It's Arrived, finally I get to play my most awaited game, Unreal Tournament, Along with Quake 3: Arena it has caused a stir around all of the Gaming Community. Online gaming like never before?, computer controlled bots that kick ass?, great gameplay and graphics with 3D sounds and amazing effects? Well this is the review to find out.
The story for the game, not that it really needs one is that due to all the killing and other nasty stuff going on the government has set up a brutal killing competition to solve all problems. You just happen to be one of the people involved in the killing game, it all sounds ok, not many people care for a story, kicking other peoples butt's is just enough fun.
Well on online 3D shooter featuring multiple people fighting it out in a level filled with massively destructive weapons and great levels is not new, but every game that builds on the last one seems to add tons to the gameplay, sound, graphics and design, and UT is no different.
When you start the game you get the trademark Unreal 'Fly Around a Level' with someone talking about what the games story is. So you start the game playing against bots, it's the best way, believe me! So you play the first level, making sure the bots start off reasonably easy and have auto skill on. You play the first level and kick some ass because the bots are just about getting to your skill level. You might finish top this time, but give it a few minutes on your playing style and they soon learn your tactics and you feel you have to do something different, and you do.
The bots are great, strafing and jumping to avoid rockets and pulse blasts, hiding round corners and fighting between themselves. You soon figure out which bot is the hard guy and take your time to dispose of him before killing a few others that happen to think they are hard and can take you on.
I must admit, when I first played the game I expected the bots to be really easy at first, all other games before this I have done really well on, building a lead on the scores and usually finishing the level because im bored and im just too far ahead. In UT, I played first Time and came seconds then in subsequent Levels I was fighting to stay off the bottom, the bots were really hard and they know where everything in the level is so often you end up following a bot to find secrets and power-ups.
One bot in particular, kept finding the invulnerability power-up, running round glowing yellow, kicking major ass with his unlimited supply of rockets.
A great feature in the game is the fact that you can go on killing sprees or rampages. When you kill a certain number of opponents it is announced to the playing world that you're on a killing spree or a rampage. This usually means that every bugger is now out to kill you and get the reward for ending your killing spree, this reward is nothing special, just an announcement that you ended that persons killing spree/rampage.
The weapons in the game have changed a bit from Unreal 1, you get your starting pistol which is great and if you kill another person who also has a pistol you run around with 2. Now you might say, ha, pistols, give me a rocket launcher anyday, but I have actually killed a person with who has a rocket launcher with only 2 pistols, its great when you do that, you feel so godly.
Every Weapon in the game has to modes of fire, for example you starting pistol can be used normally or if you press alternate fire you get a cool gangster style shoot the gun sideways, this is really impressive with 2 guns! The rocket launcher becomes a grenade launcher on alternate fire and every weapon has similar changes, most you will only find useful in particular situations, but they can all be used once per level.
The levels are huge, there are small bits everywhere you can run to hide, a lot of time you can get very lost just by turning right not left at a junction to find yourself is a part of the level you never knew existed. There are times when you cant even hear other people on the level if its only populated by five people and you end up having to go and find them.
The main menu is a windows style interface, with menus and check boxes for you to play with to change the game to your style. You also get to choose you character from a list of 20 or so models ranging from male robots to female commandos. Each model has distinct faces, my favourite model is the Matrix Male Robot, so if you see that with my nick, DAPsycho, go easy on me, im not that good, just average.
The controls can all be customised, the Quake ones are the ones that are really recommended, they work well in all these games and by choosing keys around them you can flick between different weapons with ease. There is not much to say regarding the keys as epic have reduced the number of commands you can use to make it easy to remember what keys do what.
You only really need to know your controls and the weapon keys, these are easy to remember as the on screen display also shows you what keys that weapon is associated with.
The game runs really well, even on my machine, I had a few problems in the beginning but as soon as you get into the swing of things you feel at home once more. The graphics are really well done, Textures look nice and serve a purpose on every level and you get the obligatory Lava pools and coloured lighting. Some levels are so big you can come across loads of different textures, not that your supposed to be paying attention to the décor, it just inforces a real world type scenario. However not everything is real world, how many times will you see a load of hard asses killing each-other on a platform in space, well never really, but its extreme fun never the less.
The games sound is one more great thing in the game, yes I know everything's great, its not my fault they made a bloody good game, just listen, the sounds great, if you have 3D sound and Aureal 3D then your laughing, its so good. You hear shooting in the distance behind you and you go to investigate and find 2 or 3 opponents fighting it out amongst themselves and to get that extra frag or two your trigger finger somehow slips and you fire a volley of rockets into the crowd gaining important frags, cool!
There is nothing wrong with the game, I had a few problems installing and patching but that didn't ruin the gameplay at all which was really perfect, I cant wait to get home everyday to kick some ass.
Unreal Tournament is a blinder of a game, kicks ass everywhere from Graphics to Gameplay, I recommend this to Everyone, it will literally destroy your normal social life. You will be king on some levels, others you will just wish will end, have fun and beware, someones always after you!