Balancing can be a constant source of strife in gaming. From characters in a fighting game to items in an RPG, anything that’s either too good or too bad compared to its peers is going to be problematic.
In an FPS title, for instance, there’s a classic natural order of progression that isn’t tampered with too much. Beginning with a lowly pistol, your character will often progress slowly to stronger and stronger weapons, wielding a vast and absurd array of weaponry by the end of things. The enemies, meanwhile, should become increasingly challenging accordingly.
This delicate balance isn’t easy to maintain. Players have an uncanny way of discovering any weapon that may be too strong, and seizing upon it. Even so, though, there are also those weapons that are doomed to be largely forgotten, their great potential undiscovered by many.
They may not necessarily be the best choices, but they can certainly hold their own when given a chance. Here are some examples of great weapons that have tended to be sorely underrated.
10. Plasma Cutter: Dead Space Series
Dead Space protagonist Isaac Clarke is no hardened warrior. He’s an engineer. When the full horror of everything that’s happened on the USG Ishimura hits him, he doesn’t have a vast and absurd array of high-tech weaponry with which to defend himself against the Necromorph hordes.
Weapons in Dead Space generally take the form of mining implements (though more standard-issue fare like the Seeker Rifle does become available throughout the series). Isaac begins his ordeal with nothing more than a Plasma Cutter, a handheld device designed for cutting neatly through softer and more manageable materials (from mining assignments to certain surgeries). This serves as the impromptu ‘pistol’ of the game, and some players may simply cast it aside as seemingly stronger armaments are unlocked. This would be a terrible mistake, though.
As fans will know, combat in Dead Space often revolves more around limbs removed from foes than simple damage dealt. The Plasma Cutter can be very efficient at doing this in the hands of an experienced player (and is highly ammo-efficient to boot), and while large groups of foes are tough to manage, the vanilla Plasma Cutter will be an invaluable ally through an entire playthrough.