Review by penguin434

"Have hundreds of hours to spend playing games? If not, you'll wish you did"

Unreal Tournament 2004 is the continuation of the Unreal Tournament series (previous entries Unreal Tournament, and Unreal Tournament 2003), and is by far the best of them all, and almost every other shooter game out right now.

The gameplay in UT 2004 is the best aspect of the game. For those unfamiliar with the previous installments of the series, there were several game modes including Assault (was absent from UT 2003), Deathmatch, Team deathmatch, capture the flag, double domination, bombing run, mutant, last man standing, and invasion, and new to UT 2004 is the Onslaught mode.

Assault is simply an attack and defend mode, where one team attacks and tries to complete certain objectives in a time limit, then the teams switch. The team that completed the objectives in the fastest time is the victor.

Deathmatch and Team deathmatch are modes where your only priority is kills. The individual or team with the most kills at the end wins.

Capture the flag is exactly what it says, capture the flag and return it to your base for points.

Double domination involves 2 control points that you can capture by simply moving over it. Once you moved over it, you need to keep it for 10 seconds to be awarded the points. If you do, it becomes neutral again and can be captured by anyone.

Bombing run is in my opinion the best game mode in UT 2004. There is a ball in the center of the map and can be picked up by either team. Once you have it, your goal is to fire it through the enemy's goal for points. If a player is killed when he has the ball the ball is up for grabs.

Mutant is one of the more interesting modes. Whoever gets first kill becomes the mutant with all weapons, invisibility, agility and berserk. Your health will slowly go down, but goes up when you get a kill. There are two ways to get points in this mode. You can either get a kill as the mutant, or if you have the lowest score you get points by killing anyone until you no longer have the lowest, and whoever has the new lowest score can get points the same way.

Last Man Standing in my mind isn't too great (it was better in Unreal Tournament without the regaining of health, though it does provide incentive to not camp). But anyway, in this mode you regain health by killing others and once you run out of lives you're out for the match. If you decide to camp, everyone will be able to see where you are and will probably hunt you down, so be careful.

Invasion is another great mode. There is only you and your team verse hordes of monsters. If you die you're out for the round, but so long as one person lives your team moves on. As fun as this mode is, it can get repetitious.

Also, the amount of weapons and vehicles available provide lots of variety in strategy and also are balanced pretty well, though veterans will probably be familiar with their weapon's weaknesses and be able to overcome them. Vehicles are not as cheap as you would think and can be defeated by other vehicles or even a player just running around, but trust me that they are far from harmless.

The graphics in this game are good, but they are hardly an improvement over UT 2003. The most important thing though is the frame rate, and that is surprisingly smooth. My computer barely meets the minimum requirements and I experience little lag (unless I'm running multiple programs).

The sound isn't perfect, but it's good. The music is intense and adrenaline pumping, but after a few weeks I stopped listening to it and played other music on my stereo instead. However I hardly ever listen to any game's music so you may not want my experience to turn you off.

Lots of times I decide about whether or not to get a game based on length/replayability. Well, I can honestly say that UT 2004 does not lack in that department. With over 100 maps, 13 guns (if you include the ball launcher), 9 vehicles, 9 game modes, and online capability, you're going to be wishing you had more time to play.

If you are thinking about buying, then the only reason you shouldn't is if your computer cannot run the game or you don't want to give up the massive 5.5 gigabytes of space it takes up on your computer. But due to the (relatively) low system requirements, most people should be able to run it. The system specs can be found at http://unrealtournament.com/ut2003/specs.php


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/28/04


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