Shack Chat: What is your favorite video game grappling hook?

Destiny 2 adding a grappling hook got the Shacknews staff wondering about our personal favorite grappling hooks across gaming history.


We've been covering the release of Destiny 2's latest expansion, Lightfall, throughout the week here at Shacknews. One of its most interesting new features has been the addition of the old video game staple: the grappling hook. Grappling hooks are objectively awesome. Beloved Disney animated series Gravity Falls knows what's up.

For this week's Shack Chat, the Shacknews staff weighs in on our personal favorite grappling hooks across the vast history of games. Be sure to check out our answers, feel free to weigh in with your own in the comments, and also follow our continuing coverage of Destiny 2: Lightfall.

Question: What is your favorite video game grappling hook?

Batman's Grapnel Gun - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Grappling Hook Expert

Batman's Grapnel Gun

Source: WB Games

It's beating a dead horse, but is there a hero that's just flat-out cooler than Batman? There are many reasons why he stands above many of the rest in the superhero world. One of them is his cool grappling hook, which he uses to launch himself across Gotham City. In the Arkham series, he would ultimately refine his standard grappling hook into the Grapnel Gun, giving it a variety of uses. The Grapnel Gun could be used to launch skyward, horizontally across long distances, and even pull in enemies for wild combos. Sure, Superman and a bunch of his ilk can fly, but normal human Batman makes his own flight and he does it very well, especially in Arkham City and Arkham Knight, where the explorable world truly opens up.

Bionic Commando - Blake Morse, Very old person

Bionic Commando key art

Source: Retronauts

When I was a kid Bionic Commando was one of the first games I ever beat that felt like I had really pushed myself to get through something. There were a few iterations of the game back in the day, well before we ever got that hardcore remake in 2009 featuring Mike Patton as the voice main character Nathan “Rad” Spencer, but the NES version was the one for me. The old arcade game is great, but lacks the RPG and story-telling elements of the home console version.

The thing about Bionic Commando was that the grapple hook was the whole gimmick. There was no jump button so you had to learn the physics and get your timing down with your grapple swings to be good at the game. The fact that feeling of accomplishment still sticks with me 34 years later makes it my favorite gaming grappling hook of all time. Bionic Commando also gets major bonus points for letting you shoot Hitler’s face off at the end.

Bionic Commando - TJ Denzer, Not quite as old as Blake, but still old enough

Bionic Commando NES

Source: Capcom

I gotta join Blake in the Bionic Commando camp for this one. NES was full of platformers, but Bionic Commando was one of the few that took the jump button away from you. You had to get good at the grappling hook if you were going to traverse the game’s highly vertical and acrobatic levels. And thankfully the game’s grappling hook was pretty dang reliable. You could swing back and forth, pull yourself straight up, climb platforms, and so much more. Shenanigans if you fudged up would also ensue. Do you know what it’s like accidentally latching and retracting your hook over a spike pit where you have no choice but to drop straight down? I do.

Bionic Commando is one of those games that made me better at playing them for just how much reflex, timing, and logic it required, and I still marvel at how it was one of the few games that tested players to learn and adapt in the specific way that it did.

Grappleshot in Halo Infinite - Morgan Shaver, Grappleshot menace

Halo Infinite Grapple Shot

Source: 343 Industries

I really enjoyed Halo Infinite’s campaign when it was released, in part because of its fantastic grappling hook, the Grappleshot. Not only can you use it to grapple to different locations in order to avoid enemy fire for example, you can also use it to pull yourself right up close to an enemy and combine it with a punch, or even pull objects over to you to throw at foes. When you fully unlock the Grappleshot in the campaign and reduce its cooldown, you can even use it to pull yourself forward across all sorts of terrain in a Spider-Man sort of way. In multiplayer, the Grappleshot is great for things like hijacking vehicles, and reaching some nice out of the way sniping spots as well. Say what you will about everything that went wrong with Halo Infinite, but the Grappleshot is without a doubt something that was done so very, very right.

Halo Infinite grappleshot - Sam Chandler, Still thinks Halo Infinite is good

Infinite uses! Short cooldowns! Changing and controlling momentum as you swing! Using it to pick up fusion coils to throw at enemies! Able to pull myself toward foes and punch them as I get there! Used for hijacking ground vehicles and flying vehicles! What more could you want from a grappling hook in a video game? The team at 343 Industries has fumbled the bag with post-game support, but if there’s one thing they nailed, it’s movement in Halo Infinite and the functionality that the grappleshot adds to the fantastic sandbox.

Titanfall 2 Grapple - Dennis White Jr., Social Media Guru

Titanfall 2 Grapple

Source: Electronic Arts

Titanfall 2 had some really fun moments. I also really enjoyed using the grappling hook to launch myself into firefights or to reach different angles on buildings. I thought about other titles like Just Cause 2 and 3 which use the grappling hook pretty well but I never considered the grapple to be such a cool tool in first person scenarios until Titanfall 2 made it so appealing. You do have to use a specific Grapple build character to go ham with the gravity defying acrobatics but it really opens up the wall jumping gameplay. I also just miss Titanfall. Yes Apex is doing big things but there’s still an opportunity to bring back Titanfall as a franchise and the grapple hook!

Halo Infinite - Donovan Erskine, Halo defender

Halo Infinite Grapple Shot

Source: 343 Industries

It would be a crime if I didn’t echo Sam’s Halo Infinite pick here, given that my most memorable moment with that game was when him and I pulled off an epic double Warthog hijack together. 343 gets a lot of slack for Halo Infinite, but I give them all the credit in the world for the addition of the grappling hook. Being able to grab weapons, fusion coils, and swing to platforms revolutionizes movement and mobility. It’s something new and refreshing that still feels very “Halo.”

Hookshot from The Legend of Zelda - Steve Tyminski, Stick a hook in em!

Hookshot in A Link to the Past

Source: Nintendo

What is my favorite video game grappling hook? For this one, I have to go with the different variations of the Hookshot in the Legend of Zelda series. It feels like there has been one form of the Hookshot in several Zelda games over the years. Different Zelda games have their own spin on the Hookshot, like the Clawshot in Twilight Princess. Being able to use the Hookshot to grab a hold of things is so cool to me. Figuring out a puzzle by using the Hookshot/Grappling Hook to grab a treasure chest or some piece of wood is really fun. A Link to the Past lets you grab chests/pots or stun enemies. If it wasn't such a cool weapon, Nintendo wouldn’t have it in almost every Zelda game, now would they?

The Legend of Zelda’s Hookshot - Asif Khan, Luminary

There has not been a video game grappling hook that got me as excited as the Hookshot from the Zelda franchise. First implemented in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the Hookshot was a huge advancement in video game locomotion. The grappling hook didn’t make an appearance in the critically acclaimed Breath of the Wild, but some players hope to see the Hookshot back in Tears of the Kingdom this year.

Those are our favorite grappling hooks. What's been your favorite grappling hook across video game history? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

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