Unreal Tournament 3 Weapons Series - Shock Rifle
by Murshid Saqlain a.k.a. Legendary Hero

One of the most, if not the most, popular weapons in the Unreal Tournament series, the Shock Rifle is retained (obviously) in the third installment of the series as well. Like in the previous games, this weapon has two firing modes – the primary fire is the “shock beam”, which is a hitscan (meaning it strikes at the opponent instantly when fired, given the aim is right) bolt, and the secondary fire is a “shock core” which is a sphere of plasma energy that deals heavy damage. There is an additional use, which all veterans of UT know about: “Shock Combo”; if you hit a shock core with a shock beam, then the result is a powerful explosion that deals enormous damage in a spherical area. Now that we know the basics, let’s get into deeper analysis of the Shock Rifle.

The primary fire still deals 45 damage, like in UT2004, but the rate of fire is slightly faster. But that doesn’t mean the weapon is even more imbalanced, as the “knockback” effect of this firing mode is gone (which was a huge pain for opponents in the previous game and made the Shock Rifle broken). Fans will find that it’s still deadly to use the Shock Rifle in any long distance (hitscan) battles, and perhaps a little deadlier because of the increased firing rate.

The secondary fire has received a tremendous boost in my opinion. Not only does it deal 55 damage (as opposed to 45 in the previous game) but the Shock Core is also actually faster. Yes, this means that the potency of the Shock Rifle at close range has increased a lot. The Shock Core is slightly smaller than before though, which is both an advantage and disadvantage. The drawback is that there is an increased chance of missing the opponent, but the core doesn’t hit corners as much as before; which means better combos from corners.

Finally, the Shock Combo is slightly difficult to pull off than before, because the shock core is both smaller and faster. However, once you have enough practice and get the hang of it, the Shock Combo is perhaps what makes the Shock Rifle the most admired weapon. The effectiveness, visuals and sound effects of the Combo are highly satisfying. Furthermore, in this game, the Shock Combo sucks the body of the dead victim into a singular point which is an added eye-candy.

Overall, the Shock Rifle has made a glorious reappearance in the UT series, and it still remains the weapon of choice for many, including me. It’s not uncommon to find duelists timing the Shock Rifle with intense vigor and hunting the opponent down with all that this powerful weapon has to offer. So go ahead and pick up your Shock Rifle, and get ready to massacre the online scene.