The ultimate gun game
Boom, boom, pow! No, that's not us singing that lovely tune by the Black Eyed Peas--that's just an onomatopoeia for the sounds of our favorite video game guns. There are tons of games where virtual firearms are the primary means by which we interact with a world or characters, and it's not easy picking a favorite from the ever-expanding list.
But we did it anyway. If we could only choose one gun to rule them all, these are the ones we'd pick.
Ryan Taljonick: M4A1 carbine (Counter-Strike: Source)
Of all the shooters out there, I've probably dumped the most hours into Counter-Strike: Source. And out of all the guns in CS:S, none are as dear to my heart as the Counter-Terrorists' M4A1 carbine. Sure, it didn't pack quite as big a punch as the Terrorists' AK47, but it had less recoil than most rifles, and you can equip a silencer, which I thought was pretty awesome until I discovered that muffled "pew pew" sound came at the sacrifice of firepower.
The M4A1 was always my go-to gun; it was great for both close-ranged encounters and for picking off enemies from a distance. It saved my butt countless times, regardless if I was playing hostage rescue maps or detonation missions. And whenever I would play on the Terrorist side, I'd always try to hunt down any CTs with an M4A1 just to snag one from their corpses. Good times.
Matt Cundy: Lancer (Gears of War series)
Lovely dependable assault rifle--always my first-choice shooter companion whatever the situation. From Vanquish to Halo to Call of Duty to Resistance to Killzone to every shooter ever, its always all about the assault rifle for me. Its an all-rounder, no-nonsense, get-the-job-done sort of gun. Never leave home without it. Picking a favourite is hard, but the Lancer in Gears of War has to be it.
Designed to be every bit as indiscreet as the Michelin men space marines who lug it about, the Lancer--like most assault rifles--ticks plenty of the gun-is-good boxes. High rate of fire. Good ammo capacity. Decent range and accuracy. Efficient reload time. And so on. But what really sets the Lancer apart from other assault rifles is the addition of teeth. As in chainsaw teeth. Its the perfect accessory for lumberjacks and psychos who like to reduce their enemies to icky little pieces.
Sophia Tong: Rocket Launcher (Unreal Tournament)
So... my FPS skills on the PC are abysmal at best, but when Im armed with a handy-dandy one-shot kill machine, I feel like Im the best player ever! This bad boy can be pre-loaded with 6 slugs in one clip, making it pretty hard for anyone to get away in one piece. Considering I cant hit the broadside of a barn on most days, this weapon was tailored for me and I picked it up whenever I could and would start firing at will.
Of course, there were also some downsides to this magnificent piece of machinery. It can also lob deadly grenades, which is fantastic if someone got too close. But that also meant I was too close. Lets just say not all my matches ended well.
Lorenzo Veloria: Spread gun (Contra)
Ive played so many shooters over the years, but even over all of the Lancers and Battle Rifles that have popped up in modern games, my favorite gun still comes from one of the first (and my personal favorite) shooters I played. Contras Spread gun is the ultimate projectile weapon and is unmatched in its supreme awesomeness--as far as Im concerned. Where else can you find a gun that is basically a shotgun with zero range limitations, unlimited ammo, and fires red energy projectiles the size of your head?
One trigger pull from the Spread gun is like shooting six cannonballs at once, in which each glowing red orb instantly incinerates any enemy soldier it comes in contact with. It doesnt matter what stands in your way; Giant armored aliens, spiky plows, or bubble spewing monsters, everything falls at the might of the spreader. Getting ahold of this devastating ET blaster is like giving the Red Falcon a one way ticket to evil alien hell.
Lucas Sullivan: Sniper rifle (Team Fortress 2)
The way I see it, this gun is the epitome of long-range warfare. I was never a fan of the quick-scope AWP kills in Counter-Strike, or the way Call of Duty 4 simulates inaccuracy with a swaying reticle. But sniping just clicks for me in TF2. Lining up headshots by the dozen, then spewing a scathing taunt in a bad Australian accent, is just about as good as it gets.
The Snipers firearm of choice isnt just extremely fun to use--its also perfectly designed in terms of gameplay. The charge mechanic rewards sniping with focus and making your shots count, while giving any enemy Spy a window to filet your tender, stationary back. Theres no abstract guessing at where the bullet might land, like in CS, or no-scope malarkey as in COD--unless the Snipers taking damage, his hitscan shot will always land on the laser-dot mark (which also serves as a warning to enemy players of which spots to avoid). Best of all, a headshot against any opposing Sniper is a guaranteed kill, spurring heated duels which I like to call Sniper Battles.
Amber Fariss: R.Y.N.O. (Rip You A New One - Ratchet & Clank series)
The R.Y.N.O. is a mega powerful gun with updated versions throughout the Ratchet & Clank games. All you have to do is pull the trigger and the RYNO fires auto targeted rockets or missiles that will demolish your enemies in about 10 seconds. In the later PS3 games, it could be upgraded to vaporize, melt, or disintegrate enemies; in Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time, The RYNO V plays Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture when you fire it, which is awesome. In the 2nd Ratchet & Clank, I was finally able to bring down the final boss easily with it, and in the later games I just used it to blow everything up. Nothing was getting in my way with this baby.
Hollander Cooper: Any Old West guns (Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood and Red Dead Redemption)
Guns have gotten too complicated. Call of Duty's rifles have two multiple sights, grenade attachments, extended clips, and other peripherals created exclusively to allow one person to kill more people without ever looking away from his red dot. My favorite guns, though, haven't been used actively since the late 1800s, in an era that I've always considered to be the Goldilocks Zone of awesome firearms: the Old West.
Seriously, think about how interesting that time was for firearms. Muskets and the like were on the outs because they took too long to reload and were dumb, and machine guns were still some 50 years away. That's why I love the West, and think it's an awesome era for shooters to be set in. Red Dead Redemption's revolvers were fantastic, and the guns in Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (seriously, it's not an awful game!) had an amazing, physical feel that make modern military shooters feel weak.
Henry Gilbert: Golden Gun (GoldenEye 007)
Some people had been enjoying shooters on PC years before GoldenEye hit the N64, but for me that game was my first taste of the drug that is FPS gameplay. My friends and I spent hundreds of hours shooting one another in split-screen on my parents 32-inch TV, but one mode was the clear favorite: Golden Gun. Here the multiplayer stage had a special pistol in it that held one round in the chamber, but if your shot hit it was an instant kill.
The hunt for the gun, the power you felt holding it, the intense moment of reloading before your next victim started firing, and the great feeling of killing the person with the gun made us return to the mode over and over again. I enjoyed it so much I even watched the film the gun was pulled from, which is one of the sillier adventures in Bonds history, including a scene where he captures a little person inside luggage. Anyway, though Ill remember GoldenEyes entire arsenal fondly, that single shot weapon will always reign supreme.
Tom Magrino: Force-A-Nature (Team Fortress 2)
Those who know me know that I can be an intolerable jerkface when it comes to playing competitive games. It's an odd foible; I don't even regard myself as a particularly competitive person. In fact, coming out on top largely isn't ever my goal. No, for me, when the time for mono-a-mono arrives, the ultimate endgame is for my opponent to absolutely loathe the very prospect of facing me again. And that's why I like the Scout's Force-A-Nature shotgun from Team Fortress 2.
Ready, aim, fire
With all the bajillions of guns in video games (hell, you can find that many in Borderlands 2 alone), it's hard to pick a favorite. But what are your fondest boomstick memories? Let us know in the comments below and maybe we'll send you a puppy in the mail. (No we won't).