Festive Features #3 - Top Five Best Bows of 2013
Written Saturday, December 21, 2013 By XBA Staff
It’s that time again. As Christmas nears and the year draws to an end, we’re taking a look at the last twelve months and picking out some of the aspects we’ve enjoyed most (and least) in 2013. Our Festive Features are back!
This time out it’s bows. Video games’ obsession with all things arrow-flingy continued apace in 2013, with loads of titles falling over themselves to offer up the ultimate in strung-flung action. From classic fantasy, to historical epics, sci-fi and gritty modern realism, no setting was free from merderous twanging. Below, you’ll discover the ones we enjoyed most.
Sam Fisher's stun pistol is all well and good if you're going for a non-lethal playthrough in Splinter Cell: Blacklist, but nothing beats the Crossbow for versatility and outright style. With it you can launch noisemakers, EMP chaffs, sleeping gas and sticky shockers, but it's combining the Crossbow's projectiles that provides the most fun.
Fire a noisemaker into a puddle, then follow up with a sticky shocker to electrify several guards at once, subduing them non-lethally. That's the way to do it. Tearing through Blacklist with the Crossbow almost beats smacking bad guys in the back of the head. Almost. The Crossbow is one of Splinter Cell's finest weapons, making us wonder why it took so long for Ubisoft to introduce the weapon to the series in the first place. We're happy to say it takes pride of place in Blacklist.
Hawkeye’s bow is already an icon. Thanks to the comics and the movies, the super-archer’s flip-out arrow pinger has already made a place for itself in popular culture. Its representation in TT Games’ LEGO Marvel Super Heroes may not develop that legend, but it’s used in some really fun ways to add variety to the title’s gameplay.
The key to this is its abilities outside of combat. Yeah you can use it to reduce minions to little tinkling plastic studs, but it also plays an important role in the game’s light puzzles too, its multifaceted nature unlocking paths that the other core characters simply can’t. One of the best things about LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is how well it treats its source material, repurposing it to fit the series’ trademark gameplay. Hawkeye’s bow continues this fine tradition.
Katniss Everdeen has a lot to answer for. Every since the Hunger Games protagonist exploded into the international consciousness, female characters and bows have gone hand in hand. It’s the accessory of choice to complete any outfit. So, what better weapon to give explorer-and-adventurer-in-training Lara Croft then? None better, that’s what.
By the end of Lara’s origin story her bow is capable of everything from blowing stuff up, to pinging out zip wires, discovering new areas, skinning animals and good old fashioned bad dude murder. It’s Lara’s most important tool for survival, without which she would either still be stuck on that island or worse. That’s why it deserves a place on our list.
Is there a bow on this list that looks more badass? Splashed all over the promotional material for Crysis 3, grasped by the posing Prophet, this collapsible arrow-chucker really looks the part. It’s just as cool in-game too, with the first-person perspective offering a chance to look straight down the arrow shaft and into the eyes of your victim.
But it’s not all about aethetics. You can arm the Predator will all kinds of ammo, encompassing carbon impact tips, electro arrows, super thermite tips and an airburst fragmentation tip. With the possible exception of our winner, it’s the most powerful bow on the list. You can use it and remain cloaked too, making it extra deadly. The Predator Bow is true to its name. One hit kills? Eff yes.
Even in its uncomplicated vanilla guise, the crossbow is a beautiful piece of uncomplicated engineering, designed to fire bolts at high velocity into faces. How could you ever hope to improve upon such a design? The answer is to introduce a Roman Candle firework into the equation. Obviously.
Once again Dead Rising 3 displays its unique brand of ingenuity with the Blambow, a crossbow with an explosive twist. Fire Arrows can also be fired from Nick Ramos' homemade crossbow contraption, but the Blambow is one of the ultimate expressions of Dead Rising 3's overblown tools of zombie slaughter. There are numerous better weapons in Dead Rising 3, but the Blambow is the only firearm for us, edging out the Z.A.R. by a hair's breadth. Blam!