Review by Diamond Dragon
"New guns. New game modes. New vehicles. Old sniper rifle."
Being a fan of the original UT, after playing Unreal 2k3 I was terrible disappointed at some of the changes (biggest one being the Lightning Gun...*shudder) and lack of new features that would keep me playing the game. It seems Epic Games has heard my plea and has fixed everything. This game is now reminiscent of the original UT with some sweet extras.
Story...? Who cares, this is UT, you have to kill things! To be honest I have not paid any heed to the evolution of the story of UT (if there was any) and I'm not about to change now. Quite frankly, if you buy this game looking for a story instead of jumping into multiplayer...
Like I mentioned earlier, I was a fan of the original UT and UT 2k3 didn't do it for me. Now, UT 2004 is my saving grace. The game pretty much takes the goodness of UT, some elements form UT 2k3 and put them in one mouth-watering, delicious package.
First and most importantly, the sniper rifle is back. Yep, but for those who liked the lightning gun do not fear, it co-exists with the sniper rifle. Now everyone is happy! Not only that, they have some cool weapons like the AVRiL (Anti-Vehicle Rocket Launcher) which may remind people of the Redeemer (which is also in UT 2004!) and is pretty cool to fight against as you can knock it down mid-air...like the redeemer. And, not to forget one of the most interesting weapons, the mine layer. It lays some type of spider mines on the floor. But, as an alternate fire you are able to shoot a laser that the mines will follow. Too cool.
But for those who don't know what UT is here is a quick summary. You can choose from a number of game modes, but the core of the game is to pick up a gun and kill things. Unlike Counter-Strike and other tactical shooters this game is based more on mayhem than organization. That doesn't mean that there aren't any tactics you should follow, you can still plan ambushes and such (although sometimes it is far too hard to do so) but it is just not as enforced as it is in games like Counter-Strike. This, however, can make the game frustrating for some as really good players can take on a million people without getting killed for a long time.
Now, back to the additions, one of the most amazing additions ever made was a new game mode called Onslaught with vehicles. Now, onslaught is a real interesting game mode where you must activate nodes strewn across a huge map (much like Halo) to connect other nodes which you can activate which will lead to the disruption of the shield of some main generator at your enemies' base which you must destroy. It is very confusing in writing but once you jump into the game it is very easy to catch on. Not only is this game mode the most amazing thing to play for hours upon hours but the vehicles are just amazing. You can take control of turrets, jeeps, tanks, a variety of flying contraptions and go around destroying things in sight. This game mode can get very very VERY hectic with vehicles all over the place, people sniping you from everywhere, and nodes being destroyed and repaired. They also brought back a great game mode from the original UT, Assault. Assault is (for all the new-comers) an objective based game mode where you must pretty much make it from point A, to point B, to point C, etc. However, it is tons of fun to play with a lot of people (especially now that it is improved in 2004) and can get real crazy.
Overall, this really feels like a sequel to UT as it concentrates on the improvements of UT while adding new features that do not diminish the aura of the original game.
Graphics do not make the game in my opinion. However, I cannot help but comment on the smoothness and quality of the graphics in this game. However, they are not much different than that of UT 2k3, but they are still real great. The vehicles do look cool and so do the new weapons (however, the sniper rifle still doesn't look as good as the one in UT) and all in all, pretty much nothing wrong with the graphics.
You'll be glad to hear the classic voice of the announcer saying ''Head Shot!'' He also says new things like ''Daredevil'' (performing a cool trick on a vehicle) and other comments pertaining to the different game modes. The sounds of the guns and such aren't anything really special but some of the taunts are great. Nothing changed in the sound except for some additions which prove to be good ones at that.
Again, for those who loved the original UT and remember playing for hours and hours and more hours on it playing death match (or whatever your cup of tea was), prepare to whip out the caffeine again. The new game mode onslaught, the revival of assault, and the list of maps will keep you playing until the end of time. It truly is a game made to played over and over for eternity. You have every reason in the world to play this game again.
Buy, Rent, Trash?
Buy. Whether you're new to the series, disappointed by UT 2k3 or even liked it, this game is simply amazing. This is the multiplayer game of the year. Staying faithful to the first installment of the series, this game defines perfection.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/18/04
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