Grappling Hooks: The Integral and Defining Feature of Gaming

Video games have been around for nearly fifty years. Over the course of the past few decades, trends have come and trends have gone within video game culture. When games began to utilize open worlds, many other games followed suit. When video games decided that climbing mechanics were the next big hit, many began to replicate this feature in their own way. However, there is one game mechanic that no matter how much time passes or what stage in the video game zeitgeist we are living in that remains, bar none, the best feature a video game can have: a grappling hook.

Grappling Hooks

There is just something so wholesome, so endlessly fun, and so unendingly rewarding about being able to traverse a wild terrain by slinging a grappling hook and getting the job done; perhaps there’s only one way to cross a wide ravine surrounded by waterfalls, maybe players need to gain the high ground on an enemy and lunge a katana into their torso from above, maybe players are being chased by a horde of undead and a quick grappling hook to the rooftops is their best escape, or maybe players just want to see what happens when they grappling hook an enemy soldier and tether them onto a moving helicopter.

This article will begin by touching upon other game mechanics and why they fall short in comparison. Followed by exploring some of the top games of the last twenty years that featured grappling hooks and discussing the value of such a useful mechanic, how it affects the games they’re included in. Concluding with why the grappling hook has been such a beloved feature of modern video games and why it will still remain when other game features fall to the wayside. Light spoilers throughout.

Quick Time Couldn’t Die Fast Enough

Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil 6

Video games are just like any other industry; there’s supply and demand, user basis determines functionality, and, just like everything else in life, what is popular one day may fall to the wayside the next. Since the year 2000, thousands of games have been released. Ranging from the gems of the bygone era of PS2s and original flavor Xbox to our more modern consoles like the PS4 and the Xbox One (at the time this article is being written). Each testing their luck at innovating and improving previous game mechanics while also attempting to change gamer’s perceptions by integrating new ones.

Back in 2001, Grand Theft Auto 3 was released to critical acclaim. One of the first games of the past twenty years to feature an open world that allowed player to essential do and, more importantly, go wherever they wanted within the confines of the game. Since then, and perhaps more so recently, this concept has only picked up steam. Zelda, Fallout, Minecraft, Assassin’s Creed (fill in the blank), Metro Exodus, No Man’s Sky (the latter perhaps taking this to the furthest extreme), and countless others have all built their entire gaming model around one idea: open world.

Unfortunately, the companies that produce video games have taken this as a sign that this is the demand of the people. Games now must be within an open world, sometimes to their detriment (think of Metal Gear Survive). Video game developers appear to have lost sight that core mechanics and engaging narrative can be enough to keep players engaged.

A few other notable features that have attempted to hold a place in the hearts of video game players for the past two decades include: quick time events, climbing mechanics, double jumps, multiple endings, turn-based (which has mostly evolved into real-time), crafting, character customization, fast travel, RPG-style skill trees, and upgradable equipment are just a few of what are more common place in games. Some of these are great, while some of them are pretty terrible. There is, however, one game mechanic that stands up to this riffraff; that whenever encountered is always one of the most useful and best features of those games have: the grappling hook. Some of the very best games of our generation feature grappling hook mechanics and that is what this article aims to highlight.

Sekiro: Played it Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

From Software is a Japanese video game development company known for their Dark Souls trilogy (dark fantasy epics) and their standalone hit title Bloodborne (a Lovecraftian steampunk nightmare). While these game’s settings are entirely different and wholly unique onto themselves, there are several characteristics that they do share between them: brutal and unforgiving combat, death having real consequences, and the beloved dodge-roll, just to name a few. But in 2019, From Software released a new title. One that stripped away the concepts of equipment, character customization, the dark fantasy or steam punk settings, and threw players into feudal Japan with nothing but a sword, prosthetic arm, and a tale of honor and redemption. That game was Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Although the game did strip away some of the more familiar aspects From Software players had grown accustomed to, it introduced several others that truly made this a standout hit. While such mechanics as blocking and parrying do exist and are considered as core aspects of the aforementioned titles, it was Sekiro that introduced a whole new and intense spin on the concept. Blocking was not only a useful skill but a crucial part to the gameplay. Parrying was no longer considered as optional but a mandatory and vital part of the gameplay where a single misstep or miscalculated parry could cost players their progress, and their lives. Away with the multitude of weaponry and brought forth was a single weapon that required players to master it if they wanted to excel: the katana. Gone were the customizable characters and equipment loadouts and in its place was our hero Wolf’s prosthetic arm: a tool filled with many notable ninja and samurai inspired weaponry and gadgets. One of which, that was ever present and available to the players, was the grappling hook.

This aspect of the game was required for traversing certain terrains or reaching secret locations. It was useful for gaining the higher ground on enemies and dropping down from above to impale them on Wolf’s blade. The grappling hook became a boon during most, if not all, boss fights (From Software sure doesn’t short-change the players on their brutalist gameplay there), and, all in all, was an incredibly fun mechanic to have at the player’s disposal. The grappling hook was the crux of the game; allowing players the freedom to chose the routes they took, the secrets they discovered, and the strategies they implemented when fighting enemies.

In one of the main storyline bosses, the players are forced to confront the immortal being that protects the Lotus of the Palace flower: The Guardian Ape. With staggering attack patterns to learn and multiple stages to fight through, players could use the grappling hook to attach to the trees throughout the “arena” to launch themselves in or out of battle as well as strike key blows to defeat the beast. Without further beating this dead ape into the ground (or cutting its head off and ripping its immortality from its corpse) it goes without saying that the grappling hook was not only crucial to the gameplay of this title, but the enjoyment that players received from mastering it.

Lost Planet Gave us Chills

Lost Planet
Lost Planet

The first Lost Planet was created by renowned video game developer Capcom and released to the Xbox 360 and the PS3 in 2006. Two more game within the franchise followed with Lost Planet 2 in 2010 and Lost Planet 3 in 2013. The story takes place on the fictional planet E.D.N.III after Earth had become uninhabitable due to war and the usual pollution/global warming trope. Though, this may have been more a case of out of the frying pan and into the freezer(?).

E.D.N.III was where humanity ultimately relocates to but it was also currently in the throes of a brutal ice age and the only way to survive the “extreme conditions” was to harvest the thermal energy from local native species. This could then be translated into energy the player could use to heal themselves and survive the unforgiving landscapes. So, what better tool to have at a player’s exposal for such situations? A grappling hook feature known as an “anchor.”

A tool that is always available to players and could be utilized in a number of different ways: Players could use the anchor to not only reach higher areas but grant them a brief reprieve from the onslaught of enemy combatants which was comprised of the Akrid (large insectoid creatures that range in size and attacks) to the humans scavenging for their own thermal energy. If players were to unwittingly fall off of a ledge, the anchor would automatically deploy and allow them to rappel their way down or climb back up. The anchor could also be used by players to latch themselves to the Akrid to deal up-close and personal amounts of damage, something that Capcom expanded upon in its sequel, Lost planet 2. Speaking of, the second entry in the series sets players up against enormous Akrid (we’re talking Shadow of the Colossus sized creatures) to be defeated utilizing mech suits, massive weapons, and, of course, the ever-useful anchor. In addition to taking what made the original great, Capcom also facilitated a campaign multiplayer, encouraging players to band together with their friends and face these giant foes as a team, carrying over progress and experience for host and joined payers alike. Imagine Starship Troopers set on an ice planet and that’s about halfway to how great this game really was.

Of a Dying Breed

Dying Light
Dying Light

Dying Light is an open world first person survival horror game developed by Techland, the same people behind Dead Island, where players needed to loot resources and help survivors escape from both the infected and the fictitious city of Harran where the game took place. Similar to Dead Island, the game featured a heavy emphasis on melee weaponry and the customization of such, including but not limited to: katanas, machetes, axes, and baseball bats (add in a little fire, electricity, poison, or barbed wire and players had themselves a party). Using such weapons to fight the average daylight dwelling slow plodding zombies, the nightmare inducing fast paced pursers of the night, and the run of the mill “special” zombies ranging from tanks to capturers was enough to make one’s heart skip a beat.

While focusing heavily on parkour mechanics, players were able to traverse the urban landscape by leaping over buildings, climbing walls, sliding through obstacles, jumping from roof to roof, and ziplining from the towering buildings to quickly cover large swathes of ground. The grappling hook in Dying Light was not immediately available to the players. It was unlockable only by leveling up the survival skill tree to level twelve. Unlike the previously discussed entries, this one made players earn the right to indulge in the game-changing piece of equipment.

Once players had unlocked the grappling hook, a whole new aspect opened up to the game. While the grappling hook did require a brief cooldown period between uses if the player exhausted the meter, players had an entirely new ability to both the traveling and fighting aspects of the game. With parkour being the primary consideration for how players travel throughout the game, players could then consider how to utilize the grappling hook to increase their capabilities. Players being chased by the free running undead at night could lob a flash bomb in front of them, slide through a narrow passageway just in time to avoid the blast, and use the grappling hook to zip to the nearest rooftop and escape unharmed. Previous locations that were once unreachable, or only through difficulty and time-consuming methods, were now only a quick grappling hook away.

However, travel was not the tool’s only function. Players could explode Bomber zombies safely from a distance. They could use it to close the gap on Bolters for their quest related materials or Rai’s men fleeing with valuable equipment from drop sites. It was also incredibly useful for escaping the hordes when their numbers become too great. The game truly opened up to the player once the grappling hook was unlocked. With the enhancement to both combat and travel by with addition of the grappling hook, the game goes from middle of the road first-person survival horror to a zombie massacring parkour extravaganza where the player was the deadliest predator within the game.

Titanfall 2: Electric Boogaloo

Titanfall 2
Titanfall 2

Respawn Entertainment are the creators behind the free-to-play battle royal shooter Apex Legends and the soulsbourne-like hack and slasher Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. While the company has seen great success with both of these titles, it was a game called Titanfall released in 2014 that started them along the road and by 2016, Respawn Entertainment released their new and improved follow-up: Titanfall 2. While the game was received with mostly critical acclaim, it unfortunately failed to perform commercially and thus, it is likely the last in the series that players will see.

Titanfall 2 featured a moderately short campaign (especially in consideration to most video games these days) taking approximately five to seven hours in total to complete and focusing on the “buddy cop” relationship between a relatively bland protagonist, Jack Cooper, and his Titan, BT-7274. Although this would seem to be a detriment to the game, many considered the storyline to be unique and entertaining while also introducing players to the game mechanics and facilitating the way towards the online multiplayer; the area where the game truly shined.

Featuring mechanics such as double jumps, sliding, and wall running, this fast-paced shooter also allowed players to eventually summon mechanical behemoths to rain unholy hellfire down upon their enemies. Respawn managed to take the age-old first-person shooter formula and apply it from the small scale to the large by allowing players to control the enormous exosuits from the pilot seat, literally.

Now, beyond all of the obviously great things about Titanfall 2, there are actually several unique features hidden below the surface when it came to the multiplayer as well. Melee kills could feature a unique animation such as removing your enemies side arm and executing them. Players had a moderate range of tactical equipment they could saddle their characters with to assist in online battle: such as a holographic skill to deploy a digital version of themselves to lure or distract enemy combatants and allow players to successfully eliminate or devastate the opposition. Players may also choose to grant themselves the ability to launch themselves against buildings to perform incredible wall-runs while simultaneously taking out enemy players, to reach the higher ground where they can target opponents and pick them off strategically, or to perhaps swing themselves either around or over a building to melee strike the hell out of the enemy team member to seal the win. All of which being made possible by the inclusion of a grappling hook.

Players fighting their Titans head to head to the point of destruction might have to escape via ejection only to find the opposing player has not only done the same but also has the ability to grappling hook onto them midair and strike them down. Players could hook onto enemy Titans and steal power sources to give to their own teammates for that much needed boost in the heat of battle. Players could even hook onto an enemy and reel them in for a quick K.O. The grappling hook became such a well-regarded piece of tactical equipment for players that Respawn even include it as one of the unique execution kills: consisting of launching an opponent into the air and, by using the grappling hook, quickly reeling them back in for an extra dose of melee justice.

The fast-paced action went hand in hand with the grappling hook function to a degree that made Titanfall 2 one of the better online first-person multiplayer shooters that has been released in the last two decades and made it a step above its competition. Unfortunately, EA owns Respawn Entertainment now and their track record for money grabbing tactics and driving wonderful game franchises into the ground – cough, cough Dead Space – means that the likes of this gem getting another sequel are about as likely as EA getting rid of their microtransactions: somewhere between not a chance and never going to happen.

Uncharted: Clever Pun Not Found…

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Naughty Dog Studios have really hit home with both The Last of Us and the Uncharted series, both of which contain some of the best storytelling modern video games have to offer coupled with fairly well executed gameplay mechanics. That isn’t to say that either franchise offers much as far as innovation to the gameplay itself, but it couples with the incredible storytelling to create truly memorable experiences.

While The Last of Us did not partake in any form of grappling hook mechanic, Uncharted absolutely did. It may not have been as paramount to the gameplay as some of the other games on this list, or as freely usable as others, the grappling hook was an integral part to the game. The Uncharted series might be best described as third-person shooter, interactive puzzle solving platformers, and it was the “platforming” aspect where players got to utilize their protagonist Nathan Drake’s grappling hook. In Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Naughty Dog Studios even went as far as to provide the tool an origin in chapter 1 where Nathan and his brother Sam are children at an orphanage.

Many of the game’s puzzles involved being able to traverse a wild array of locations, from the Scottish Isles to island jungles to lost cities of gold. All of which involve at some point or another the use of the grappling hook to get from point A to point B. If a few enemies happened to lay between those two destinations then all the better.

Slightly off topic but another feature more and more games are beginning to include in their titles is a photo mode. Photo mode allows players to essentially pause the game, regardless of the circumstances, and through filters and three-hundred sixty-degree control take photos of their players in either incredible moments of triumph, battle, or just picture-worthy events. Uncharted 4: A Thieves End was one such a title. There’s something about capturing incredible moments of gameplay and immortalizing them forever that is incredibly satisfying. Such as having Nathan catch a nearby branch with his grappling hook before he is dropped over a raging waterfall for example.

Though Uncharted may not have allowed too much player input or creativity when it came to their usage of the grappling hook, it was still a key and required feature to the games that allowed for some incredible story moments. For hardcore gamers and those who simply enjoy great stories alike, the Uncharted series are games that deserve the attention.

Just Be-Cause

Just Cause 4
Just Cause 4

For players who are not familiar with the Just Cause series, it goes a little something like this: players control a freedom fighter and must kill enemies and destroy bases to free them from the militaristic forces that have taken over in order to regain control of their country. While the storyline might not be one that would immediately capture the attention of general gaming audiences, it was the gameplay itself that made these games a noteworthy addition to any gamer’s library.

Players had freedoms to do pretty much whatever their hearts desired. Steal a car, grapple out the window, and ride on its roof like a skateboard. Attach an enemy soldier to a moving vehicle. Flee from a destroyed helicopter midair, ride the wingsuit to the next one over, and grapple aboard to boot the driver out and watch them fall back to the earth.

Then there’s the way players can use the grappling hook to strategically take out the opposition. Such as hooking onto an enemy soldier just to tether them to a rocket that will carry them into the stratosphere with a bang, linking two helicopters together and watching them destroy themselves, or hooking an enemy to two separate vehicles and watching that try to sort itself out.

While the game’s mechanics for traveling, such as parachuting and gliding around on a wingsuit, are staples to this franchise and deserve all of the attention they can muster, it truly was the grappling hook that links these mechanics together in a way that elevates these games to a whole new level. Players could almost never touch the ground if they’re savvy enough to use the grappling hook to maintain their speed and velocity as they traverse the map.

From battling hordes of enemies to traversing the large open worlds, the grappling hook was the missing link that allows the execution of incredible gameplay moments that other games have yet to catch up to. Just Cause may be one of the best game franchises out there to utilize grappling hook mechanics to their full extent and range of their capabilities.

As shown throughout this article, the grappling hook has the capacity to elevate a video game from a run of the mill shooter, hack and slasher, and platformer to the next level. A feature that both casual and hardcore gamers alike can enjoy, master, and implement in multitudes of ways only limited by the players own imagination and creativity. Even when the grappling hook is not the highlight feature of the game it is a part of, its inclusion goes to show its involvement increases the value of the game as a whole. This goes to show how the simple, yet effective feature has made it through the years and informs gamers that it won’t likely end up on the cutting room floor any time soon.

While this article was only able to cover a select few games to highlight the greatness of the grappling hook feature, there are countless other games. Bionic commando, Terraria, the Batman: Arkham games, Monster Hunter: World, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, each and every Spider-Man game, Attack on Titan, and many, many more.

Gaming isn’t an industry that is going away anytime soon, and neither will the grappling hook. Open worlds, looter shooters, or even dungeon crawlers will come and go as new games are developed. Video gamers vote with their wallets as to what they want or what they don’t and so far, there sure seem to be a whole lot of grappling hooks out there.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Word wizard slinging knowledge as he surfs the cosmos in search of answers. Also a father, husband, and a creative writing student, but mostly that first thing I said.
Edited by Samantha Leersen.

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  1. Y’all should give A Story About My Uncle a shot. It’s basically Grappling Hook: The Game. A first-person parkour experience with grappling can be a little disorienting, but it’s thrilling to fling yourself through the air, and because it’s in first person, you feel a little flutter in your stomach every time you soar over a large gap.

  2. The first game I remember playing with a grappling hook like object was Mystic Quest with the Dragon Claw. Boy does that game not hold up (and didn’t hold up then, but I was a little kid and it was my first RPG) but getting that weapon and being able to grab onto things and pull myself towards them still stands out in my mind vividly.

  3. I love this article. After the hookshot in Zelda, the next gaming grappling hook that comes to mind for me is the one in Tenchu: Stealth Assassins for the original Playstation. That whooshing sound was so damn satisfying.

  4. Boswell

    Bionic Commando was the first game I can remember using grappling hooks. Anyone played it on NES?

    • I remember how f-ing mad I was when I bought this game, I thought it was impossible. Not having tons of games, I kept at it and one day I got it. I don’t think I ever got it as well as I did now just watching that YouTube play through, but video game logic wasn’t what it is now 30 years ago. I’m sure I finished it three times. I got that it was Hitler at the time, but as a suburban 14 year old, I didn’t get what Hitler was.

    • I had this game as a kid, and for twenty years I heard people say, “It’s a classic” — to which I would respond: “Only in theory. In practice, it’s bullshit.” Finally got back to it in college (the same week I beat Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!, Marble Madness, and Karate Kid — hell yeah, I’m bragging), and it’s more or less the best game ever. So I’m willing to admit it now: for denying its greatness all those years, I was basically worse than fake Hitler.

    • Luckett

      I loved Bionic Commando back then, I bought the AAA treatment for Xbox 360, I have Bionic Commando Rearmed, which is a modern release in the retro style, and BC Rearmed II.

    • I still have the original NES game in my cabinet. Every time I rented this game, I would be beaten down. When I finally obtained a copy for myself, and didn’t have the rush-rush feeling to beat it before I had to return it, I was able to learn the game properly and finally beat it. Tough game for it’s time.

    • I never beat the original Bionic Commando. I was 8 around that time, and I remember struggling with it, which made no sense cause Castlevania on NES was my jam. Amazing games.

  5. The grappling hooks in Worms: Directors Cut probably stick in my memory the strongest. Could not beat getting accidentally tangled on that invisible pixel, much to the amusement of everyone else (same screen multiplayer ftw) then pressing space and hoping not to be vaulted into the wide blue yonder.

    • Nothing matches the satisfaction of using the grappling hook to rappel down to an enemy worm, drope a grenade or stick of dynamite, and then rappel away again before it detonates.

  6. Sean Gadus

    I love grappling hooks. The hookshot is one of my favorite tools in games ever. The grappling in Uncharted 4 was very good too.

  7. Samantha Leersen

    You certainly make a compelling argument. I don’t know if I would, personally, call grappling hooks either the defining or integral feature of gaming, but I can agree that they’re darn cool! An interesting read 🙂

  8. I loved the grapling hooks in the Ratchet and Clank games when i was younger

  9. bolo patch + just cause 2 = most fun grablinh hook in any game.

    • Add a cable extension onto that to, so your hook can stretch, like, 500 meters. I drive a military jeep over to the airport, stand on top, then when a jet is on the on the runway, I hook it to my car and hop inside. The jet takes off, pulling the jeep into the air, and I see how long it takes for me to get bored before I hop out of the jeep, hook the plane to a mountain and parachute to safety before watching the plane crash into the rocks.

      God, I love Just Cause 2.

  10. Great article!

    Bionic Commando was my first in video game grappling hook experience. Mickey’s Magical Quest on SNES had a spectacular (and sadly far too short) grappling hook level.

    We need more grappling hooks!

  11. The most fun I’ve had with grappling hooks is in a game called Boundless. There are multiple types of grappling hooks. Some for speed, some for distance. You can pull yourself in and lower yourself and the most important part: double wielding.

  12. Have you played Darksiders 3? It’s a whip actually but still you do kinda use it like a grapple hook for maneuvering quite often. And of course it is your main weapon in combat.

  13. Robbery

    Grappling hooks are a feature of the Zelda series since as early as the top-down 2D Link to the Past, but you all will probably be more interested in the 3D incarnations. For example I know it shows up in Twilight Princess.

  14. Just Cause are all great fun. The grappling and gliding especially. 4’s a buggy mess, but it’s still a gorgeous fun buggy mess. Like almost all games are.

  15. Thanks for making me reminisce on these great games.

  16. Maniacs

    Every time I play FarCry 3 or any open world game, I constantly wish I had the parachute/grappling hook combo from Just Cause 2.

  17. Anyone remember the grappling hook in Jedi Academy JA+ mod?

    • Thatcher

      YES. That grappling hook was rad, and pretty much essential to movement aside from the obligatory jetpack.

    • H’Oh wow, you digging up the good ‘ol days

  18. Tombi games (PSOne) are examples how Grappling Hook should work. I need to play it again…

    • Did you meant Tomba? if so, I loved those games. One of the best memories of my childhood 😀

      • Yes, in some countries it was released as Tombi and in other as Tomba.

  19. For more grapple hookin’, platformin’ fun from the classic era, check out Ninja Five-O for the Game Boy Advance. Like a mixture of Bionic Commando and Ninja Gaiden that’s fast-paced, inventive, and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

  20. The game that sold me on grappling hooks being the best thing was Worms: Armageddon. Not only was the grappling hook awesome because it was a grappling hook, but it also had physics to it that let you do some crazy (and often pretty physics-breaking) maneuvers. To top it all off, you had the option to re-fire the grappling hook mid-air and Spiderman your way around the terrain. How awesome was that?

    Yeah, every game could use a grappling hook.

    • That’s my favourite grappling hook as well. And the deathmatch “singleplayer” in that game was perfect. Giving you better ranks as you progress to more difficult levels with more of them, less of you.

    • Jeffery

      I fell in love with Armaggedon, went back to Worms 2 even but it lacked that cozy art style. World Party was indeed the peak, so much options, just a bigger and better version that was actually better.

    • I played a new Worms game (Battlegrounds) some months ago and it was garbage. Terrible story, disappointing choice of arsenal and plain not fun puzzles as mission objectives.

      • The series has been very hit-or-miss since the glory days. The formula hasn’t changed much (other than the 3D titles), and some new spins worked out better than others. I find that the more options you’re given, the better, and few games have really lived up to World Party. Nerfs to Ninja Rope and Girders have really been buzzkills, and it’s a shame that they’ve been both persistent and not optional since they were introduced.

  21. I vaguely recall that Shogo had a grappling hook, though I don’t recall if that was a normal thing for the game or a mod that me and my friends picked up somewhere online. Either way, I can remember having some great fun with multiplayer deathmatch, using the grappling hook to hide in unexpected places to get the drop on each other.

  22. I loved the grappling hook in Wind Waker, even if it couldn’t be used particularly fluidly. It just felt right; if I’m going to swashbuckle on the high seas, I’m going to need to swing on ropes.

    I remember my brother was kinda bummed when we first played the game that the hook seemed like it was replacing the hookshot, which also felt really good in OoT and MM. Ironically, when the hookshot turned up in a later dungeon, it felt like ass to use.

    • I’d still like to know how Link wills the grappling hook to let go.

  23. My favorite grappling hook ever might be in 007: Agent Under Fire. in single player you could only grapple certain designated grapple points but in multiplayer you could shoot it at literally any surface, to fling yourself across the room, get to a higher platform, just pull yourself along the ground quicker, it was amazing. i think i even remember holding down the button which allowed you to pull yourself up to the wall and just stay up there, attacking all the people below you.

  24. Tina Bolton

    ANY toy that had a grappling hook was awesome. They usually got tangled and broken after two days of play but i def got totally fired-up for anything that had one.

    • Armstrong

      Or the rope would get torn/break and the device was converted into a missile-hook.

  25. groooove

    I urge everyone to play Tenchu 2 or Tenchu, never touch anything else beyond the first two titles. It’s one of the most amazing stealth games I’ve played (For the time), and the grappling hook is a core part of the game.

  26. A Story About My Uncle is definitely my favorite when it comes to the grapple.

  27. Antaris

    BF2 Special Forces expansion had the best grappling hook. You could use it anywhere (not only in predetermined locations) AND you could kill other players by throwing it at them.

  28. While technically not a ‘grappling hook’ so much as a supernatural power, when playing as Emily in Dishonored 2 (or in the NG+ mode with corvo using her powers) she’s got a teleport that is … more like a slithery schlorky void-colored grapple. I don’t much care for the power but it DOES have a marvelous ‘pull stuff to you’ effect.

  29. I know its slightly offtopic but it reminds me of how bioshock developers really messed up a good opportunity to make infinite a sandbox where you could grapple around the entire Columbia.

  30. I always loved the grapple beam in the Metroid Prime games.

  31. Champion

    Pharaoh Rebirth has a grappling hook like mechanic that I really like. It’s used pretty extensively, particularly since you don’t get an infinite height-gaining ability in this game.

  32. battite

    Can’t have a real discussion about grappling hook games without talking about Umihara Kawase, which is probably one of the best.

  33. It’s shocking how we are going to reach our fiftieth anniversary, in the next eight or nine years or so.

  34. (our fiftieth anniversary for video games.)

  35. I always thought that movement options “(like grappling hooks) could transform the course of an open-world game entirely. I would barely ever fast-travel in Just Cause or Spiderman because movement was too much fun. In adding a grappling hook mechanic, developers are giving you a reason to see, and interact with the world more

  36. When Nintendo were designing the very first Super Mario Bros. the most important thing to them was making sure movement was fluid and fun. Moving through a space is the foundation that video games are built on and the grappling hook allows us to move through that space in even more creative ways and with more momentum. I think that’s why it works so well as a gameplay device.

  37. Gerald Mann (P. Ghasemi)

    EA and Capcom graphics are awesome… We see a same thing about the Microsoft team… Also GTA has a great team of developers… I remember my first game that I played was Resident Evil II…

  38. Seems to me like video game grappling hooks almost command the player to focus intently, nearly hypnotically.

  39. majorlariviere

    One of by favorite gaming critics said that ‘A sandbox is only as fun as the means by which you get around it.’ and I couldn’t agree more. But I would take it further and say that EVERY game is only as fun the means by which you navigate through it. If the mere act of getting from one place to another is slow, tedious, or dull, it can drag down virtually any sort of game. Grappling hooks – being fast, energetic, and potentially dangerous by their very nature – mean one can’t help but get a split-second dopamine dose to keep them awake and engaged.

  40. Titanfall 2 is a game where the grappling hook works very well. It isn’t an excessive length. It’s only long enough to keep your wall-running momentum going, with fatal applications as well for the creative pilot! That to me is about the level it should be.

  41. The other thing about Titanfall 2 is how unessential the grappling hook is. With smart movement and enough practice, anywhere on the maps can be reached without the aid of outside equipment.

  42. Grappling hooks is one of the best mechanisms in a video game. I remember I used to be so creative in using grappling hooks. It makes the game approach unique, but at the same time, it makes you feel like Spiderman.

  43. CulturallyOpinionated

    I couldn’t agree more about how fun grappling across any given game can be. Some of the first games I ever played employed a grappling hook mechanic but called it something else (Ocarina of Time’s hookshot, Metroid Prime’s grapple beam, etc.). I’ve never thought about how much work must go into making getting around from plot point to plot point a fun thing to do.

  44. ‘Just Cause’ is a horrible game series. It is absolutely terrible; boring story, repetitive meaningless missions. The only fun part was the fun little mechanics like… the grappling hook but even they got boring after an hour. The grappling hook may be a fun mechanic if used well but we should not be looking at games and basing our judgements just based on singular mechanics that they involve. This is the thinking that led the industry to value shallow tropes over actual quality game making in their search for money instead of art. ‘Just Cause’ being a successful game is perfect evidence of this. Just like Assassin’s Creed, resident evil, and Call of Duty, all of these series that make millions follow suit of being objectively not good games. I suggest we as consumers, who have the power to control the industry, stop focusing on what games have grappling hooks and start focusing on what games are actually worth their money.

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