|Another big change in the 1.1 patch was the inclusion of increased damage from melee attacks--in such an attack, you press the B button when you're close to an enemy in order to beat him down with your weapon. Every weapon can be used in melee combat with the B button, but keep in mind that if you're dual-wielding, you'll drop your left-hand weapon whenever you attempt to use a melee strike. Sometimes it's worthwhile, though, since the increase in damage will let you finish off wounded opponents more quickly than you'd be able to if you waited for a weapon to reload. || |
Of course, the main drawback to resorting to melee damage is that you have to be right on top of your enemies to whack them, and if they're at all aware of your presence, they'll likely be jumping and dancing around to avoid you while they paste you with their own weapons or chuck grenades at you. Luckily, there is a very mild lock-on ability for melee attacks, which will occur when you're close to an enemy. Your targeting reticule will turn red, and melee attacks executed at this stage will benefit from the game's auto-aim features. These won't always result in autokills--you'll still to need three good shots from most weapons to take down a fully shielded opponent--but in most cases, when you're actually close enough to hit someone with a melee attack, both of you will be sufficiently wounded for your melee attack to finish off your target. Also note that attacking someone from behind with a melee attack will always result in an instant kill. This can be especially helpful if you manage to sneak up behind someone or if you're behind a ball or flag carrier, who will be slowed by what they're holding. Brutishness
Two weapons are particularly worthwhile for melee aficionados: the Brute Shot and the Energy Sword. The Brute Shot mostly appears on larger maps--and, as an aside, also saw its grenade damage boosted a bit in the 1.1. patch, thanks to the overall increase in grenade damage. It has a noticeably huge scythe attached to its underside, which was a bit incongruous before the patch, since it did the same (negligible) melee damage as the other weapons. Now, though, it's around 50 percent more powerful when used in melee combat than other ranged projectiles, so you can feel free to whack someone with it if they get too close for comfort. The main drawback to the Brute Shot as a melee weapon is that you won't be able to fire its projectiles at your target as you close in, since the grenades will explode and damage you as well. Energy Sword
The lightsaber-like Energy Sword is generally found only on smaller, more intimate maps and is a fairly intimidating force on them. The Energy Sword is unique among the weapons in the game in that it has no ranged capabilities; if you use it, you must get right up next to your enemies. Luckily, though, if you wait for it to lock on before swinging, you'll charge across the intervening distance between you and your target and get an automatic kill, even if your opponent is facing you, even if it's at full shields. In the hands of a decently skilled (and decently lucky) player, the Energy Sword can make you nearly invulnerable in small Slayer games.
If you're lucky enough to find an Energy Sword in a game, remember that it doesn't make you invincible
. This might sound like an obvious point to make, but we've seen too many players running around with an Energy Sword, looking for large groups of enemies to kill, charging at people across open territory, and generally acting in a self-destructive fashion just because they think they're unstoppable killing machines with the Sword equipped. You can definitely win games using nothing but the Sword, but to do so, you have to put yourself in the position of a lone hunter, stalking your prey across the savannah plains...well, all right, that's a bit too poetic. What we're saying is that you need to avoid the large battles, stick to the tight corridors and small rooms where no one can escape your targeting range, and pick off people one by one. You're not going to take out any crowds with the Energy Sword, and make no mistake: you'll be the first thing people shoot at when they spot you running around with one, so keep the odds even and exploit your awesomeness in mano-a-mano combat. Be the bait
One thing you can do to increase your survivability is to feign weakness. The best way to do this is to keep a simple weapon in your other hand, such as an SMG or a Needler, and use that to lure opponents toward your position. If you're running around a corridor or the corner of a room, try switching to your off weapon and using it to fire on enemies that you happen to spot in an attempt to get their attention. Even if you're using a Needler on an enemy with a Brute Shot, they won't always attempt to follow you in, but most of them will, so when you think they're coming toward you, switch over to your Energy Sword and pound them when they come around the corner. It's devious, but effective.
Also remember that charging toward enemies will often leave you weakened by their fire. After a kill, you might be inspired to immediately move on to the next target, but it's usually best to just pause for a second and wait for your shields to fully recharge before moving out. Being too reckless will probably wind up getting you killed and transferring the sword to one of your enemies; then you'll just have to kill them to get it back, which is probably going to be pretty tough.