I’ve been playing through vanquish (hahaha, I’ve beaten it long since this was written) and I really love the weapon design so far. it’s the only game with 3 weapons that has ever actually made me consider the weapons I choose for the situation instead of just an optimization function.
The LFE gun (which shoots a huge bubble of energy in case it isn’t obvious) is great for encounters against small enemies that clump together because it destroys them instantly and has a wide fire radius. it’s balanced by having a short range and only 10 shots max. It’s useless against larger units, barely doing damage, if any at all, but can be useful against romanovs because it knocks them down, opening them up for melee attacks. It totally ignores obstructions so it’s good for catching enemies behind cover too.
The shotgun is one of my least used guns, having a pretty miserable effective range. It has huge damage output up close though, so it’s really useful against larger units if I can get in close. It has only 20 ammo, so it has a reasonable amount of firepower.
The Disc launcher strikes me as one of the less useful guns, only being good against single enemy units. It has limited ammo, like 40 I think, and it homes slightly. It has decent damage and great range, so it’s better than a shotgun in most situations, but I think it’s a bit underpowered.
The armor piercing pistol is great against armored units and takes out regular units in a single shot, but that is a complete waste of ammo most of the time. It does damage like a shotgun does up close. They’re extremely rare drops however, but come with more ammo than a shotgun does, like 26 shots. Has more potential firepower than a rocket lawnchair, but takes more shots and is even more rare a drop.
The Rocket Launcher has a manual firing mode and a lock on that takes time to activate. It does tons of damage, and stuns romanovs. It has a very wide blast radius, like a grenade, making it useful for clearing tons of standard units in a close area. Better than a grenade on heavy units. Balanced by the fact that it has only 3 shots, less than anything else. Despite doing the best single hit damage, I tend not to choose it in situations with diverse enemies because it’s not flexible enough.
The laser cannon is a huge laser with great damage over time. It requires a few seconds to warm up though, and it drains energy directly from the suit, and can even overheat it. It’s really useful in situations where you won’t get fired on and need to do a lot of damage over time. It has no ammo limit, but I end up discarding it when I enter standard sections because it’s just not practical against regular enemies.
The sniper rifle is a sniper rifle. It’s useless against armored units, because a regular submachine gun gets better damage output. Its most useful in sections where the enemies are far away and you are free to line up headshots with the scope. It nearly kills an enemy on a body shot, and kills them instantly on a headshot. All the submachine guns kill instantly on headshots too, but the scope is the difference here. Also good for when an enemy is even slightly weakened.
The lock on laser locks onto a wide array of targets and fires at all of them with lasers kind of like a predator missile or something, but has shit for damage. I think it may be the most useless weapon. Takes a long time to kill even a large amount of standard units. I didn’t pick it up much at all.
There are 3 types of submachine guns and they’re all pretty similar, and good for long range engagement, and dealing damage to heavier units.
The boost machine gun is the best of the three I think, balanced by poor accuracy, small clip, and smaller ammo supply. Great damage output though, more than worth it. Drops rarely, so it’s a bit of a bonus weapon.
The heavy machine gun is my favored over the assault rifle, for better damage output despite smaller clips and less ammo. The boost and heavy machine guns both have around 260 ammo versus the assault rifle with 600.
The two grenades are also really cool and have nice application. The standard frag grenade has a great range and does great damage, which is useful against enemies big and small, especially if they’re clumped together. The EMP grenade has a wider radius and freezes the robotic enemies for a decent period of time, enabling moving forward, melee while they’re stunned, taking them out with an AOE, or just plain shooting at them.
Melee attacks are massively risky, because they instantly overheat the suit, and require moving forward into enemy lines. They leave you defenseless, so they’re a terrible idea except as a clutch defense or for attacking unassisted romanovs (large enemy units).