Weekly Exotic Roundup: The Last Word

Each week, a specific Exotic weapon will be used in every activity of Destiny. We’ve inspected Touch of Malice, Universal Remote, and now TLW!

The Last Word

This Exotic Hand Cannon drops from the usual avenues (3 of Coins, Xur, Engrams, etc.). Like Universal Remote, this weapon sees most of its usage in the Crucible, which makes it that much more enjoyable to take it for a spin in PVE!

Pros: Looks like it came straight out of the old west (or Westworld), sweet target acquisition from hip fire, high fire rate, the TWIRL!

Cons: Small magazine drains super-quick with full-auto, slow reload speed, requires a great deal of finesse.

Perks

The Intrinsic perk is Fan Fire, which allows it to be fired in full-auto.

In the third column we find Hip Fire, which grants bonus accuracy when firing without aiming down the sights. This is a handy enough perk on its own, but here it serves to reinforce the eponymous perk.

In the fourth column, Snapshot is necessary for a quick draw weapon from the Wild, Wild West (wiki-wiki-wild-wild).

The Exotic perk improves stability and target acquisition while firing from the hip. Aiming is for the weak, not a rootin’ tootin’ roughneck outlaw.

Heroic Story Mission

The story missions made me groan. My Guardian was tasked with investigating a strange signal from the Citadel on Venus which ultimately turns out to be some remnant shade of Oryx (or something like that).

Immediately, there was trouble with the Vex-like Taken, who overwhelmed me as I backpedaled and reloaded. I could not commit to a strategy between aiming down sights like a normal hand cannon or taking advantage of the Hip Fire perks that define this weapon. The precision hits were not racking up either way and body shots appeared merely to tickle the adds. The small magazine and slow reload became a constant struggle through the mission.

It took a few attempts and a Heavy Ammo Synth to overcome the boss encounter. While TLW satisfactorily took down the Centurions, I couldn’t get close enough to use it on the boss. I had to take him down with rockets or risk spending all night at this mission. This experiment shouldn’t be repeated.

Mission Verdict: What have I gotten myself into?

Heroic Strikes

The modifiers did not scare me like the other weeks: Chaff, Arc Burn and Catapult. Chaff is mostly just kind of a pain in the ass (as opposed to Trickle which was devised in the bowels of Hell by Lucifer himself). Arc Burn makes me yearn for Zhalo and Catapult gets me really excited because grenades are just the best!

Right out of the gate my LFG group  traveled to the moon to spank Taniks. As expected, he called us out and challenged us in the Ways of Old. Taniks is nothing if not predictable. The Last Word really surprised me here by keeping me in a constant state of terror throughout the strike. A well-placed shock grenade allowed me some breathing room to reload.

My second strike took me to Mars for Cerberus Vae III. Centurions with shields and Arc damage ate my lunch at close range and I missed like crazy with TLW at a distance. I fired two rockets at the invisible giant dude, died twice and spent the rest of my alive time running away from danger.

Strike Verdict: The satisfaction of dropping a Dreg cowboy-style is damped by the necessity of fleeing directly afterward.

Nightfall

Well, I knew it had to happen eventually with my shenanigans: I got kicked.

I don’t blame the group; they didn’t sign up for this. They did not seem to notice until after the first wipe.

The modifiers were Juggler, Specialist, Berserker and Chaff. With this new group practically carrying me through, we marched past the tight corridors of elites and snipers and made it to Phogoth.

Once again packing a close-combat weapon, I went for the Cannon Captains… but those guys are a bit too robust for The Last Word. Then there were the Thralls, always in packs of one too many. Your Guardian doesn’t know fear until they spend five minutes trying to reload while running away from a pack of Thralls.

My second Nightfall team were more forgiving. They laughed and laughed as I cheered out loud once after killing an elite with TLW; that’s how surprised I was.

Nightfall Verdict: Ouch.

Wrath of the Machine

Nowhere was this handicap more bittersweet than against Vosik.

For some reason, I typically get stuck in the middle on Vosik and that’s where I wound up on this encounter. TLW surprised me greatly here by consistently landing headshots when the dense group of Dreg’s drops. Something about the height (and probably the wall of unmissable skulls) allowed me to score multiple kills per magazine.

Couldn’t drop the Captain with it, so I had to choose between using a fusion rifle or equipping a sniper rifle for Vosik and using my super on the Captain. I had better luck with the latter, but it only reinforced my desire to switch to a different primary.

During the Siege Engine, I unloaded the magazine and maybe got 3 Dregs, and then I never switched back to it until we boarded the Zamboni. On the plus side, TLW gave me absolutely no problems while jumping on the little platforms during the binary puzzle for the fourth monitor… so there’s that.

Aksis Phase 1 relies on mechanics just enough that having a PVP-oriented weapon isn’t such a big deal for most of it. Once again, I could not rely on the weapon to burn down the Captain or even the yellow-bar Vandal. Trying to contribute to the shank-slaughter in between rounds became an exercise in futility.

Raid Verdict: “Theoretically doable.”

Crucible

Finally, we arrive! Like the already reviewed Universal Remote, this gun rarely sees action outside of this realm.

With experience comes skill, and there are some wicked players out there wielding this gun like a surgeon with a scalpel. I’m less surgeon and more lumberjack. If you can get over your ADS habit, the perk combination will seek out your target relentlessly. The reload speed is still a major drawback, regardless of your skill, so be sure to find cover in between kills.

Some notable strategies regarding TLW include pairing it with a sniper rifle, and snapping into ADS for the headshot coup de gras.

Learning to use The Last Word in the Crucible is not without its exciting moments. It seems the closer the enemy, the faster the burn, and I would constantly destroy unsuspecting Guardians in shotgun range with body shots. Plus, there’s something glorious about twirling a pistol up and cutting down a Guardian in style.

PVP Verdict: Fun for any player!

Conclusion

From the Story Mission, to the Raid, there was not a single event in which a different weapon wouldn’t have served me better. There were interspersed times where TLW was fun, like the odd precision kills from the hip, but that’s about it.

I’m not one to tell other players what to do, because in the end Destiny is for fun and curiosity fuels that fun. I like to complete Queen’s Wrath bounties with the infamously underwhelming Zouli’s Bane for no other reason than cheap thrills… and because that reload animation is pretty sweet. But TLW and PVE just aren’t meant to be.

The Weekly Exotic Roundup will be taking a week off during Iron Banner, but will be back with…

Hard Light!

Case

Case C. Capehart is an author of several novels and short stories currently on Amazon.com. You can find his Titan, TightPenny, running Universal Remote and No Backup Plans on Crucible and your judgments will be promptly ignored.