So far we’ve been over the weapons that I don’t particularly care for, and the weapons that I absolutely love and/or respect. This doesn’t encompass everything though. There are definitely a couple left over that I feel are somewhere in between. They’re tolerable, but not necessarily desirable.
Now there’s really only a few left, so to round out the affair, we’re going to talk about vehicles and grenades as well. Then, by the end of the article you will officially be fully educated in the ways of Halo 3. Well, at least as much as a non-combatant can hope to be. It’s just like a real war. You can hear as many accounts and watch as many news casts as you want, but until you’re actually in a battle…under fire…you’ll never really know. Am I being a little over the top? Melodramatic? Absolutely not. This is Halo folks…serious friggin’ business.
Okie doke, back to the lesson then.
I’ve talked briefly about the missile pod in one of my earlier diary entries. I had a rather spectacular experience with it; it brought me my first ever killtacular. Since then, no good has come of it. At least not for me. Others do well enough, but on the whole it’s a pretty mediocre weapon. One reader raised the question: What makes this any different from the rocket launcher? It’s a good question, because they are very similar. The answer is subtle but noticeable. The missile pod fires at a faster rate, has a bigger clip size, and shoots faster shells. However, it slows you to a crawl, and it hardly causes any splash damage making direct hits a must. It’s a viable choice for defending a base against vehicles, but as an anti-personnel weapon it’s not a good choice.
On paper the plasma pistol sounded like it was going to be made into the games new super weapon. It’s essentially the same weapon you’ve come to know from past games, except it’s been given a new ability. Players can now use it to momentarily power down enemy vehicles. Simply nail them with a charge shot and they will be motionless for a few seconds. It’s a neat new way of nerfing the vehicles a bit, but in-game it’s hardly ever used. Couple this with the fact that I’m beginning to suspect that the homing has been reduced and you’ve got one mediocre piece of alien hardware. (Editor's note: I'm just thankful this weapon is no longer the cheating powerhouse it was in previous Halo games. :)
It’s not that the shotgun is bad, nor is it necessarily mediocre. It’s just so standard. It really is just a shotgun. Good for a good sabotage kill every once in a while, but other than that there’s really only one level it has a use on. In Snowbound the plasma shields guarding the entrances into the bases offer shogun users a chance to force their opponents into a short range fight. If you see an enemy just standing – waiting – on the other side of an energy shield, do not go in. Odds are he’s got a shotgun and is plotting to deatomize your face as soon as you enter.
Frag Grenades -- Same as you remember them. These are your standard “chuck one out before you reload” ‘nades. Useful for just about anything that involves killing, without the finesse or complications of the other varieries.
Plasma Grenades -- Once again, exactly the same as the previous versions. Maybe the explosion radius is bigger or smaller, I don’t know…don’t really care either. They kill things and that’s all that matters to me. The alien tech Plasma Grenades vary from their man-made counterparts in that they stick themselves to anything organic, making sure he/she/it goes down hard.
Brute Grenades -- If someone wants to enlighten me as to whether or not there’s a fancy name for these things, feel free. This is just what I assume they are called. These are newcomers to the Halo universe and they offer a unique strategic difference. They can stick to anything and only shoot out in one direction. Throw it against a wall and it will stick and blow up at a perpendicular angle. This is particularly useful when being chased down a corridor. Slam one against the wall and watch your enemy get blown to pieces.
Warthog -- The general consensus among players in the beta so far is that “the hog” is overpowered. A shame really, because otherwise there are virtually no unbalanced weapons. This SUV-like mobile machine gun basically owns all on Valhalla deathmatch game types. Also, now that it’s much more difficult to “board” vehicles, players being run down don’t have much of a chance of survival. Actually, come to think of it I haven’t boarded anything yet in this beta. I’m not even sure if it’s possible. I’ll look into this and let you know tomorrow.
Ghost -- Like the Warthog, The Ghost only appears on one map: Snowbound. It’s parked in a neat little garage under an overpass and is usually very much ignored by most players. It’s like a bizarre unspoken code of conduct. No one wants to play on such a small map with a ghost buzzing around, so hardly any one grabs it. Once someone does though, the floodgates are opened and sooner or later someone goes on a big 'ole killing spree with it. With it’s speed and Snowbound’s small size and copious cover, there isn’t much opportunity to get a good shot in with a Spartan Laser and so many times this little hover vehicle goes unchallenged.
ATV -- This little guy is around 5-6 years in the making. It was first scheduled to be in H2 but then was dropped for unexplained reasons. It’s back now though, and it’s mostly a great addition. It’s extremely ineffective as an offensive weapon, although it’s not impractical to get a couple kills if you’re carrying a passenger with an Assault Rifle. It’s main purpose is quick transportation to the level hotspots. ATV’s are easily destroyed, but spawn back quickly so you never need to feel bad about leaving one in the enemy base, because it’ll be back before you know it. ATV’s keep the action flowing on a bigger map like Valhalla. It also opens up some interesting strategies for guys like me. My favorite use of the ATV comes on Valhalla during games of Territories. I like to zoom around the map doing fly-bys on all the checkpoints. This way every moron defending a point yells out, “They’re attacking point [insert number here]”. It’s a wonderful way to put an organized defense in shambles for a minute or two.
Afterthought: Call me stupid, but I sort of want to change my gamertag to Bridget Jones, just so we can call this segment "Bridget Jones's Diary."