An award for video game guns that aren’t necessarily good or effective at killing, but which are creative, unique, and lots of fun to use. These guns might suck, but I want to learn to use them effectively because they’re so enjoyable.
The needler became my favorite weapon in Halo almost immediately. It is unique and fun and quintessentially a video game weapon. It just wouldn’t be as interesting in any context other than a game.
It’s visual design, first of all, is great and exemplifies visual weapon design in games. You’ve got this strange, beetle shell casing, which makes it look fundamentally different from any other weapon, Covenant or human. When you reloaded the needler, you kind of shake it, and the needles spring out from the top, which kind of made it feel like a living creature, like it’s raising its hackles.
Then, to make it stand out even more, it’s got glass(?) needles, the gun’s ammunition, sticking right out the top like a field of obelisks. Only a video game designer would think of that. No one else would think to have a gun’s own ammunition physically located on the outside of the gun; not a film director, not a writer, not a painter, not a manufacturer of real guns. And then the needles shrink as you shoot the gun! You actually see the ammunition get used up! That tangible, visual communication is quintessentially “video game”, and it is just one of the aspects of the weapon that makes it fun and memorable.
Read the rest of this entry »