If traditional guns and bullets were the weapons of the Old Ways, used to defeat the Sentients in an ancient war, then Bows are the weapons of the Seriously Really Old Ways, the one thing the Sentients could never corrupt and adapt to. Really, how much can you fuck up a flexible material, some string and some pointy sticks? Which, apart from maybe the Mutalist Cernos and the Lenz, every bow basically is.
I do like bows. They used to be my preferred weapon of choice until I discovered there was a flamethrower. Bows are actually pretty strong, all things considered. I mean, sure, we’re fighting armies of armoured clones, infested monsters and hordes of machine proxies, but when you have the strength of a space ninja and the ability to abuse physics by double-jumping, then pulling back some string hard enough to fire an arrow through someone’s head isn’t that absurd. It’s also a lot quieter and less messy than simply spraying bullets everywhere. I even went as far as to build every bow possible after a long night of confusion.
So there are several bows. The MK1-Paris, the Paris, the Dread (normal Stalker’s bow), the Cernos, the Rakta Cernos (Red Veil’s signature weapon), the Mutalist Cernos, the Cernos Prime, the Paris Prime and the Lenz. The Attica and Zhuge are crossbows. The Ballistica is a weird crossbow secondary that has Rakta Ballistica and Ballistica Prime variants. All these weapons are silent, all of them fire projectiles (obviously) and all of them have pretty high critical chances. Compared to the large array of rifles available, most bows are actually pretty decent, and the MK1-Paris and Paris can easily be replaced by Paris Prime.
Most of these bows though fire one arrow at a time. The Mutalist Cernos builds on that by spewing a cloud of toxic gas wherever it hits. The Rakta Cernos and Rakta Ballistica both apply Blight, an enemy debuff that deals 1000 Viral damage and lowers health, restores 25% of your base energy and briefly increases your movement speed, when you get a certain amount of affinity, but aside from that, they’re still bows. The only outliers are the Cernos Prime and the Lenz.
Funnily enough, the Lenz, which already has its own article back when it was newly released, is the most dangerous bow, despite still only firing one ‘arrow’. It’s a firm favourite in Bow-Only sortie missions since it deals area of effect damage and causes EXPLOSIONS. Special, delayed explosions which are clearly marked so you don’t blow yourself up, but explosions none the less.
The Cernos Prime… well… I’ll be honest, the Cernos Prime is kinda what spurred me into writing this, because it’s basically Ivara’s Artemis Bow except nowhere near as good. It fires a bunch of arrows in a line. Either vertically or horizontally, you can toggle it as you please. But weirdly, it’s probably one of the worst bows because half your arrows never hit anything. Even if you use the vertical spread, some arrows will go over enemy heads and some between their legs. I can’t recommend this bow, I really can’t. At least it’s pretty, I guess?
My favourite bow? Probably the Rakta Cernos, simply because you can fire so quickly. Funnily enough, all bows used to fire a lot slower, but now they are all closer in fire rate to the Rakta Cernos. But bonus points go to the Dread, simply because it’s such a cool bow that can decapitate people. Because that’s exactly the sort of badass thing a Stalker would use.
The only one I can’t talk about though is the Paris Prime.
It’s, uh, still in my foundry.
After like two years.
I should probably get it out of the foundry at some point…