Friday, September 21, 2012

The Weapons of Halo 4

Halo 4 is just weeks away from launch. So far we've covered specialties, enemies, and the start of the campaign. Time to step it up to the heart and soul of an FPS; the weapons.

Many weapons in Halo 4 are returning from the previous games as well as getting 10 all new weapons. The returning weapons should be familiar to players from the past so here's a quick rundown.

  • Battle Rifle (Three shot burst, scoped, introduced in Halo 2)
  • Assault Rifle (Standard UNSC rifle, primary weapon for marines/Spartans)
  • DMR (Semi-Automatic scoped rifle, introduced in Halo: Reach)
  • Sniper Rifle (2 stage scoped rifle. One shot headshot to most enemies)
  • Magnum (UNSC sidearm, standard issue for marines/Spartans)
  • Rocket launcher (2 shot RPG, capable of simultaneous multi-kills)
  • Shotgun (Short range, if close enough can kill in one shot even through shields)
  • Spartan Laser (Requires charging, can destroy vehicles in one shot)
  • Plasma Pistol (Covenant, charged shot depletes shields, single shot damages shields and health)
  • Needler (Fires crystalline bolts that pierce armor and have a timed detonation)
  • Beam Rifle (Covenant Sniper Rifle)
  • Concussion Rifle (Fires heavy projectiles that can knock a player/enemy into the air)
  • Covenant Carbine (Covenant version of the DMR, Semi-auto)
  • Energy Sword (When locked on, can leap forward a significant distance into a stab)
  • Gravity Hammer (Large hammer-type weapon that causes damage, can launch enemies into the air)
  • Frag Grenades (Shrapnel damage)
  • Plasma Grenades (Can stick to enemies)

Now let's explore the weapons new to the game.

First up is the SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon). It uses a drum magazine and holds 72 rounds. It can be used for sustained firing/suppressive for your team to move up. The concept was first adopted during World War I and World War II. It combines Machine gun power with infantry mobility.

The Rail Gun is the mobile Gauss Cannon. An electromagnetic projectile weapon, it fires a single explosive round at incredible speeds utilizing a linear accelerator. It is a scaled down version of the UNSC M.A.C. (Magnetic Accelerator Cannon) which are positioned on the warships. The only main difference is that instead of using coils to accelerate the projectile, the Rail Gun uses magnetic rails. The projectiles need to be conductive, as the Rail Gun uses electric currents to interact with the magnetic field to accelerate the projectile.

The Sticky Detonator is a unique weapon new to the series. It acts in a way like the grenade launcher from Halo: Reach as it can be timed to detonate. The Detonator fires a magnetically latched explosive round that can be triggered remotely. The best use of this weapon, is to lay it in a heavily traveled area and monitor it from a distance. When an enemy approaches the area, it can be detonated to cripple or kill your opponent.

The Storm Rifle is a modified, and upgraded, covenant Plasma Rifle. Releasing a "Storm" of energy projectiles, it is deadly at close range, but it overheats within about 5 seconds of continuous use. Accurate shots will be the difference between kills or death. Introduced during the Sangheili (Elites) Civil Conflicts, it has been adopted by almost all Elites as the standard infantry weapon. It acts like the Plasma Repeater from Halo: Reach.

The Boltshot is the first Promethean weapon we'll get into. Forerunner tech, this energy pistol works in the same manner as the Covenant Plasma pistol. It can fire bursts of energy, or it can be charged to deliver a blast that almost rivals a close range shotgun. It will be a secondary loadout weapon for both War Games and Spartan Ops. It works on Organic matter, so tech will require more shots.

The Lightrifle is the primary Forerunner weapon used by the Promethean Knights. It fires solid light at an enemy, resulting in devastating damage. With a 15 round magazine, the weapon acts as a combination between the UNSC Battle Rifle and DMR. It fires a 3 round burst when hipfired and shoots a heavy projectile when scoped in. Both squeezes of the trigger costs 3 rounds of ammunition.

The Scattershot, a CQC defensive weapon, is absolute destruction when getting up close and personal. If a shot misses an opponent, the rounds ricochet off hard surfaces. The round may pass the close enemy, but the next guy to come around that corner may get a face full of light. The shells dispersal pattern is what gives the weapon its name. A "scatter" of projectile rounds can leave no trace, as the enemy will literally disintegrate in front of your eyes.

The Binary rifle is the Forerunner equivalent to the UNSC sniper rifle. It has a magazine of two rounds, and can be fired scoped in. It is a one shot, one kill weapon.

An automatic Forerunner weapon was crucial to the war against the Flood. That's where the Suppressor comes in. With charged bolts of light (solid), it pierces and destroys organic matter. Technological matter can withstand it a bit better. It will be a primary weapon loadout in both War Games and Spartan Ops.

Firing several streams of explosive particles, the Incineration Cannon can be a powerful weapon. It mimics the Flamethrower from Halo 3 and the detonations spread upon impact. The streams spread in multiple directions, making it very hard for an enemy to predict how to dodge them.

The Promethean answer to the Frag and Plasma grenades is the Pulse Grenade. Similar to the Energy Drainer from Halo 3, the Pulse grenade projects a sphere of ionized particles that drains enemy shields and explodes once the field collapses.

So there you are. All the weapons of Halo 4. At least, all the weapons that have been confirmed. Maybe we'll get one or two surprises at launch, but who knows.

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