Fun Gun Awards: Torque Bow from Gears of War

theron

The Fun Gun Award™, is an award given to video game guns that aren’t necessarily effective, don’t necessarily give a player any tactical advantage, but which do have creative behavior, unique design, and which are fun to use. These guns might suck, but they’re so fun that I want to keep using them.

Last time I talked about the Storm Bow from Heretic 2. Now it’s time to talk about another fun bow.

The Torque Bow is a weird gun to get a Fun Gun Award™, mainly because it’s actually useful.

It’s useful, it’s unique, it’s versatile. It’s kind of an amazingly well designed weapon that can actually stand up to other weapons in Gears of War. And its design has barely changed over the series.

The Torque Bow has always been my favorite weapon in GoW because of its goofy firing mechanic. It’s actually a very clever elaboration/improvement on the typical “charge-up” mechanic of video game weapons.

Most charge up weapons are useless during the charging phase and if you stop the charing phase then you have to start over; they’re inoperable until fully charged. The Torque Bow, however, can be fired WHILE charging, although its behavior will be different.

It’s kind of a no-brainer design decision; it makes standard charge up weapon mechanics look like rough drafts. While most charging weapons are only useful at one specific time, the Torque Bow has continuous utility (depending, of course, on what you’re using it for).

When fully charged, the Torque Bow fires an explosive arrow in a straight line, over long range. Hit a wall, the arrow sticks to the wall and explodes. Hit a player, and the arrow sticks to the player and blows him up a second later.

torque aim

When not fully charged, the Torque Bow fires an arrow like a grenade: in a downward arc affected by gravity. Hit a wall or anything else and the arrow will bounce around and then explodes. The more you charge the bow, the straighter the arc becomes until it’s fully charged and it isn’t affected by gravity at all.

A fully charged round is usually ideal because a direct hit is an instakill. But, it’s not ALWAYS ideal. Sometimes the ability to bounce the shot around cover or against walls is actually more useful than being able to make it stick.

One time in multiplayer I had a Torque Bow and the other guy came up to the other side of my cover. Usually this makes the Torque Bow useless at such close range, but I managed to weak-fire around our cover, and the explosion hit him dead on. It killed him instantly, although he may have been weakened already.

I remember a lot of other examples (although not as successful as the one above) where I use the weaker shot to confuse or intimidate enemies. Most people don’t expect it; they usually treat the Torque Bow like a sniper rifle, which is how it’s usually used. The weak-shot rarely killed anyone, but it put the pressure on, which is valuable in multiplayer.

And that’s without talking about the fully charged strong-shot, because what’s there to say. It’s really powerful if you have good aim. It can contend with the sniper rifle. It’s a one hit kill on a time delay. It’s awesome.

Stay tuned for future episodes of the Fun Gun Awards which may include:

Pheropod/Snark from Half-life
various guns from the Red Faction series
Soul Cube from Doom 3
Vine Arrow from Thief 2
Q-claw from Goldeneye
the severed limbs of your enemies from Rune
pretty much every gun in the Resistance series

If anyone is reading this, let me know of any fun guns that you think deserve an award.

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