|“||The railgun shoots bearing balls at incredible speeds, but takes time to charge its capacitor. Deals lower damage if fired before charging fully.||„|
— Last Light in-game description
The Hellbreath (Russian: Рельса, literally "Rail"), or Volt Driver in Metro 2033, is a metro-made, man-portable electromagnetic accelerator which uses the Lorentz effect to fire metal projectiles at extremely high velocities - in the real world, it would be a kind of Railgun. The Hellbreath is considered the electrical counterpart to the Tihar.
Miller is the only NPC that uses the Hellbreath, starting in the chapter D6, and is made available to Artyom in the Ranger Pack DLC, available for Metro 2033 free on Steam. The Hellbreath was a cut weapon in Metro: Last Light itself, but it returned in the DLCs. In the Redux version, the Hellbreath is included as an obtainable but rare weapon.
The Hellbreath fires metallic ball bearings - the same kind of sniper rounds fired by the Tihar - using electromagnetism; the gun's magnetic rails are powered by the charge from a built-in battery, and magnetic coil. Unlike the Tihar, which is pneumatic (it uses air pressure), the Hellbreath has to be charged using a built-in charger. The charger is separate from the one that is used to power Artyom's flashlight and Night Vision Goggles, as with Tihar and Helsing, you need to charge this weapon when found.
The Tihar and Hellbreath have rather similar performance statistics, and are quite similar in utility. The key differences are that the Hellbreath does more damage when fully-charged (it is one of the strongest weapons overall, frequently bringing down watchers in a single body shot), fires slower, and has better sustainability (lesser-charged rounds from the Hellbreath still do fairly good damage, as opposed to the Tihar, which tends to do poor damage unless pumped up). However, the Tihar has considerably better accuracy (especially over a distance), is silent (the Hellbreath has an extremely loud and distinctive report), and access to a zoom scope (which makes it a very effective sniping tool). In contrast, the Hellbreath lacks any sighting in general except for a laser sight. In general, the Hellbreath is better at closer ranges, whereas the Tihar is significantly better from afar, though both weapons can work just fine at close range (if the Tihar is pumped and uses its fast fire rate) or long range (if the player has the time to aim the Hellbreath) in trained hands. Unlike the Tihar, the Hellbreath is not a suppressed weapon, avoid using it in stealth situations if you want to remain undetected.
In addition to its high firepower, the Hellbreath can make melee attacks by shocking enemies with the electrified rails at the front of the weapon's barrel. While this consumes energy (and becomes notably less effective the lower the Hellbreath's battery is), it makes for an effective deterrent up-close and is quite good at forcing close-combat enemies back, such as nosalises. At full charge the Hellbreath allows up to five melee attacks before it requires to be charged. It can fire a total of 17 ball bearings from full charge (including super charge) before a recharge is necessary.
The laser sight makes up for the loss of the cross-hair, and the Hellbreath uses the same extremely inexpensive ammo the Tihar uses. All in all, it is a toss-up which gun is better; both offer considerable advantages and are worthy guns in every respect.
The Hellbreath has 2 distinctive, boxy prongs on the front of the gun - each of these contains a full set of magnetic strips, tentatively called "rails".
A negative electrical current is run down one rail, which goes through the projectile, and back down the other rail. This current sets up a net magnetic field oriented "up", relative to the rails. The projectile's current is "sideways" relative to the rails, and this current interacts with the net magnetic field to produce a "forward" force.
Variants and CustomizationEdit
Metro Last LightEdit
The Hellbreath has three attachment slots: Optics, Base and Misc. 5 different attachments are available for the Valve: two Optics, two Base upgrades and one Misc (a laser sight).
Metro Last LightEdit
- In the Faction Pack DLC, a Hellbreath with 4x Scope can be obtained at the start of the Heavy Squad mission, sitting in a box next to the ammunition supply. Diesel will tell you to get it before the snipers show up.
- In the Tower Pack DLC, it can be obtained for use after completing the third test.
- In the Developer Pack DLC, it is unlocked and can be used in the Shooting Gallery and AI Arena.
In Metro Exodus, the Hellbreath isn't a unique weapon, but a heavily modified Tihar. It is only available during the Dead City level. After Kirill informs Artyom and Miller about the SatCom center, Miller will let Artyom take his Volt Driver.
This gun can effectively be used in any situation except situations that require stealth or where there are many weak enemies (like amoebas). This gun is also highly suggested in Ranger Easy and Ranger Hardcore difficulties as the damage increase makes body shots an instant kill on everything except librarians. Its laser sight and easily visible magazine capacity negates the HUD removal disadvantage of hardcore mode. Its firepower does decrease after each shot, so recharge the battery after each fight or if you are in a stealth situation and you have time, charge after killing an enemy. In hot situations, retreat to charge the weapon if it loses power to kill your opponents in singular shots. Like the Tihar, the Hellbreath will make sound while fully charged but it will be sparks instead of air leaking out
In the Last Light DLCs, it proves extremely useful in killing heavily armoured troops found in many of the levels, and its the player's only mean to counter snipers.
|Get 50 kills with Volt Driver.|
|Get 25 kills with alternative fire of Volt Driver.|
|Weaponsmith (Metro 2033)||40|
|Kill at least 1 enemy with each weapon available in the game.|
|Homo Homini Lupus Est||Bronze Trophy - 15|
|Kill 100 enemies with heavy weapons.|
- You can see a working railgun - one that hasn't been miniaturized here.
- If Miller is killed while carrying the gun, it will be dropped. The gun then is highlighted, signaling the player that he is able to pick it up, however, you cannot pick the weapon up, since his death always means game over.
- A Railgun such as the Hellbreath is not to be confused with a Gauss gun; both types of weapons use electricity to generate electromagnetic fields to accelerate a projectile at extreme velocities but each are designed very differently; a Gauss weapon (otherwise known as "Coilguns") would use Electromagnetic Coils to accelerate a ferromagnetic round while a railgun uses two parallel rails and a projectile that is a good conductor of electricity to complete an electric circuit (see the Wikipedia links above for a more complete explanations of the differences between the two principles and more detailed methods of operation).
- Interestingly, in Metro 2033 the Hellbreath is mostly used as short-range defense, in Last Light it got a longer effective range, allowing the user to snipe distant targets, therefore it's even more versitile than Tihar.
- If left idle long enough, Artyom will poke a wire on the weapon, then look at his finger, showing a metal splinter.
- Oddly enough, the same animation is used in the Developer Pack, which causes the player's hand to clip through the now-flipped prongs of the weapon.
- While the Hellbreath has muzzle flash while fired in Metro 2033, in Last Light it doesn't.
- Hellbreath's power meter is identical to the one found on the universal charger, but they need to be manually charged individually.
- There is a Hellbreath on the top of one of the bookcases with the equipment in the ammo exchange kiosk in Riga.
- While you cannot buy one in-game (all are found), it would sell for roughly 241 MGR if it were available in a shop.
- An interesting tip for those 'strapped-for-cash'. You can acquire the first Hellbreath in Lost Tunnels, which can be used to great effect for a large part of the game. Once you reach Armory Station, and the second one appears, you can sell one of the Weapons in exchange for a Duplet and you will receive a lot MGR . You still have the other Hellbreath, as well as the Heavy Automatic Shotgun, if you wish to sell or use that instead. This helps greatly with the Scrooge Achievement.
- In Heavy Squad, Diesel mentions that the Hellbreath Hans uses was stolen from Armory Station during a Nazi raid and also mentions the name "smithy", likely referring to Andrew the Blacksmith.