Bulky, barrelless, and painted in hard hat yellow, the Flak Cannon looks like a sci-fi construction tool. When you pick it up, there’s a high-pitched squeal of servos and machinery waking up. Each shot animates a piston that feeds a new shell into the chamber, and the spherical shells it fires, each the size of a personal pizza, actually have a smiley face stamped to the front.
The Flak Cannon is practical and absurd, and it’s the most fun gun we’ve ever shot. On Mouse 1, it kicks a spread of shrapnel nuggets that ricochet off hard surfaces but dig into opponents like shuriken thrown at cake. The polygonal flak particles are big enough to see individually, making each shot a source of honest feedback. When flak leaves the cannon, it glows molten then dissipates slightly as the particles cool, an effect that conveys that you’re putting something hot and lethal in the air. Imagine how fun skeet shooting would be if you could see each individual, glowing pellet traveling downrange, and iterate your shots based on that information. Tiny variations in the way the flak spreads feel just irregular enough to create feelings of surprise, like misting another player when you catch them with every particle at medium range.
The Flak Cannon is also our favorite example of secondary fire ever, with the parabolically-flung bomb on Mouse 2 being a perfect complement to the shotgun spread of the primary fire. It’s a gun that suits the level design of UT ‘99, working perfectly in short corridors and usually well when you have the high ground. Flak Cannon duels feel like tennis, with both players doing frantic footwork as they trade volleys.