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Feigning normality since 1973

UT Review: Maelstrom

Filed in: Unreal Tournament.

Level: ONS-Maelstrom
Type: Onslaught
Download Size: 6 MB
Rating: 9/10
Downloaded from: Unreal Tournament Files (File Front)

Description: A series of gentle plataeus littered with nodes.

The readme file describes this map as "Onslaught, reborn", and goes on to warn that it's very CPU intensive. The reason for this is that there are no less than 23 nodes connecting the two power cores. This makes for an extremely flexible layout of paths and many, many game-play options. As there are so many nodes, they've been altered to have less hit points, so that building and destroying them takes place more quickly.

Each base is in a large covered pit, providing an excellent defensive position. Provided in the pit are a Goliath tank, two Paladin, two Scorpions, and two Manta (I think that's everything!). There are also teleporters up to a platform above the pit where you'll find three Raptors. From there, the plateaus step down, a series of nodes on each, until you reach the map centre, whereupon they start to step up again to the opposing base.

Though there are many nodes, only some of them come with vehicles - the outer island nodes (you can reach them by swimming) have a Manta each, for instance, and the nodes nearer the centre come with Paladins, Hellbenders, and so on. The lack of vehicles means you'll need to teleport between the nodes a lot. All nodes have weapon stands, some have health packs, and the two island nodes have 50% shield packs.

The map isn't that challenging with the default number of bots, but changing the number to the maximum the level supports (31 bots + 1 players, or however many are playing) helps (hope you have a fast CPU!). It also inspired me to create my own link configurations, and one I created (shown below, enlarged and enhanced as the numbers tend to obscure the links) seemed to be more challenging playing with teams of 6.

Five Paths

There are two node configurations supplied with the map, but the differences when playing with bots isn't great. When playing against other humans, they'll probably make a large difference... Most, if not all, of the nodes are out in the open and can be easily shot from a distance. With the two configurations supplied, it's easy for what looks like an easy victory to turn into you stuck deep in enemy territory as they've cut you off halfway up the map.

A cool concept and well-executed map.

The view from a Raptor can be dangerous

The enemy base

A large number of bots makes for chaos

Tank versus Hellbender = PWNED!


Posted October 23, 2005 1:39 PM

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