I am not a violent person, but put me in front of a PC or an Xbox and I will kill things until they’re…well, dead. Not surprisingly, I have favourite ways of doing it, too. If you want to read between the lines, my weapons of choice might say a lot about me – or something other than the fact I like to kill stuff. But, honestly, it usually comes down to two things: expediency and fun.
The following tributes list could be more extensive. Over the course of my murderous career, I’ve discovered a lot of ways to slay my enemies. Boredom was never one of them, however, so I have limited myself to five (or six) spectacular instruments of death, presented in no particular order.
Game(s): DMC: Devil May Cry
Weapon type: Demonic Axe
Effect(s): This axe is a killing machine. Like most two-handed weapons, it’s slow, but the power of every strike more than makes up for the lack of speed. Upgraded, it can make the ground shake (damaging and destabilizing enemies), create fault lines and discharge spinning, exploding axe heads. Sunders armor and destroys shields. Demonic, so all the awesome against angelic shielding.
Awesome Factor: It looks cool. Really cool. This axe is the first demonic weapon available in the game and, upgraded, is my go-to big gun throughout. It’s fun to swing around, and with the radial ground shake and fault line upgrades, you don’t even have to be that accurate. But when you hit something, it looks and feels good. By feel, I mean the controller will shake in your hands. You feel the ground shake and you can feel your demonic blade chopping your enemies into smashed bits.
Virulent Walking Bomb
Game(s): Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II
Weapon type: Magic
Effect(s): DOT (damage over time). Victim takes intermittent spirit damage (plundering health and the ability to regenerate). If the damage depletes their health, killing them, the resultant explosion inflicts physical damage over an area of three meters. Anyone caught in the blast radius has a 50% chance of becoming afflicted with the less virulent version of the spell: Walking Bomb. If the blast didn’t kill them, the damage over time probably will. And when they die, the explosion will damage anyone else in the blast radius. Unfortunately, the cross infection effect only happens once.
Awesome Factor: This is a set-it-and-forget-it spell. See that clump of miscreants over there? Hurl one spell and let it take care of them while you take care of everything else. Pick off the survivors later – their health will be depleted at the very least.
What makes this a favourite, however, is not the effectiveness. More, it’s that the simple version, Walking Bomb is a first level spell. You can take this at the beginning of the game! Casting it indoors always results in a meaty/echoing explosion that never fails to make me laugh. Later in the game, it can be combined with other spells such as Walking Nightmare and Blood Control, further confusing the victim, who can be directed toward their own allies.
Game(s): Age of Empires II
Weapon Type: Siege/Ranged
Effect(s): There is nothing built that a trebuchet cannot knock down. Forests, walls, empires. But acquiring a trebuchet (or fleet of them) takes a lot of patience.
Awesome Factor: This is the weapon of choice for and against turtles. That’s my style of play. I’m the original turtle. I build and upgrade, build some more and upgrade some more. I construct rings of walls and defenses. I rarely venture beyond my walls. I will consider alliances, but may turn on my allies when they’ve at their weakest—and there is no one else left on the board to defeat.
My husband has ground my empires to dust with trebuchets. Watching them advance through the forest at the top edge of the map is beautiful and scary.
Game(s): Fallout 3
Weapon Type: Tactical Nuclear Catapult
Effect(s): It’s a tactical nuclear catapult. What else do I need to say?
Awesome Factor: Look up. All the awesome is right there in those three words.
My daughter also loves the Fat Man. Unfortunately, she has yet to figure out the best use for it, which is dropping, sorry…catapulting nuclear payloads into canyons, valleys and ravines. I don’t care if there are friendlies down there. Kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out. You’ll need a good stock of Nuka Cola to head in there to claim your loot, though.
Game(s): Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin’s Creed III Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Weapon Type: Ranged/Poison
Effect(s): Darts deliver a number of useful effects, including temporary sleep, fatal poison and berserk behaviour.
Awesome Factor: Like the Walking Bomb, this is a set-it-and-forget-it weapon. I’ve yet to play through the effect, however. I love the berserk darts. LOVE THEM. Not only is it entertaining to watch the enemy turn upon itself, but there are so many neat ways to do it. Brutes are among my favourite targets, but I also like shooting the riflemen stationed on rooftops and in towers. They can deliver a pleasing amount of friendly fire before they’re taken out—or simply die, exhausted by their berserk betrayal.
Game(s): Star Craft, Star Craft II
Weapon Type: Terran weapon of mass destruction
Effect(s): Mass destruction, which can be rather precise if you use a ghost—an invisible agent—to paint a specific target. This is fairly end game stuff. Like the trebuchet, it takes time to build toward a nuclear arsenal and employing ghosts requires patience and cunning. But Terrans are the choice of turtles, galaxy-wide. Why not hide behind your bunkers and nuke the crap out of the rest of the board?
Awesome Factor: Nothing stirs fear in your opponent(s) like the sound of “Nuclear Launch Detected”. It’s especially effective at a LAN party where someone downstairs isn’t using headphones so the warning rings out across game space, followed by howls of “Kelly!!” and “Crap, crap, where’s the ghost!”
Okay, I think that’s enough reveling in destruction for one post. So many weapons, so little time. To finish up, I’ll simply list a few other favourites and encourage you to share yours.
Fibber (Borderlands 2)
Shockwave (Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3)
Tentacle Bat (Saints Row IV)
Finkle’s Flenser (World of Warcraft)