It is a very powerful weapon to have, whether or not the player is attempting a Pacifist run due to its multiple grenade types. While the standard frag grenades can decimate almost any type of hostile no matter how well-armored they are, the concussion rounds can quickly stun a whole group, allowing Jensen to get away safely, or a gas round can be popped to instantly incapacitate a whole room. Against robots and mechanical enemies, the EMP grenades are highly effective. For a weapon of its power, it is also surprisingly compact, only taking up as much space as a rank-and-file machine pistol.
However, this new iteration of the Linebacker is not without its flaws. For starters, the weapon cannot be upgraded at all, meaning it will be stuck with its average performance that cannot be improved. Secondly, launcher grenades are very hard to find and expensive to buy and take up quite a lot of room in Jensen's inventory. Third, it is prohibitively expensive to buy and finding a functional unit in the game requires quite a bit of exploration (see below). Lastly, unlike the Linebacker from Human Revolution, the grenades do not immediately explode when hitting its target and will explode a few seconds later just like the hand grenades in the game. As a result, some enemies may be able to escape the blast radius (This doesn't really make it that different from tossing hand grenades).
Only four usable units can be found throughout the game:
- One can be looted off of the police van directly next to the metro station in the Překážka district (has 4 gas grenades loaded).
- One can be found inside Viktor Marchenko's office in G.A.R.M. (2 frag grenades loaded).
- One can be bought from Nada Birak at the Cigar Lounge after some sleuthing (2 frag grenades).
- One can be bought from Mikael Mendel's shop during martial law (4 frag grenades).
- Holding the aim button will have the launcher project an arc from its muzzle to the calculated point of impact. Use this to accurately rain down shells on enemies behind cover.
- Grenades fired in close proximity will be affected by the Chaff upgrade, resulting in deplayed explosions.
- Launcher grenade boxes are very big and cumbersome to carry around, taking up at least 4 squares each. Lugging around all four types of ammunition means four times the occupied space, so it would be prudent to decide which role the Linebacker should fill first and then only stock up on the appropriate kind of rounds.
- A more practical way to use the weapon is by loading it with all four ammo types, and switching between them on the fly. Carrying excess ammunition is a waste, as the 24 grenades the gun itself holds should be more than enough for any mission. Simply keep extra ammo in Adam's apartment, and return periodically to top up the weapon. Note that unlike other ammo boxes, that stack 200 rounds, the grenade ammo boxes hold a mere 10 rounds at max.
- The Linebacker MSGL appears in the reveal trailer for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, being deployed against Adam Jensen by Viktor Marchenko near the end of the teaser.
- Unlike in the trailer, the Linebacker proper does not have the ability to fire airburst grenades.
- Marchenko himself also does not make use of it when fought in the game proper, opting to go with the laser cannon implanted in his right arm instead. A usable unit of the launcher can be found in a weapon locker inside his office at G.A.R.M. station however, as a probable nod to this.
- The Linebacker MSGL's magazine and feed system were likely inspired by the FN P90.