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The Torque Bow from the Gears of War series is a mechanical crossbow that shoots dangerous, exploding crossbow bolts. It is essentially the Locust answer to the Longshot sniper rifle. The torque bow is carried by Theron Guards in the original Gears of War, and is carried by a variety of enemies in Gears of War 2. The torque bow is considered a long-range weapon, and requires its wielder to "charge it up" before getting off a decent shot. If the wielder does not fire off a bolt within a few seconds of charging up the bow, the bolt will automatically be discharged. The torque bow features a red, laser sight which heightens accuracy for the wielder. The torque bow has a standard melee attack, and it takes two hits from the bow to down an enemy (in multiplayer modes) in all three Gears games.
A player wielding the torque bow in Gears of War 2 has the option of performing a brutal execution move unique to the bow, in which the executioner anchors the "blades" of the bow in the enemy's body, and then stomps off the victim's head.
In Gears of War 3, the unique execution features the user positioning the bow in front of the enemy's neck, pressing against the victim's head with his or her foot, then pulling back with the bow to sever the opponent's head.
In multiplayer, the torque bow is often preferred over the other primary long-range weapon - the longshot - because a "stick" anywhere in the body of an opponent results in a kill. To account for the difference in balance, the torque starts with less ammunition. The torque bow was plagued with glitches in the original Gears of War game, and numerous players experienced the phenomena of seemingly sticking an enemy with a torque bolt, only to have that enemy slide to cover and "shake off" the bolt.