The Chain Gun (also known as the UAC Weapons Division Mach 2 Chain Gun) in Doom 3 is a good mid range weapon with a high rate of fire. Unlike the classic chaingun, the Doom 3 Chain Gun has an ammo counter and is considerably more powerful. While the old chaingun was, at best, a light rapid fire weapon that was clearly inferior to the plasma rifle and, at best, compared to the machine gun, Doom 3's Chain Gun is more on par with the plasma gun.
The Doom 3 Chain Gun differs from its original; there is a slight wind-up time (around 1 second) for the barrel array before it begins firing. Also, unlike the classic chaingun, which fired the same standard rounds as the pistol, the Doom 3 Chain Gun now utilizes exclusive .30 caliber, armor penetrating rounds, easily outclassing the Pistol and Machine gun in terms of firepower. Ammo for the Chain Gun can be found in the form of Ammo Belts (60 rounds) which appear as ammo cans about the size of a briefcase, and can also be obtained by picking up Chain Guns (30 rounds) from deceased Chaingun Commandos. Just like the plasma gun, BFG9000 and newcomer Machine Gun, the ammo counter is located on the weapon itself, instead of the game HUD.
The Chain Gun is the gun-of-all-seasons, to say the very least. High accuracy and rate of fire make it a good weapon to use anywhere from close to far range situations against almost any low to mid-range foe. Even a Hell Knight can be taken down with less than 5 seconds of concentrated fire.
Although it has stupendous firepower at any length, both short and long range use is discouraged. Short range attacks mean possibly being taken down by a melee attacker (such as a tentacle Commando zombie) in a situation where you want a sudden burst of heavy damage to lay down a lot of pain within a split second (say, with a shotgun).
Due to its noticeable bullet spread, long range combat is also discouraged. Additionally, the Chain Gun has no splash effect damage, meaning that unless the target stands perfectly still or you just fire blindly in the target's movement range (which means wasting ammo), a lot of the shots will miss the target and result in wasted ammo.
The best situation is a relatively slow, large monster that affords enough time to be taken down and requires a steady stream of fire to be taken down, and is big enough that it will still catch all the shots despite the Chain Gun's inaccuracy. Pinkys and Cacodemons come to mind, as does the Vagary. Also, a group of Trites or Lost Souls can easily be taken down with some blind firing.
As Chain Gun ammunition is generally hard to find until the player reaches the Delta Labs (and even then is mostly retrieved from the corpses of Chaingun Commandos), it is recommended to use the Plasma Gun first for all levels leading up to the aforementioned level.
It is possible to "pre-spin" the Chain Gun, and keep it revved, allowing it to be used in tight quarters effectively. This also makes the Chain Gun more effective at these ranges by being able to conserve ammo and also more devastating than the shotgun for quicker takedowns of enemies that require more than one shotgun blast to kill.
Video Disk - Mach-2 Chain Gun Briefing
- Creator: UAC Advanced Weapons Date: 03/20/42
- Informational video on the Mach-2 Chain Gun
- In a quest to provide armies with a well balanced set of weapons, the UAC looked to the past when designing and manufacturing the newest line of Mach-2 Chain Guns.
- The retro style and mechanical sturdiness of the Chain Gun is a must for all hardened combat veterans. Early adaptors have nicknamed it 'SAW'. With its armor-piercing, .30 caliber bullets, the Chain Gun is capable of literally cutting opponents in two. Packed with all the punch you need in close combat fighting, the Chain Gun delivers unparalleled reliability and functionality.
- Always on the forefront of technology, the UAC is making safer worlds through superior firepower.
- The Chain Gun first appears in the Martian Buddy storage locker in Administration. It can also be found - along with several ammo belts - in the really dark areas of Alpha Labs Sector 2 through which Edwards, the lantern man, will guide the player. The Chain Gun is found by taking a right directly after entering the dark room.
- Although it is referred to as a chaingun, it is, in fact, a minigun. Both types of weapons have a very high rate of fire (and high caliber), but a true chaingun uses electricity to operate the bolt assembly and only has one barrel and one chamber, whereas a minigun has multiple barrels, each with its own chamber, spun with an electric motor.
- In case you are out of Plasma ammo and the enemies shoot projectiles, if you aim right, sometimes the Chain Gun can distort or destroy enemies' projectiles, making the Chain Gun not inferior to the Plasma Gun when fighting against Revenants, Hell Knights or even a lone Mancubus.