Yesterday we took a detailed look at the maps that make up the Halo 3 multiplayer beta. Today I thought it appropriate to follow in that vein and take a good solid look at the weapons with which we Halo-ites do our fragging. There are far too many weapons for me to cover in one single entry so we'll call this part one of however-many-it-takes.

Please feel free to voice your opinion on whether or not I’m a moron in the comments section because I plan to make it more than apparent which of these weapons I like, and which I feel are utterly useless.

Assault Rifle
The AR made its debut back in the original Halo, but was left out of H2 in favor of the longer ranged Battle Rifle. The AR makes its return in the beta, and I must say it is much improved. Every player in a standard match begins with the AR and there’s a good reason for that. It is very versatile. While not a very good choice for long-ranged combat it is perfectly viable at short to middle ranges. This is basically a no frills bullet hose with little to no finesse involved. Just aim and fire. It is different from it’s previous incarnation though, in that it has a reduced clip and it is far more accurate.

Battle Rifle
The Battle Rifle as previously stated, is a returning favorite from H2. That is to say a fan favorite not a personal one. I can’t stand the BR and hardly ever use it, unless I have no other choice and must fight at long ranges such as on Valhalla. That doesn’t stop everybody else from annihilating me with it, though. Seriously, if you cross me in the beta – whip out a BR and I’ll be defenseless. The BR is a medium to long range weapon that requires that players focus on getting headshots. Hitting center mass does very little with the BR.

Plasma Rifle
The Plasma Rifle remains largely unchanged from previous Halo games. It still boasts a fast rate of fire and the ability to take down shields like nobody’s business. The regular PR behaves more like the Brute PR from H2, though. It fires much faster and overheats quickly. Due to the reduced reliance on dual-wielding the PR’s importance has also been reduced. Couple this with an SMG or a Spiker though, and you’ve got a seriously deadly combination.

Returning from H2 is the series most tactless weapon: The Submachine gun (SMG). There isn’t much to say, you pick it up and hold down the trigger until the thing you pointed it at no longer lives. It doesn’t require anything from you as far as positioning yourself, just get something in your crosshairs and kill it. It’s strength is it’s high rate of fire and the ability to dual wield it.

Rocket Launcher You seriously need me to tell you what the Rocket Launcher does? It blows s*** up! What more is there to know? Ungh, ok fine. Well I’ve noticed that the rockets travel slower than in previous games, which powers this weapon down to a surprising degree. It is still positively deadly ni the hands of the right person though.
Spartan Laser This is Halo’s first real “HOLY S***!” weapon. The Spartan Laser is the biggest departure for the weapons revealed thus far. If you would take a journey down imagination lane with me, the Spartan Laser plays like a sniper rifle mashed up with a Plasma Pistol. It takes about five seconds to charge up, but if you get a shot off and you strike anyone…anywhere on the maps they are guaranteed to be toast.

More on this tomorrow as I dig into my personal favorites for the section I like to call: The Guns I Think Are Worth A Damn.

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