The NEWBIESPLAYGROUND Unreal Contest 2021 is about at the halfway stage now and has already seen many great matches played!
This year has seen the introduction of infinite attempts in any of the 3 events SP/Coop/Challenge and this is creating a high level of friendly competition, with players' times for any event getting gradually closer and closer as the Contest progresses. This in turn means that players have a greater chance to post a nice score, there is more play and there is more action for any spectators to watch and it's certainly very entertaining to play and watch!
So, after 1 week of play and players investigating the maps and finding the best way to proceed, we think it's a good time to note some observations about each event.
This years Single-Player event has SpireVillage as the starting map and this is purposeful. The idea is to have the "boss" map first instead of last, which kind of reverses the idea of putting the boss map last. SpireVillage has 4 Titans at this difficulty level and it's an intense immediate encounter! The map is short though and once players have successively made their way through this initial map, they encounter the more laid-back and longer map, SkyTown and then the somewhat shorter Glathriel2.
This is not to say that SkyTown and Glathriel2 are easy maps though, because it is crucial to keep an eye on weapons and ammo management on SkyTown, in order to arrive at the final map Glathriel2 and have sufficient firepower left to negotiate this final map, because the final map contains very few respawning weapons.
Note that this years Single-Player maps are all Nali settlements which provides a nice atmosphere!
This years Coop event contains 8 maps and is somewhat shorter in average duration than in previous years, although it is definitely not easier because of the shorter time format. However with a little practice it soon becomes fairly obvious what is the best way to proceed. It sure is a fun selection of maps to play with a couple of friends!
The first map Ceremony sees the familiar Contest idea of players dashing immediately for another weapon, in this case the automag or 8ball. It's another classic starting map which breaks the players in gently for the later and tougher encounters on the maps DCrater and ExtremeGen.
SkyCaves is a short map, but cannot be taken lightly because there are no items of protection to pick up here and also no SuperHealth to be had either. But hey, here's a Rifle for the team!
The maps Ruins and DCrater are seperated from each other in map order but are linked in a very specific way!
DCrater of course is initially in near darkness and the main objective here is to turn the lights on for the tough encounters with the gunners and troopers. Stealth is required to achieve this objective of sneaking past the enemies to turn the lights on from the downstairs area first, in order to make the team's mission much easier. The map Ruins provides a way to do this, in the form of a translator message :-
The map NagomiSun is intended as an outdoor "breather" map after the many perils of the dark confinements of DCrater and ExtremeGen, although similar to SkyCaves, there is no protection to be acquired here either and it also contains a Titan, so this map cannot be taken for granted as simple by any means either. But hey it's good to be back outside with the sun shining isn't it?
Continuing with the Titan-theme this year, sees one the shortest maps in our game next, the cold and chilly map Glacena. Whilst this map could be described as relatively easy, it is important not to make a mistake here because of the players' movement differences on the slippery surface and the fact that some team-players might arrive here with depleted weapons/ammo and 2 Titans in a small enclosed area is never to be underestimated.
The final map in the Coop event is NaliC2, which seems fitting as it is the final map in our game and sees Prisoner 849 escaping the planetary surface for the second time. Nearly every Unreal weapon can be found on this map and progression to the shuttle ship should be straightforward enough, although as always, a successful encounter with the Warlord cannot not be taken for granted!
It is a real treat to arrive here with a couple of friends!
The Challenge event provides an opportunity for players to engage in a much quicker event, because each of the 5 maps are played in isolation and have their own scoreboard, so in essence, it is a speedrun! However every enemy must be killed in this speedrun to register as a completed map.
Its short and simple format provides a nice platform for players to just immediately dive in and register a score! As the name of the event suggests, this is not easy though because of the much stricter time limits and starting each map with the Dispersion Pistol only of course provides its own difficulties!
Out of the 5 maps, we would suggest that the maps Crashsite and Passage are the easiest, Noork could be considered medium difficulty and the maps ISVDeck1 and DCrater provide a very tough challenge indeed!
So for those players who have not participated so far and experienced this new format, we suggest trying MPCrashsite, Passage and Noork first and then attempting ISVDeck1 or DCrater, although each of the 5 chosen maps have their own unique difficulties and various tricks to employ to achieve a registered score.
We look forward to seeing more players this week and the further efforts of those who have already participated!
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"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche