The M72 LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon) is an American portable one-shot 66mm rocket launcher, adopted into the U.S. Army as its primary individual infantry anti-tank weapon. As stated, the rocket can only be fired once, after which point it is discarded.
The LAW is a very powerful weapon, with its rockets capable of killing multiple enemies in one shot. However, on top of its single-use design, it has a long draw animation, making it unable to be used as an emergency weapon for when other weapons need to be reloaded or are empty, its rockets have a travel time, requiring leading shots on moving targets, and, of course, its explosive properties mean using it at close range is likely to result in the user's death.
In the Deleted Scenes, the M72 LAW is primarily used by Terrorists, posing as a fast-reacting threat that can swiftly end the player's life if they are unaware, or even simply not act fast enough. Additionally, enemies have an infinite supply of LAWs, while the player can only carry one. Levels featuring enemies that use the LAW, and levels where the player can use the LAW for themselves, are the following:
- Recoil: An off-screen LAW shoots down the player's Black Hawk, and more LAW rockets can be seen fired into the sky in the background of the area the player starts the mission in. The player does not encounter any LAW users throughout the mission.
- Lost Cause: A LAW user watches a doorway in the area where the player meets up with the GSG-9 watching over the hostages, and another appears at the end of the level.
- Building Recon: Four LAWs appear in a crate for destroying the T-90. A hidden fifth one can be found on a roof shortly after the fight.
- DrugLab: The player has to infiltrate the main compound to kill a LAW user watching the ground entrance. It should be noted that this LAW user have no regard for his own safely which result him shoot the player even at point blank.
- Motorcade Assault: The LAW is used by the player and another GSG-9 operative, used to stop the convoy the VIP is in.
- Downed Pilot: A LAW-wielding Guerilla awaits the player at the end of a bridge, shortly after finding the crashed plane.
- Hankagai: A Terrorist uses a LAW to destroy a walkway, but does not use it against the player.
- Alamo: A LAW user appears in a window in a bombed-out courtyard, and more LAW users appear in the finale, with the intent of shooting down the Black Hawk.
- Rise Hard: Several LAW-wielding terrorists appear throughout the skyscraper.
- Fastline: A group of Kidotai is seen taken out by a LAW-wielding Akunin. No enemies use LAWs against the player in the level.
- Pipe Dream: While not actually seen, after the player activates a step-ladder to move for the player to advance, a LAW-wielder comically destroys a pipe and the step-ladder, flooding the lower level of the facility instead.
- Sandstorm: The first LAW user appears right before a pipe jumping puzzle, and the second is one of the Terrorists guarding the Scud launcher. Additionally, a hidden usable LAW can be found by jumping up crates and lamps to a ledge, just before the area with the Scud launcher.
The LAW is powerful and can take out most armored vehicles when stationary. It is difficult to hit aircraft while using the rocket launcher as it takes several hits for it to be shot down. Victims that are not hit directly by a LAW user will be stunned while a direct hit will result in gibs or instant death.
The LAW only holds one rocket. Once used, the LAW will be discarded, so select a target wisely. Aim properly, as there is no reserve ammunition. Use this on enemies in a large group as it does higher damage than grenades.
Bugs & Exploits
- The LAW rocket has the tendency to ricochet off surfaces or even enemies, before exploding. This is caused by a game engine bug.
- A glitch can be performed by equipping the launcher, firing it, and pressing Q before the throwing-down animation plays. Pressing Q again brings you back to the weapon, where you can fire again even without ammunition. This can be done as many times as you like as long you switch from and to the launcher; Pressing Q and using the weapon menu while the launcher is held will retain the launcher, but selecting another weapon while holding a different weapon will remove the LAW from the inventory.
- If the player saves or loads a game when firing the LAW rocket, the rocket ammo will act like a Flashbang. Upon detonation it will simply blind the player and enemies without harming them.
- The sights on the M72 are folded, but when the player equips it, the sights will be automatically unfolded.
- The M72 will be automatically unarmed if the player switches to another weapon after its deployment.
Behind the scenes
- The weapon was originally designed and conceived by Gearbox Software for Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, but as the multiplayer version was to be made compatible with Counter-Strike it was also meant to be included in its latest update.
- According to beta footage and the few cut HUD icons still found in retail version of Counter-Strike, it was named the LAW GRENADE, was Terrorist exclusive in the multiplayer, cost $1200, had a single use and disallowed players to carry other types of grenades.
- The weapon is described in detail by Randy Pitchford, the president of Gearbox Software, in an old interview of 2002. It is also seen in action within the video.
- The weapon made several indirect appearances in the Gearbox Software trailer of the game, although unseen, the rockets are shots from multiple windows at Counter-Terrorists.
- As evidenced by some of the screenshots, the M72 LAW could bypass the Tactical Shield's protection to deal damage to enemies.
- M72 LAW at Wikipedia