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A writer has his special pen. A gamer has his special gun, not the “noobgun,” banned into the eternal hell of PC doom, where it rests alongside Daikatana. Not the weird thing the guys with hacks use, no – the gun which we are proud to use in th case of online gaming or the gun that made the game more awesome in single player. You all remember the tales that begin with: “Oh, yeah, so he jumps out of the corner, right in front of me, the newb, but then, I...” and the ending depends on what your play style is. So, let's enjoy some fond memories as we recall the greatest FPS weapons of all-time.
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Best melee weapon
The one you always have. The option of not wasting ammo. The box-breaker, the door smasher. The one that sometimes lets you run faster. Most of you will now think: Oh, the glorious crowbar! The chainsaw! The knife! The whole Condemned game! But then, think a bit. Yes, they're all awesome weapons and they all deserve to be mentioned, but were they implemented correctly? Which weapon of all the melee attacks is so effective, that it actually is used online, and not just to goof or show off? The answer is simple.
Anything you could use by pressing V by default in the Call of Duty series. My pick, then, from all of it, would be the Bayonett upgrade from CoD5. It is silent, quick and deadly. Doesn't show up in the radar and kills in one hit. But the best part is that noobs can't use it properly, because it takes some skill to time it right, so you even feel proud, while being effective.
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Pistols fall into this category, although we've seen many especially weird or extraordinary variants in the genre. I skimmed through many a weapon's description trying to jog fond memories of keeping a kill streak going long after you run out of ammunition for your primary and resort to a pistol, or preferably, hand cannon. I found one recurring thing, one pistol that is so famous in FPS gaming that nothing could take it's place.
The Desert Eagle. The defining game, in this case, would be Counter-Strike: which ever version you perefer, although it has made appearance in way too many FPS games to count. Holds only 7 bullets, reload time is longer than the time needed to wash an elephant, and very inaccurate, but who cares? With 3 bullets, you can kill anything. Two, if aimed in the head. One, if the character was wounded. Use at your own risk, and enjoy the consequences. (I am going to disagree: not many guns get their own multiplayer mode, let alone are featured in a major motion picture title. How can 007's Golden Gun, between pedigree and one-shot one-kill efficacy, not get the nod? - Ed.)
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Whatever you play, there they are. You always get to shoot them: pump-action or automatic, sawed-off or combat, with shells of everyting from lead to alien plamsa. Nothing has stopped game developers from putting the shotgun (or at least an odd extra-terrestrial contraption with a low rate of fire, short range, and high damage) in EVERY FPS GAME I've ever seen. But which of them is the best, you ask?
Why the one that tosses frag grenades as a secondary fire option – with drumroll, welcome the Flak Cannon from the Unreal Tournament series! This one in particular is from the 2004 version. While it is not technically a shotgun, it looks like a shotgun, feels like a shotgun and does what a really unreal shotgun must do – like shooting the slugs around corners or tossing the giant grenade of destruction upon your enemies. And it is deadlier than anything else, when up close and personal. My “Flak Monkey” bretheren will surely understand me.
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Best Assault Rifle
Admit it, you know the answer already. In most of the world there's only this one rifle that comes to mind when the words “assault rifle” are even mentioned. While a highly trained US Soldier or Marine might be able to make heads or tails of the maintenance procedures required to keep an M-16 in working order, there is only one choice for those who need a simple point and click interface. The greatest thing to come out of Russia since vodka: the AK-47 (in eastern Europe, we call it Kalash).
And which game represents it best? My pick would be the AK from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. because its legendary durability was depicted most correctly there, and, if you understood russian, then you could hear at least seven(!) different anecdotes related to this gun during the game.
Best fire rate-to-accuracy-to-damage proportion, ammo in abundance, the natural choice among post-apocaliptic wanderers and terrorists alike. Might as well get used to the Kalashnikov, there will always be plenty of baddies to grab one and more ammo from.
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Best Choice for Snipers
One shot, one kill. Swift death, delivered from a distance. The gun which made “campers” hated in multiplayer. The sneaky weapon. The doom of all who don't know how to use cover or move properly in FPS gaming. While honourable mention goes to the InstaGib mode of the UT series, the king of this weapon class goes to the Railguns of the Quake series, hands down. And not the weird Q3:Arena or Q4 ones, no – my preference is the old Quake 2 railgun. There are many reason why this game still has a dedicated multiplayer community.
One of them is the nice feeling that when, during a grappling hook assisted double-jump, you notice a movement in the nearby window, swiftly turn around, and rail-gib them in mid-flight. No other headshot weapon can mean this much to me!
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Doom coined it, we loved it. There's always something about REALLY BIG GUNS that appeal to us. I'll allow myself to go crazy on this one, by picking one from a game that technically isn't an FPS game, but it plays like one so I made it qualify, since I really, really, like this weapon. Fallout 3's Fat Man.
How much more BFG can you get then tossing miniature nukes around? How many mutants-gone-per-second can you achieve with this one? Sure, Redeemer of UT does this as well, but it's just one-shot and was less fun for me. Another plus of the Fat Man: there's a unique one that fires THREE nukes at one time.
Blasting baddies in paradise falls with radioactive fire, abusing my big guns skill was one of the nicest moments of the game.
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Best “EH? GUN?”
I couldn't get any more cliche than this, but sometimes, things are really popular for a reason. Gordon Freeman would kill me for not mentioning this one somewhere. And I have to admit it, killing aliens by tossing picked-up toilet seats, bricks and saws was like nothing I had seen before. Yes, folks, here is the Gravity Gun from Half-Life 2. Because we've always wanted to kill 9-foot-tall alien monstrosities by tossing whatever-is-at-hand at them. Honourable mentions to scrap launcher and portal gun as well, particularly to you non-conformist types.
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FPS is a genre where the weapons can ruin the game as well as make it far more better. I don't know what tomorrow holds, but to beat these formidable entries, one would have to make a Worms FPS game, with a burning-sheep-launcher as a weapon in it. Until that happens, this is the weapon hall of fame, and I hope you've had as many good moments with these guns as I have. Please recommend your own favourites for inclusion and recall your fondest frags with them in the comments area.