Ballistic Weapons 2.0

Just about everyone that follows the Unreal Tournament 2004 mod scene, even casually, has heard about Ballistic Weapons. New releases and news of the modification from RuneStorm always gathers quite a bit of response on our forum, and for good reason. Just a glance at the pictures they’ve released speaks volumes of the amount of detail and attention that has gone into each weapon model and effect.

But what is it? Is it a realism modification? Is it a weapons mutator? Well, in describing it to a fellow staff member, the best way I could think of explaining was that it’s a great big toy box for Unreal Tournament 2004; a big package of fun.

Ballistic Weapons 2.0 is really a group of mutators that can be run simultaneously or independently. The nice part about it being mutator driven is that it works pretty well with just about any gametype and lots of mods. It can enhance or totally change just about whatever game you’re in the mood to play.

Gimme The Guns!

The stars of the show are the thirty-one available weapons. These range from the “ordinary” D49 - Cobra .44 Revolver (complete with laser sight!) to the M75-TIC Railgun with a killer thermal scope, and in keeping with Unreal tradition, just about all of them have alternate abilities. The M50" Standard Assault Rifle features Semi-Auto, Burst, and Full-Auto primary fire, a grenade launcher secondary fire, and a third ability: a mountable remote camera that can be viewed in full screen or through a screen right on your weapon! The XMV-850 Minigun is a defensive favorite and can be deployed for extra stability and more accuracy. Other, messier options, such as the RX22A Flame Thrower are available. Even the standard rocket launcher has a few twists: heat seeking and laser guided rockets. You can even enjoy the fruits of your labor via a handy rocket-mounted cam.

But the weapons aren’t just all guns, no. Melee lovers can enjoy the X3 Combat Knife, the A909 Skrith (wrist mounted) Blades, or, my favorite, the Katana. The knife can be thrown, while the Skrith Blades and Katana can be used to block melee attacks, giving you a real choice in your cutlery options. Fragmentation, Incendiary, and Toxin grenades are all available for the explosives lover.

Don’t like to get your hands dirty? The remote-triggered FP9A5 General-Purpose Explosive Device (laser trigger optional!) or the BX5-SM Land Mine, which has the alternate ability to leap into the air before exploding, might be an attractive option for you.

It would be one thing to whip up more than thirty weapons with multiple uses, but RuneStorm has made it remarkably easy to make them accessible to the action-minded and the more tactical minded alike. Just about every weapon follows the conventional primary (mouse 1) and secondary (mouse 2) setup with a single alternate key needed for the additional weapon features. If you want to wield two handguns simultaneously, you’ll want a key bound for that too. Weapons can be assigned individually by key, scrolling one-by-one through your inventory, or through a Half-Life type menu in which similar weapons are assigned to one key.

It’s worth mentioning that in addition to the expected weapon and ammo pickups, you can use the Ballistic Weapons pickups for virtually everything else too. Available are Health, Super-Health, Bandages, Body Armor, Damage Amplifier, and more. All look equally as great as the weapons.

What Else Can I Do?

I’ll just go ahead and get this out of the way right up front: there’s no way I’ll be able to describe to you the amount of customization available for Ballistic Weapons. Everything from recoil and weapon sway, to crosshairs and a plethora of gore effects can be tweaked and tuned just to your liking. Included in the download package is an exhaustive manual, so you’ll be able to get all the finer details there anyway.

As I mentioned previously, this is really a suite of mutators, which gives you a tremendous number of ways in which you can enhance the gametype of your choice. Among the many play options, you’ll find the ability to randomize the weapon pickups (you can even specify preference to weapons that have appeared the least in the match), a melee option to show off your close range skills, arena-like option that allow you to choose specific weapons, and the ability to allow the player to choose from five customizable weapon slots instead of using pickups. If you’re in to vehicle-based games, you can even scale the damage that the weapons will deal to vehicles.

If you like your combat a little more tactical, just implement weapon loadout and sprinting, and scale up damage, recoil, view-aim, and chaos factors. Iron sights are available for many of the weapons too. If you prefer action pure and simple, you can turn all of those things down or off.

So How’s It Look?

This is one of the easiest points to convey - just look at the screenshots. You can really crank up the eye-candy too. Muzzle smoke, permanent impact marks, motion-blur, and brass-life can all be turned up client-side to add to the “wow” factor. If you like blood, you’re in luck. There’s a whole suite of options that deal specifically with this: Blood particles, injury blood, corpse trails, blood pools, chunks, and severed stumps are all included.

The weapon models really are first-rate. They are colorful, detailed, easily identifiable, and very well animated.

Most of all they are fun to shoot, and that really sums it all up.

Bottom Line

Ballistic Weapons 2.0 delivers in an Unreal way, literally. Not only are there an overwhelming amount of weapons and features, but it all looks fantastic. And it’s addictive fun. The mutators really breathe new life into an old game and offer something fun for the action and tactics crowds.

I would definitely consider it a must-have download for Unreal Tournament 2004. Great work, RuneStorm!