halo 2, is now yours to wield. The Hammer is powerful enough to take out vehicles; a well timed ground pound can send an attacking Warthog flipping through the air. We do know this has an energy meter of some kind.
Spike Grenade – The Plasma Grenade lacks two important things: the ability to stick to the environment; and the satisfaction of sticking pointy metal things into your enemy. The Spike Grenade can also be used tactically to set traps for enemies by sticking them into walls, and other objects in the game world.
Incendiary Grenade – The last grenade announced for Halo 3. This baby will light your enemies on fire, which can result in a kill if they stay in one spot. Normally you’ll just get a depleted shield. Like the Flamethrower, the Incendiary Grenade can be used defensively by putting up walls of flame around important objective points (i.e. flag, bomb, skull).