A better way
It didn’t take long for me to appreciate the Engineer: the
class is about claiming a bit of land and holding the line
until your dying breath. When played properly, I could
use the many turrets and explosives at my disposal to
establish a forward base of operations for my group—not
unlike the Team Fortress 2 class of the same name.
Instead of shooting the place up like Rambo, I focused
my attention on keeping my massive, mechanical war
machine running smoothly. I had three turrets—
Healing, Rifle, and Thumper (which periodically generates a mini-earthquake to damage all enemies near it)—
running at all time, electrical shields to protect allies, and
explosives guarding our perimeter.
The Engineer’s explosives (mines, bombs, and grenades), along with heal packs and a flamethrower, are
accessed via Kits: utility skills that replace your action
bar with a complete set of abilities themed to that
weapon. For example, activating the grenade Kit gave me
a variety of grenades that stun, slow, light things on fire,
or just explode the good ol’ fashioned way.
Always be flexible
All of that’s on top of your basic weapon attacks.
Engineers can equip a rifle, two pistols, or a pistol and
shield combo, which each allow you a slew of damaging
and movement-affecting moves. My personal favorites
are the Rifle Rocket-jump that launches you in any
direction, the Overcharge Shot that blasts you and your
enemy in opposite directions, and the Shield Skill that
creates a giant energy wall that reflects projectiles.
It’s amazing how versatile my role in the group could
be. When we took on the ghost of a lieutenant and 10 of
his spirited followers, I threw down turrets and land
mines beforehand. Then I switched over to grenades to
attract the pack of lower-level guards, and used my Slick
Shoes ability to slow them down with oil puddles as they
chased me to our makeshift turret bunker. When they
got close, I detonated my land mines to finish ’em off.
By then, a couple of my teammates were taking a
beating from the boss, so I activated my bullet-reflecting
wall in front of them and donned my Healing Kit to
throw medpacks at their feet to
help keep them alive. I felt like
the star of the show, and I hadn’t
even fired my weapon once.
Most of the other encounters
in the Story mode required the
usual MMO dungeon tricks:
don’t stand in red circles, stop
attacking when they’re
reflecting your damage type,
keep the two bosses across the
room from each other, etc. It’s a
solid design that keeps the
emphasis on learning how to
combine your individual character’s unique strengths and
weaknesses to succeed as a
group, not memorizing complex
boss mechanics. And that’s definitely a good thing. ■
No fancy spell-casting or nimble dancing here—
Engineers’d rather just blow the enemy to bits.
OC TOBER 2011
OC TOBER 2011