Yesterday we took a look at a handful of the weapons that appear in the Halo 3 beta. I admit it wasn’t the most jaw dropping of lists, simply because for those who are already familiar with Halo the only real news present was some minor tweaks in how the weapons are used and one or two newcomers.

Today, however, we’re going to really sink our teeth into Halo 3’s tools of destruction. These are the weapons that I like and actively seek out on the battlefield, with which I might better smite mine enemies. No use trying to hype up the tension by saving the best for last. The first listing, is also my personal favorite.

Brute Shot: ”I fell in love with the Brute shot today. I discovered I’m deadlier than Wesley Snipes when I wield it.” To be perfectly frank the Brute Shot was utterly useless in H2. It’s small clip size, low damage, and enormous reload time made it a hard sell. Everything about the weapon has been ramped up for this newest incarnation. Bigger clip (6 shots rather than the previous 4). More damage per shot. The reload time is pretty much the same though. After all, you can’t make it too ultimate or it would be unbalanced. For those who don’t know, the Brute Shot is a light grenade launcher. Direct shots are devastating.

Turret Gun: I know. I know. A Turret? Yeah that’s right, I love this thing. Now keep in mind this isn’t your average FPS turret. This bad boy can be picked up off its stand and carried around for the ultimate in heavy support weapons. It has a couple of weaknesses in that it makes you markedly slower than normal while carrying the huge weapon, it also lacks any considerable range. Despite its faults, it never requires reloading, provides excellent support for nearby allies, and always kills effectively. The biggest downside actually has little to do with the weapon at all. All turrets in the beta levels are placed in highly visible areas, making them a favorite target for snipers. It seems that Bungie decided that part of balancing this weapon would be to make it difficult to obtain in the first place.

Needler: In past games, getting killed by the Needler was the type of thing that would get you made fun of for weeks. It wasn’t even a high-level skill weapon either. It was simple, you had to be really, really bad to get Needled. H3 completely rectifies that problem by making it completely badass. I myself have been needled probably well over a dozen times to date in the beta, despite having only once before been killed in such a fashion (they were extreme circumstances trust me.) The clip size has been reduced, and the tracking and damage caused by individual needles has not seen much of an increase. The only difference it seems is in the number of hits you need in order to cause a super detonation. The Needler is a homing weapon which sends out dozens of slow, small, heat-seeking bullets. If you successfully hit the enemy with half a dozen of so of these needles a super detonation is caused, which guarantees a kill.

Sniper Rifle: Much like many of the other weapons in the beta, the Sniper is very much like its predecessors. Sniping in Halo remains as accessible as ever, and as always it retains that extra layer of mastery available to players who really take the time to understand how to use this finely tuned piece of weaponry. Historically I have been notoriously terrible with the Sniper Rifle. Matches on Boarding Action in H1 tended to be pretty embarrassing. In H3 though…I own. I suspect that Bungie may have done some tuning to the aiming sensitivity to make Sniper Matches less of a twitch action style and more of a thinking mans game. Maneuvering to the best position is proving to be far more effective in H3 than having the most aiming skill…although it doesn’t exactly hurt if you’re able to key in on headshots immediately.

Covenant Carbine: The Carbine looks, sounds, and feels like a toy. It’s like you’re ten years old again and you’re pegging people with Nerf balls. Which is why it’s all the more surprising when this little trinket puts you on your back. And it will…constantly if you’re not careful. The carbine is similar in play to the Battle Rifle so you can imagine that I have a similar disdain for it. I can’t use it. It’s just not my style. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have endless respect for it, though. At first, I would see it’s neon green bullet streaks headed towards me and I would think I was in for an easy kill. Since then I’ve learned to turn tail and run when I see them, because I know they’re in for an easy kill.

Spikers: The addition of the Brutes as a main group in the Halo storyline brought with it a few additions to the weapon catalog to flesh out their presence in multiplayer. A couple new weapons have been added, but without a doubt my favorite new one are the Spikers. The Spikers are a dual-wieldable pistol style gun. It boasts a very high-rate of fire and is superemely deadly when paired with another weapon. It also carries with it a deep clip that will keep you killing long after your first kill. In fact it’s probably the only medium ranged weapon that doesn’t usually require a reload between kills, which can be positively invaluable at times. The drawback to this is that when you do need to reload it’s going to take a while. If you end up having to stop to reload in the middle of a gun fight, you will die. My advice – don’t even bother reloading just drop it and take out your alternate weapon.

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