Bombing Run sounded like the coolest party shtick, until it was put into practice in UT2K3. For some inexplicable reason, every Bombing Run map in the 2003 version of the franchise had a long, narrow corridor or some other kind of choke point near each goal. Consequently, scoring was an exercise in futility and Bombing Run’s lack of popularity reflected that.
The new map in the demo shows a lot of promise. It’s in the open, it has terrain elevation changes (the ball sits on top of a ridge) and the few corridors in it are functional. Scoring isn’t overly easy, but a determined team effort can consistently get it in the basket.
Onslaught, the most popular game mode, is a completely different beast. Try combining UT2K3 with BF1942, and you have the right idea. Like Battlefield, Onslaught has vehicles, and these vehicles are of course role-specific. Also like Battlefield, Onslaught has objectives to be captured. The difference is that these ‘power nodes’ have to be captured in sequence. There are different paths through the nodes. You can cut through the middle for the quick rush towards the enemy base, or you can capture the corners to get the tanks that will appear.
The ultimate purpose of Onslaught is to destroy the enemy power core, and in order to do that, you need to capture the power node neighboring to the core. Once this node belongs to your team, the enemy core is vulnerable to attack. Unlike the nodes, it cannot be healed so any damage to it is permanent. Once the core hits zero, the match is yours.
Onslaught has an incredible amount of teamwork involved. It’s much less forgiving than Battlefield 1942 or even Enemy Territory when it comes down to deciding which team wins. If people don’t co-operate in Onslaught, their team loses – hard. Something as simple as deciding beforehand if you’ll try to rush the middle node, or to go for both tanks, can mean all the difference in the world. Other, less subtle acts – like using an AVRIL missile to take a flyboy off a tank come naturally, since it’s a quick, easy kill. What really makes the difference between a good and bad team is anticipation. If you see an enemy node coming down, you can put yourself in position to take the next.
I just played a match where 4 of the highest fraggers on the server were on my team – and they weren’t sniping campers or vehicle hogs – but the other team slowly reversed our initial surge through great defensive work. It was impossible to approach the enemy node with anything but a tank, because they all worked together. My team, on the other hand, came not in hard waves, but with scattered, individual attacks. The blues constantly repaired their turrets and, later, tanks, while we went into headlong suicidal rushes.
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