Tactics and UseEdit
At a glance, the Helsing is one of the most effective guns around. Silent, powerful, and with ammunition that is near infinitely reusable, the Helsing seems like the ideal weapon for stealth, however in practice it does not perform perfectly. It works very much in the same way the Tihar does, so the guns are frequently compared to one another, as both are stealth weapons with an emphasis on marksmanship. It hisses just like the Tihar when over-pressurized, and both use a similar pumping mechanism.
The differences between the Helsing and Tihar are numerous, however, and worthy of note.
The most obvious is that unlike the Tihar's ball bearings, the Helsing fires arrows, which have much more consistent damage than the ball bearings, especially when used for stealth attacks (where the arrows are often lethal). These arrows, again, are reusable provided you can reach them, making them one of the best ammo types for cost. The Helsing can equip a scope like the Tihar, but this scope is the PK-AV Scope used by the Kalash, not the open-eye optical scope of the Tihar. This can aid mid-range accuracy, and makes the Helsing quite lethal in skilled hands. Over-pressurized, the Helsing's arrows possess even heavier damage than the Tihar's bullets, though the difference is not quite overwhelming.
However, the Helsing suffers at slightly longer ranges; arrows, putting it simply, have poor ballistics. The Helsing's arrows have a short travel time as well as a notable dip to their trajectories at extreme range (even fully-pressurized), made worse by a tendency to drift slightly at mid-to-long-range. Hitting a man-sized target at this range is little trouble for a skilled shot with the Helsing, picking that same target at a longer range becomes a lesson in aggravation as shots that would be easily landed by the revolver, Tihar, or VSV are infuriating endeavors for Helsing users. A good example is the Light Bulb in the small alcove on Black Station - normally, this must be shot out in order to reliably get inside this area to progress, should you be going the Merciful route. This shot is virtually impossible to take with the Helsing; the bulb is too small a target, and even with the Helsing fully-pressurized, you will find yourself habitually unable to shoot out this light with the Helsing. All in all, the Helsing is simply not very good at longer ranges, especially without the scope; up-close and out to medium range is where the Helsing is at its best.
The Helsing has other drawbacks, as well. It tends to go through pressure quicker than the Tihar, and its pump is less efficient than that of its sniper rifle cousin. Worse, due to how the pumping system on the Helsing operates and short ready-time before it can fire, it's extremely easy to accidentally discharge an arrow when trying to over-pressurize the tank. It holds about half as much ammo as the Tihar, and fires and reloads much slower, which means that the Tihar is genuinely better for rapid-firing when the situation intensifies or goes awry. Making the situation a bit more finicky, the Helsing's pressure gauge is somewhat hard to read compared to the blatantly-obvious Tihar's. It's especially prominent on 4:3 displays.
The biggest drawbacks of all, however, are financial; arrows are extremely expensive ammo because of their re-usability; for the price of 20 military grade rounds, you can get as many as 40 rounds of 12-gauge buckshot, 100 5.45mm rounds, or 160 Tihar rounds. One may laugh at this due to the re-usability of arrows, but bear in mind - arrows that cannot be recovered are lost, this can happen if you do not scavange the dead body or fire the arrow to unreachable areas. Arrows are by far the least common ammo type encountered in Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light. The arrows are mostly found on walls, target ranges, or sometimes, windowsills and other Helsings. You will wind up losing some - guaranteed. Moreover, the Helsing is also extravagantly expensive - one of the most expensive weapons in the game, with only the Heavy Automatic Shotgun and Kalash 2012 being worth more, should you wish to buy the scoped version - which is only available in Armory Station in 2033.
Later in the game, the player will encounter enemies who carry more pouches and armor. While the Helsing can penetrate pouches and some armor, it will usually cause the item to fall off the enemy. This can be a problem if the item falls out of reach, or if it penetrates an ammo pouch (as picking up the ammo pouch first will cause the arrow to vanish). If the enemy falls over on top of the arrow there is a risk the player won't be able to recover it.
Play to its strengths and the Helsing is incredibly powerful and useful; unfortunately all that power comes with a cost. Bear this in mind and it is a true professional's weapon and one to be respected. All in all, this is in fact, and by far, the best stealth weapon in the game. When properly pumped, it is an instant and completely silent kill weapon except for when you're aiming for the helmets of armored soldiers. It can best be compared to the throwing knives, but a lot more reliable: carry as many as you can instead of just five, better range, can pierce through armor and easier to aim (on Ranger Mode). Both the scoped and unscoped versions are great, although the scoped version allows a better ranged view although the weapon isn't accurate enough to actually make proper use of it.
It is actually overpowered to a point where one can reliably murder every single person in levels like Dry, Outpost, Frontline or Black Station without ever raising an alarm or even a bit of suspicion. That, and the reusable ammo make it an absolute dream weapon on ranger difficulty, the only problem being not being able to carry a shotgun too (though this is no longer a problem in redux version); since it's not very useful against mutants. Still, carrying a proper Kalash should be more than enough to take care of any of the mutants, since the game is, even on ranger hardcore, a lot easier than the sequel, Last Light. The Librarians, as an exception, are very easy to take on with the Helsing; a few arrows should do it, its recommended to take Helsing to the Library if you don't want to run from them. Consider swapping it out only at Driving to Sparta, from whereon only heavy fighting with nosalises and the like will occur.
- Airtight valve
- Reflex sight
- 2x Optical sight
- Infra-red sight
- Laser sight
Variants and ObtainingEdit
There are two versions of this handy weapon that can be picked up.
| Helsing: A standard Helsing with no scope. Not sold in stores.
| Helsing with Scope: A standard Helsing with a scope.
Metro 2033 Redux:Edit
Here's a list of the differences observed with Original game with regards to obtaining the Helsing:
- 3 or 4 arrows can be looted in Dry station.
- The Helsing is still available for purchase at Armory. Though the Scoped version is no longer for sale, the player can purchase the basic model and update it through the regular store upgrade system . Air tight valve attachments are no longer for sale at this station, neither for Helsing or Tihar.
- Helsing can no longer be salvaged on the Frontline level.
- Players can take advantage of an ammo stash located next to Artyom's seat during the Cart ride of the Depot level to increase their arrow supply.
- It can be still be salvaged during Defense level (Hole station) in one of the offices upstairs (the one that's surrounded by metal bars). It can be found next to the locked safe.
- Air-tight valves can be purchase at the very end of Defense level, in the little refugee camp next to the doors that lead to Nazi outpost.
- It can be looted from a corpse at the very beginning of Nazi Outpost. Corpse is located in a giant room/hole, in a corner by the ramp not too far from the ramp that.
- It can still be looted in Black Station in the train car (comes with one arrow and 4 other arrows available on other side of train car).
(note this information may not be complete, if you observe anything missing please add it)
Metro: Last LightEdit
The Helsing returns in Last Light a few changes to its animation and sound, but as the same weapon otherwise. It is still an instant kill on any humans, except for the heavily armored Reds during levels like Depot. This weapon is extremely rare to find, due to the fact that you can customize it yourself, the Helsing you find has little or no attachment on it. One should be very careful here, although there is no other weapon in the game that would kill them in one shot either. This still leaves it as one of the best stealth weapons in the game. If the player does intend to use it, don't forget to buy some arrows as they are also hard to find.
- The Helsing can only be bought in the Quarantine level, don't miss if you want it.
- It can be found in Contagion on a table (unmodded).
- Next to a corpse by a pillar in The Crossing (with laser sight, reflex sight).
- In the room under the playground in The Dead City (with laser sight).
- In the Faction Pack DLC, in Kshatriya, it is found on the floor next to a dead body in the bathroom of the Library, near the Balaika. It is likely the 'crossbow' that Bar and Su mention earlier in the level, owned by the previous stalker, Grisha.
The Helsing makes yet another appearance in Metro Exodus, where it can now be extensively modified in ways that drastically change how the rifle functions - one option allows the player to transform the gun into a full crossbow that can also use arrows with explosive tips.
The Helsing first appears in the Taiga level, found attached to the back of a statue shortly after Artyom awakes following a railcar crash. By default the Helsing comes in the crossbow configuration with a one bolt ammo capacity that must be reloaded and cocked after every shot. This can be upgraded to various magazines which allow 3, 6 or 8 shots respectively before reloading, however the weapon still has to be cocked after every shot. Artyom has the option of upgrading the helsing with a pneumatic system, this changes the Helsing drasticaly allowing it to fire in semi auto at the expense of a slight decrease in damage as well as having to regularly pump the pneumatic system to keep performance optimal. The crossbow Helsing is the weapon of choice of The Children of the Forest.
|Kill 30 enemies using pneumatic weapons|
|Kill 30 humans with only pneumatic weapons|
|Weaponsmith (Metro 2033)||40|
|Kill at least 1 enemy with each weapon available in the game.|
Metro 2033 ReduxEdit
|Air Bender||Bronze Trophy - 15|
|Kill 50 humans with pneumatic weapons|
Metro Last LightEdit
|Gunslinger||Bronze Trophy - 15|
|Kill at least one Enemy with each Weapon available in the game.|
|Van Helsing||Bronze Trophy - 30|
|Kill a Demon with the Helsing.|
- The name of the weapon is a reference to the repeating crossbow used by the protagonist in the 2004 movie Van Helsing, which used compressed gas to fire bolts in a similar manner.
- Khan carries the scoped variant, and uses it to help Artyom in Dry Station, if the player chooses a stealth approach.
- If Artyom stands idle long enough with the non-scoped version equipped, he will clean the iron sights and adjust the fittings.
- In the twelve-minute E3 preview of Metro: Last Light the Helsing is seen with a reflex sight attached to it.
- It is the only weapon that can be found (and not purchased) by the player in the Kshatriya DLC mission.
- There is a bug in 2033 Redux, at least in survival Ranger hardcore, where if you carry the Helsing during reloading a checkpoint/dying, all the spare ammo you have will disappear.
Concept art by Ilya TolmachevEdit