As of late, I have become very long winded when it comes to my thoughts on weapons, and other things like armor abilities, when I comment on the forums and/or blogs. So it seems like the prefect time to give my thoughts on all of the weapons of Halo I have used over the years.
What better way to start a discussion of Halo weapons than the first weapon used by John-117 in Halo, the M6 series PDWS, otherwise known as the Magnum. With the various incarnations of the Magnum, it really depends on whether or not it has a scope. Unless I am dual wielding, ideally with the Plasma Pistol, and even then I still have a hard time getting headshots, I haven't had much use for the Halo 3 M6G, and I am sure the same will hold true for the Halo 2 M6C. For some reason, I have a hard time consistently getting headshots with the Halo Magnum, otherwise I like the weapon. The Halo 3: ODST M6C/SOCOM is of course only useful for headshots. The Halo: Reach M6G is a fine weapon, though its somewhat harder to pull a double tap on a Jackal with a Point Defense Gauntlet than with the likes of say a DMR. The Halo 4 M6H is my favorite incarnation of the Magnum due to its shear ease of use.
My opinion of the MA5 series ICWS, otherwise known as the Assault Rifle is generally positive, though it greatly depends on which version it is. The Halo MA5B is useful, if only because it is a SMG in AR clothing. I don't like the Halo: Reach MA37, though I do tend to use it a fair amount due to the fact there is almost always ammo for it. I like the MA5C, especially in Halo 3, though its a challenge to use it against Brutes, even more so in Halo 3: ODST. The Halo 4 MA5D is my favorite incarnation of the Assault Rifle, because I can do things with it which I simply can't do with any other incarnation of the weapon.
What can I say, the Battle Rifle is my most favorite weapon in Halo. The Halo 3 BR55HB is the primary reason why I was able to beat Halo 3, though without hitscan, it isn't quite as user friendly as it could be. The Halo 4 BR85HB is my favorite incarnation of the Battle Rifle due to hitscan, which means I am very likely to like the Halo 2 BR55 since it also uses hitscan.
Quite simply put, I like the DMR. The Halo: Reach M392 is my signature weapon in Halo: Reach, if only because there is something off about the Halo: Reach weapon balance that makes it the most viable weapon under most circumstances. I like the Halo 4 M395, though if I am not mistaken, precise trigger control is not required like it was in Halo: Reach, so I am not entirely certain I am using it to its full potential, not that I could probably ever use it to such a high level.
My opinion of both incarnations of the SMG is fairly positive. The Halo 3 SMG is a solid weapon, though since I prefer to dual wield it if I intend to use it, I don't generally use it because it makes using a secondary weapon complicated. The Halo 3: ODST Silenced SMG is decent, if only because there is basically always plenty of ammo available.
I like the various incarnations of the Shotgun, though I generally only bother with it against the Flood, which generally limits my use of it. This makes my impressions of the Shotgun very straight forward. The Halo M90 is the ultimate weapon against the Flood in Halo. The Halo 3 M90A again has excellent performance against the Flood besides the Pure Forms, the problem is there generally isn't enough ammo for continuous use, which ultimately makes the Brute Shot the more viable option. I don't generally use the Shotgun in Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4, since they don't have the Flood and the difficulty in dealing with Elites and other similar enemies, though probably my most favorite method of dealing with Hunters outside of Halo is to get in behind them with a Shotgun.
I like sniping in Halo, arguably more so than in Call of Duty, so it should come as no surprise that I like the various models of the SRS99 series, otherwise known as the Sniper Rifle. The various models are functionally identical, so I don't see much of a reason to breakdown my thoughts by individual model, but instead by the challenges in dealing with specific enemies. Evading Elites, especially with the armor ability in Halo: Reach, can be quite difficult to effectively engage without wasting shots. Brutes are somewhat easier to deal with, though the head of a Brute wielding a Gravity Hammer has a tendency to sway, making them almost as difficult as dealing with an Elite. Promethean Knights are generally easier than both Elites and Brutes to deal with, though there isn't a lot of margin for error with headshots on Knights, especially with teleporting, which seems to completely reset their shields.
What more needs to be said, the Rocket Launcher is exactly what its expected to be, an anti-vehicle weapon that also works great against heavy infantry and Hunters.
The Spartan Laser is a great weapon against almost anything in the hands of a skilled operator. I generally use it in all games, when it is available, though since it is only available at the end of Composer in Halo 4, it doesn't really see much use due to the Mantis.
I really like the Sticky Detonator, especially in comparison to the Grenade Launcher. The Grenade Launcher is difficult for me to use to its full potential, because I am not effective with the EMP grenades.
I like the SAW a lot, though I primarily only use it on Requiem due to the plentiful ammo outside of the Cathedral. The Railgun is a good weapon, though I primarily only really use it against Knights on Infinity.
The Flamethrower is a good weapon, though there really isn't much of a reason to use one, and I have had the really bad tendency to try to beat Cortana solely with the weapon on occasion.
For the longest time I rarely used grenades in general, though I now recognize why the golden triangle of Halo, guns, grenades, and melee, exists. In recent months, I finally started recognizing just how many Frag Grenades are actually available, and I have been using them far more frequently.
Next up, Covenant weapons. I don't generally like using battery-powered plasma weapons, due to the need to replace the weapon when it is depleted. Dual wielding mitigates my perceived flaws with plasma weapons, so they see far more use in Halo 3 than any other game.
As I alluded to with the Magnum, I only really like the Plasma Pistol when dual wielded, so I rarely use it outside of Halo 3, and even then only really at the beginning of Sierra 117. Overcharge is a very flexible ability, especially when it gained the ability to disable vehicles, but I have a hard time effectively using it, even in Halo where it has amazing homing characteristics. My problems were further exacerbated by the continuous drain with later incarnations.
I don't love or hate the Plasma Rifle, the Brute Plasma Rifle, the Plasma Repeater, and the Storm Rifle, though the way I see it, if I need to use a plasma weapon, I am probably doing something very wrong.
The various incarnations of the Beam Rifle, the Halo 4 Type-27 and the Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 3: ODST Type-50, are fine weapons, though it can be difficult to get follow up shots with the Type-50 due to the fact it overheats very fast. I hate the Focus Rifle, because I find it to be completely useless.
I generally like the Covenant Carbine. Unfortunately, I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with the Halo 3 Carbine, since it isn't precise like the DMR, so it usually just ends up being a stopgap until I can get a Battle Rifle in Sierra 117. The Halo 3: ODST Carbine could arguably used as a primary against anything but Hunters, due to the absence of the Battle Rifle and the general weakness of the M6C/SOCOM. The Halo 4 Carbine is precise, though since I love the UNSC big three in Halo 4, the Battle Rifle, the Assault Rifle, and the DMR, it only really sees limited use.
I like the Needler in all of its somewhat varied appearances, where its never really been the exact same weapon twice, and could probably use it constantly if I wanted to under most circumstances, especially the Halo 4 version. I like the Needle Rifle, which rivals the DMR, so when the DMR isn't available I am now very comfortable with falling back on the Needle Rifle in Halo: Reach.
I don't have much use for the Spiker or the Mauler, because as with the plasma weapons, if I need to use one, I am probably doing something very wrong. As I alluded to with the Shotgun, I like the Brute Shot, especially against the Flood.
My respect for the Concussion Rifle has greatly increased in recent months, once I discovered an effective tactic for using it, to engage Elites or Brutes with melee weapons or who are otherwise less mobile, so as not to waste too many shots. Of course, both the Brute Shot and the Concussion Rifle are a pain to deal with in the hands of enemies due to the bottomless clip factor.
I like the melee weapons, the Energy Sword and the Gravity Hammer, though there isn't generally much of a reason to use them, at least in a singleplayer setting, since guns are generally more effective.
I like the Fuel Rod Gun, though I find it is best used by allies, especially loaded up in a Troop Transport Warthog. I also like the Plasma Launcher, though I don't end up using it much due to the fact its battery-powered and is rarely fully charged.
Unlike the other grenades, I do generally use the Covenant grenades. I primarily use the Plasma Grenade to stick Elites or similar major enemies, since there is almost always a steady supply. The Spike Grenade and the Incendiary Grenade are effective grenades, though I don't use them very often since they aren't as common as the other grenades in Halo 3.
The new Forerunner weapon set is one of the reasons why I like Halo 4. I mean, sure the Forerunner weapons are analogues to many of the UNSC and Covenant weapons, but they aren't really direct copies.
I don't really like the Boltshot, due to the similarities with the Halo 3 Magnum, the heavy trigger pull that makes it a challenge to use, and because its not particularly useful in the campaign. My opinion will probably improve in a multiplayer setting where the charged burst is a one-shot kill.
I like the Suppressor, though all of the other Forerunner weapons are ultimately more useful.
The LightRifle is my favorite addition in Halo 4, though I have a tendency to over fire it in DMR mode against Knights.
It took me a while to feel comfortable with the Scattershot, but now its my go to secondary in Forerunner centric levels when better weapons aren't available.
What more can be said, the Binary Rifle is a solid sniper rifle analogue with a unique twist.
The Incineration Cannon is an excellent weapon, though I can see why some people hate it.
I have never really had much of a need to use the Sentinel Beam, though it seems to be marginally better than the Focus Rifle.
I don't generally use the Pulse Grenade very much, though that has of course improved in recent months. I understand to a certain extent why they weren't very warmly received by many people, mainly due to the relatively high skill factor necessary to make effective use of them, though I do know they are effective against stationary targets and am also aware of other methods of using them.