- This article refers to the Hammerburst of Gears of War. For the Hammerburst in Gears of War 2 and Gears of War 3, see Hammerburst II.
The Hammerburst Assault Rifle, otherwise known as the Hammerburst I and also referred to as the Classic Hammerburst or CHB, was the standard-issue Locust assault rifle early in the Locust War. It was replaced by the Hammerburst II which still fired in bursts but, fires in such a way that makes it seem semi-automatic.
Regarded as the Locust counterpart to the COG Retro Lancer, the Hammerburst has a 6-round burst fire mode and a 78-round magazine. The Hammerburst features a relatively short barrel and compact size, and excels in medium to long-range combat, as the burst fire can be fired from distances close enough to hit and far enough to not be seen, while tracking targets before they get to cover.
However, the Hammerburst is not as effective in close quarters combat. The melee attack, in comparison to the chainsaw bayonet of the Mark 2 Lancer Assault Rifle, deals significantly less damage. However, at safer, open ranges, even mid-range, the Hammerburst exceeds the Lancer in terms of accuracy. Not only does it have a larger magazine, but the accuracy is phenomenal and the burst fire can kill foes due to a lack of a recoil.
Currently, the Hammerburst has largely been replaced by the new Hammerburst model, the Hammerburst II. Prior to this, the Hammerburst was used extensively by the Locust. Drones were commonly deployed with the Hammerburst into battle. Ironically, Gears frequently use it due to its greater accuracy and damage, an example being Damon Baird.
Some players dislike the Hammerburst due to its uselessness in CQC encounters (i.e. no Chainsaw Bayonet); however, this rifle was not designed for such encounters when in use by Gears. However, many firefights occur at ranges where Lancer users find themselves wasting unnecessary ammo without even seriously injuring enemies. The Hammerburst has incredible accuracy and almost zero recoil next to the Lancer. In addition, only two or three full bursts from the Hammerburst will kill a Drone on Hardcore, and on Casual, a mere one may be necessary. Beyond that, the Hammerburst, even with only half a burst impacting, can score a great shot like no other gun of its class (in other words, the Lancer).
That being said, the Hammerburst is an ideal weapon only at medium ranges; the Lancer, Longshot, and Gnasher Shotgun exceed it respectively in: sheer output (close), long ranged accuracy (300+ feet), and raw stopping power (very close). Veterans frequently use a Lancer/Hammerburst or Hammerburst/Gnasher combo. Either combo makes up for each weapon's weaknesses; the combo of medium/short ranged firepower is usually enough for most situations (such as the infamous fountain brawl, where Locust attack from all sides). When the going gets bad for either gun, the other weapon saves the day.
Behind the scenes
- As stated earlier, in Gears of War, on Hardcore, 2 to 3 bursts will kill a Drone, while a complete magazine of Lancer bullets may sometimes fail to kill one.
- In the real world, this weapon would be very hard to use because of the lack of iron sights, however, the Gears of War: Judgment version of this weapon corrects that with a simple blade sight at the front.
- The weapon is completely absent in Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3, and RAAM's Shadow. However, if you pre-ordered Gears of War: Judgment from participating retailers, you get the "Classic Hammerburst" to be used in multiplayer.
- In Gears of War: Judgment, the Classic Hammerbust's model is the same as the Hammerburst II's just with a couple of the parts removed/added, such as the Iron Sight, the semi-circle part at the front, extended barrel and the fore end has been slightly enlarged. It's also better-proportioned.
- The Classic Hammerburst has the same execution as the Hammerburst II.
- In Gears of War Judgment, the Classic Hammerburst is included with the Alex Brand multiplayer character at the game store. You must go to the game store by pressing X in the game's icon in the Xbox 360 main menu.
- In Gears of War: Judgment's OverRun mode, playing as a Kantus equips you with a classic Hammerburst despite not pre-ordering it.
- In Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, many of the remastered cutscenes incorrectly portray the Hammerburst utilizing a fully automatic firing mode, despite the weapon not possessing such a mode.
- The model for the Hammerburst is slightly different between both Gears of War: Ultimate Edition and Gears of War. Gears of War doesn't have a proper iron sight along with having a bulkier stock, a larger magazine, a shorter grip (less covering too) and the trigger is much larger. In Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, the magazine is much smaller, the stock is less bulky, and there are five holes near the front of the barrel (presumably a cooling system).