View Full Version : Review: Melt Weapons

ModSquad NewsPoster
17th Jun 2003, 05:15 PM
[ Transcript of review for Melt Weapons (http://modsquad.beyondunreal.com/review.php?id=21) | Posted by Bean on 2002-09-22 | Score: 6 ]
'Liandri's players were tired of the regular tournament weapons- fight was weak and the tournament useless. The weapons were known by everyone, and everyone had the touch, feel and control of the weapons. Xan and his cohorts died, and Xan Marks II took possession of Liandri. Xan Marks II decided that new weapons were required to continue the Unreal Tournament. These weapons were called Melt Weapons :), and only now they were discovered...'

So begins the read-me to the newly released Melt Weapons. The question we must ask ourselves, though, is haven't we heard it all before ? This is yet another mod authors first attempt, and is an unrealism mod somewhere along the lines of Shots In The Dark and the all-powerful Apocalypse Weapons. Well, the least I can do is give it a chance. So without further ado:

The mod claims to be home to 11 new weapons, a new HUD, a new pickup, and 8 new gametypes. Pride, however, is a sin, and Melt Weapons doesn't do itself any favours by claiming to have invented new versions of Death Match, Team Death Match, Assault and Domination simply by appending 'II' to the gametype name. I will, however, admit that Last Man Standing II, Capture the World, Random Weapon ? and Frags vs Deaths do exist with Melt Weapons, and whilst they may not be original, they are certainly better than standard Death Match rebranded as 'Death Match II'.

The HUD is reasonable- no better than the normal UT HUD, but no worse really. One thing I noticed is that the HUD by default (for me at least- I hadn't left it like that) displays just your ammo, health and armour. If you like it like that, fine, but to experience the whole new HUD you should enlarge it, usually by pressing the plus key. There are new crosshairs for different weapons. The sniper rifle has no crosshair unless you zoom in- see the pics for the sniper rifle scope graphics.

The weapons, whilst mostly mix'n'match from UT, Unreal and other mods, are not too bad. When I began my first game of Melt Weapons, I saw my Blue Plasma, and immediately thought ' Nice'. Although it's the same sort of concept as the Pulse Gun's secondary fire, the graphics are cool, and it makes a welcome change from enforcer-style starting weapons, especially with with the built in melee secondary fire. At last- an easy to use melee weapon! However, my opinion of the weapon slipped a notch when I discovered that it was possible to burn you foes without burning ammo- simply by holding primary fire, pressing and holding secondary, and letting go of primary. This should be fixed, as it is too easy to exploit.

You spawn with a replacement for the teleporter, as well- the Spider. If you jump and press primary fire, the gun will launch a grapple hook in the direction you pointed it. Secondary fire I at first thought was Instagib, but it turns out to be less powerful than an Enforcer.

The Compact gun, which when you pick up you will realise is by no means compact, takes the place of the Bio Rifle. It's just a shoulder-mounted minigun- the fire modes are the same, and it still eats bullets for breakfast. It doesn't seem as powerful, though. Maybe it's just me.

Coming in at number four we have the 'human ripper'. This uses the Translocator model and skin, and simply fires normal UT razors- bouncing ones with primary fire and exploding ones with Secondary.

The Pulse Gun is replaced by what at first seems to be a red Flak Cannon. Closer inspection, however, will reveal that it is instead a combined flamethrower and mine layer. I'd like to suggest to the author that the mines should be made 'smart' so that your own mines won't blow you up if you step on them, which has happened to me on numerous occasions.

The Rippers replacement is a little pistol, the RM, which you can pick up twice, like the Enforcer. What makes it different is the speed of secondary fire, and the fact that you get just 10 shots before you need to reload. Given that none of the other weapons need reloading, what is the point in having a tiny pistol which does ? 10 shots is a pathetic amount of ammo for one clip, too, especially when it's also somewhat weak. I also encountered a bug with the RM : if you use all of your clip, and it automatically reloads, you have to fire another shot before you can change your weapon.

When you pick up number 7, the Blast Type ||, your first thought is probably ' Stand back !'. There you are, clutching what looks like a Redeemer with 20 ammo. In fact, this weapon is not as powerful as it may seem, but supports three fire modes- gel, stinger and shock. Gel launches little red blobs of toxic waste, similar to the Bio Rifle. Stinger mode shoots, you guessed it, Unreal Stingers. And Shock mode shoots a lovely green and blue shock beam. Simply press secondary fire to toggle between the different modes.

Another trusty ol' Quad Shotgun takes the Flak Cannon's number 8 slot. You can load up to 4 shells via the secondary fire button, then fire them with the primary Fire. The one thing I don't like is how once you load 4 shells, the secondary fire does the same as primary fire. This is annoying, as when using other mod's Quad Shotguns, I tend to run around loading as I go, without paying much attention to the number of shells loaded, so as to have maximum firepower when I encounter some unfortunate bot. Overall, though, good.

The Rocket launcher has been moved to the redeemer slot- more about this later. In it's hallowed place, there lies the Fusion Gun (nice graphics for this one!). Primary Fire shoots red tasers- fine. It's a bit like the Stinger mode of the Blast Type II, but I'm not complaining- after all, I like being able to choose what colour my next victim should die with. Secondary fire, however, it far too unbalanced. It lets out a volley of Shock Rifle balls at minigun rate of fire. These huge balls of plasma don't even use any more ammo than the tiny tasers, and unlike the normal Shock Rifle, you can't hurt yourself with them. A huge wave of these things coming your way is hell to avoid, and the bots use them with abandon. Shouldn't this weapon replace the Redeemer ? The secondary fire should be moderated, at least.

The Sniper Rifle has gotten a makeover, and become the Sniper IX, with new sounds, zoom, and a purple scope to match the extremely accurate zoom. This is the easiest to use sniper rifle I have ever seen- I couldn't miss !

I mentioned that the Rocket Launcher had become the new Redeemer- the readme states that the Rockets are bigger, but I personally couldn't see any difference. Oh well...

Well, that leaves us the Pickup, which as far as I'm concerned is the highlight of the mod. It is... wait for it... it's a vampire pickup. SO WHAT?! I hear you cry. Well, when have you seen a vampire pickup, not a relic ? ( I feel I'll be sorry for saying that, but I myself have only seen vampire relics) This beauty replaces the Invisibility (great choice- all Invisibility does when you play single player is give the bots yet another advantage), and cloaks your weapon in a green mesh when you pick it up. The Vampire, I mean, not the Invisibility. By making the pickup time-limited, like Invisibility and the Damage Amp, the use of strategy is called for. Make sure you use your biggest, baddest weapons with the Vampire pickup, to be sure of sucking the most possible life from your hapless victims. As your health gets higher, your ability to receive life gets less. Full marks for this pickup- excellent work.

And now for the burning question- how does it play ? Well, a couple of issues are a bit sketchy. The bot support is lacking in some places- many the time I've seen a bot run below me, and leant over the edge to give him a religious experience only to find the stupid thing firing his Blue Plasma at me with perfect accuracy. Pity he doesn't realise I'm well out of range though.

he main issue, though, is textual feedback. Death messages, weapon pickup alerts, out-of-ammo alerts and the like are mixed up, wrong, or missing altogether. The Blue Plasma, for example, has no death message, and when you run out of ammo it'll tell you that you have no Bio- Rifle ammo. The Blast Type || tells you that you just picked up an Enhanced Shock Rifle. It's not game stopping, but it does degrade the overall game experience.

In then end, gameplay is reasonable. Apart from the bugs mentioned, it's OK. Personally, I prefer Apocalypse Weapons. But don't forget that Apocalypse Weapons started off at a zero ! As the rating scale says, not bad, but could be some much more. Give this mod a little more time, and I'm sure we could have a classic on our hands. Meanwhile, get this mod for the vampire pickup alone !