Weapons in video games, just like in real life, are expected to inflict damage to your enemy and leave you unharmed. I mean, that’s basically weapons 101. Video game weapons tend to be wildly dangerous, creative, and over-the-top, with the sort of weapon design that creates guns bigger than the person wielding them with chainsaw blades right next to where you put your fingers, or imaginative weapons that deploy projectiles, lasers, explosions, swarms of angry bees, deadly gas, or anything else you can imagine. Some of the greatest and most memorable games have overpowered weapons that let you mow down your enemies effortlessly; an unbalanced superweapon that breaks the game in the most fun way possible.
But what about the weapons that are either impractically powerful and thus a liability, or have drawbacks that make them just as likely to kill their user as the target? One of the complaints about notoriously powerful weapons is the idea that they throw the game off balance, ruining the challenge and requiring no skill or strategy. Balance in a video game largely depends on the weapons. But what if extremely powerful weapons have a drawback that limits their use? They can be dangerously powerful, have limited ammo, cause in-game consequences, or just generally be so powerful that you can’t fire them without it destroying everything within a ten-mile radius, including you.
Here are 15 overpowered weapons in video games that are just as dangerous to the player as they are to the enemy.
15. Experimental MIRV (Fallout 3)
The MIRV is the perfect example of an impractically powerful weapon. If you thought the mini nuke-launching Fat Man was overpowered, consider that the MIRV is basically a Fat Man that launches eight mini nukes at once. It also deals more base damage that any other weapon in Fallout 3 at 12,880 (equaling eight times a regular mini nuke).
The MIRV is possibly the most expensive and impractical weapon in the entire Fallout series. It’s a thrill to shoot, but its usability in battle is rather minimal, especially since using it in V.A.T.S. will cause the player to aim at an enemy without compensating for distance, and only the eighth nuke will actually hit the target while the others will travel shorter distances. This means using the MIRV in V.A.T.S. almost invariably ends with your corpse flying through the air.
14. Flamethrower (Far Cry 2)
Any flamethrower that exists in games is likely to be just as dangerous to you as whoever is on the business end of the nozzle. Think about how many times you tried to set fire to an opponent, or maybe a tree or bush to get a healthy brushfire going as a distraction, and ended up roasting like a chicken. The Far Cry games are prime examples of this. Ever since Far Cry 2, there’s been this simultaneously awesome and frustrating mechanic of anything involving fire or explosions starting huge brushfires that quickly grow out of control.
However, it should be obvious that applying fire to a situation will not automatically solve all problems, despite popular belief. The flamethrowers can easily set fire to destructible environments and make things hazardous for the player and your allies in the area.
13. Planet Buster (Spore)
Ever wanted to play a game that’s basically a Death Star simulator? Of course you have! The ultimate weapon of the real-time strategy god game Spore, the Planet Buster is exactly what it sounds like. When fired it destroys an entire planet, as well as its nearby moons and any cities unfortunate enough to be built on its surface, turning the whole world into a fiery ball within seconds. The effect is permanent – planets destroyed by the superweapon can’t be restored, and soon the floating balls of lava fade away forever.
There’s just one problem: using the Planet Buster breaks the Galactic Code, which causes any other Empires within earshot to instantly declare war on you. It turns out having the power to destroy whole planets and their inhabitants doesn’t make one very popular with the galactic community.
12. Spring Razor (Dishonored)
In a game with plague rats, crossbows, swords and many other deadly sharp things, Dishonored‘s spring razor weapon is particularly nasty. A trap that shoots out coiled bits of wire, razors, shrapnel, shells, and bones in a spinning tornado of death, the spring razor works a lot like a proximity land mine. When triggered by vibrations it unwinds with a loud click and quickly slices anyone and anything near it to bits. The spring razor can even be stuck onto surfaces, rats, crossbow bolts, and much more.
Quite a handy gadget if used right. Unfortunately most of the assassinations in both Dishonored games take place indoors, so Corvo and Emily are just as likely to get some nasty cuts if they’re standing near one when something else triggers it.
11. Shotgun (Spelunky)
It seems like everything in Spelunky is out to kill you, whether it be monsters, traps, or even your own weapons. To make matters worse, death is permanent and the player loses all their treasure and has to start over from the beginning each time they die. You would think by the time you got your hands on the shotgun, which can easily dispatch most enemies with a single shot even from far away, you’d be grateful to finally have an advantage.
The problem is the kickback of the weapon is enormous. It will fling your explorer back quite a distance each time, usually into an enemy, off a cliff, or into a spike trap, or perhaps all three at once.
10. Killstar (Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon)
Presented as the ultimate achievement in weapons technology in Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and unlocked during the second-to-last mission in the main story, “Test Your Might,” the Killstar’s description says that it brings “the bio-amplitude levels of the human body into reaching pitch resonance polarity.” In essence, it’s an arm-mounted laser cannon. Sure enough, the Killstar is everything you’d hope for in a laser beam. But there’s a catch: it doesn’t have an ammo type because it slowly drains your life force and uses it to fuel its destructive powers.
Wait, what? Yes, the weapons makes your in-game health bar slowly go down as it fires. While the game prevents you from firing until you’re dead, but use it too much and you’ll be easy pickings for enemies.
9. Singularity Cannon (Red Faction: Armageddon)
A black hole is a point in spacetime with infinitely strong gravitational pull that nothing – not even light – can escape from. So it only makes sense that such an uncontrollable force should be harnessed into a deadly weapon, right? Better yet, include it in a lot of first-person shooter sci-fi games where they can be used indoors! The Singularity Cannon from Red Faction: Armageddon is perhaps the best example of this.
Easily one of the most powerful weapons in the game in terms of base damage, it fires a burst of energy that turns into a singularity on impact, easily destroying enemies and buildings. What we don’t get is who thought it was a good idea to weaponize a mysterious astrological phenomenon that could easily destroy the entire planet?
8. Grenades (Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare)
Really, this could apply to almost all grenades in first-person shooter video games. Sometimes, grenades are a blessing: when you’re cornered and hiding behind cover they can be a last resort distraction or eliminate clusters of enemies grouped too close together. In the Call of Duty series, your odds are about 50-50 in throwing them. It seems like the moment you find good cover there will be three or four grenades to blow you out of there, especially when playing on higher difficulty settings.
Of course, you can try to be really quick about throwing them back or running away, but when you throw a barrage of grenades yourself, the enemy can do the same thing with pretty much the same success rate.
7. Spider Camo (Metal Gear Solid 3)
Fighting the boss known as The Fear in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is no easy task, partially because he wears a unique camo suit that blends in with every background flawlessly. If you manage to win the fight with non-lethal methods, you’re given the camo suit as a reward. Its stats are impressive: when equipped it boasts a constant 80% camouflage no matter where you are.
The problem is it drains your stamina horribly. This serious weakness explains why The Fear stopped his boss fight with you every few minutes to eat something – it seems like your energy is always plunging when you wear the Spider Camo no matter how much you eat, which renders you more likely to die from starvation in the middle of a fight than from the enemy’s bullets.
6. Molotov Cocktail (Tomb Raider)
Among the deadly weapons Lara Croft encounters in the 2013 reboot of the famous Tomb Raider franchise is the famous Molotov Cocktail, also known as a petrol bomb or the poor man’s grenade. There are quite a few enemies who hurl the bottled flammable liquid at Ms. Croft in Tomb Raider and in 2015’s Rise of the Tomb Raider you gain the ability to craft your own.
Molotov Cocktails can’t be shot out of the air like dynamite, they’re very useful for taking out a bunch of clustered enemies at once, and let’s face it: it’s a lot of fun to throw them and watch them explode and set everyone on fire. But Molotovs are nothing is not a double-edged sword: getting shot while carrying one will cause them to drop it, turning the user into crispy bacon.
5. Sunder And Keening (Morrowind)
Sunder and Keening are two of Kagrenac’s Tools, essential objects to complete the main quest of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. With them, the player can tap into the power of the Heart of Lorkhan, defeat Dagoth Ur and finish the game. Though you can also wield them as melee weapons since they are a golden hammer and a crystal dagger, respectively. They also give amazing stat boosts. The best part is these two legendary Dwemer artifacts are available at any time during the game.
There’s just one problem: the powers in the two objects are so immense that you can’t equip them for very long due to their “mortal wound” ability, which kills even the hardiest high-level player in seconds. Another artifact, Wraithguard, is needed to even handle them safely. Oh, and Wraithguard? That hurts you a lot too, but only once (permanently).
4. Touch Of Malice (Destiny)
The Touch of Malice is one of the more unique and sought after weapons in Destiny: The Taken King. An Exotic Scout Rifle obtained through a series of quests and collecting 45 calcified fragments, you eventually get it from Eris Morn as a gift. This unique weapon starts at a minimum level of 40 and only has 11 rounds, but the final round of the magazine infinitely regenerates and deals significant bonus damage. The catch is that it fires infinite rounds at the cost of draining the player’s life force.
Yes, this Exotic weapon will straight-up get you killed if you don’t pay attention, but luckily getting three rapid consecutive kills with it will let you gain back some health. But hey, a small price to pay for unlimited ammunition, right?
3. Rocket Launcher (7 Days To Die)
Every game has the equivalent of a rocket launcher: the destructive weapon we wait for the whole game until we finally get it in the main quest or, in the case of zombie survival crafting game 7 Days to Die, spend hours finding the schematics and materials to craft it and its equally rare and hard-to-craft ammo. Once you finally get it, it doesn’t disappoint. It’s effective at any range against hordes of zombies, blowing up buildings, or even getting rid of that pesky mountain you’ve always hated.
The trouble in 7 Days is not only the usual “don’t get caught in your own rocket blast” problem, but that the Minecraft-like structure of the game makes blocks of stone, dirt, and whatever else fly in all directions when a rocket explodes. Getting hit by these hurts…a lot.
2. Claymores (Metal Gear Solid)
The description for this anti-personnel mine in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker rightly describes them as very powerful and easy to use, but warns you to avoid setting them off yourself because “the results could be too horrible to watch.” Given that a claymore is a pound and a half of explosives with 700 steel ball bearings, and that in most MGS games you can easily get yourself killed by walking over your own claymore, this is pretty sound advice.
Claymores make short work of Solid Snake in their first canonical appearance in Metal Gear Solid. They are invisible on screen, though thermal goggles and mine detectors can reveal their location. Snake can even crawl over them and use them himself. The mines make short work of just about anything, though claymores are definitely responsible for more player deaths than anything.
1. Bombs (Bomberman)
The Bomberman series is low-key one of the most successful video game franchises of all time, with over 70 games spanning the last three decades. It’s just too bad that the titular bombs are arguably the most destructive and harmful weapons in gaming when it comes to killing the player just as much as enemies, which we supposed is the point of the game.
Whether it’s from blowing yourself up before your rival has the chance by using your bomb to take out someone else’s, failing to get out of the way of the column of flame from your own bomb, or placing a bomb and trapping yourself in its path by walking in the wrong direction, your primary weapon to defend yourself in Bomberman is also probably your main cause of death.
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