Review by magnawizzard

"Unreal Tournament Perfected!"

Introduction:

Unreal first broke out with an unmatched force in 1998 when it introduced a hot new engine that redefined 3D shooters. The game set a template on games that would come. The year after, Epic made another grand hit with the release of Unreal Tournament. The game became known as the most complete first person shooter game and it offered as much as players expected. Featuring well-defined game modes such as Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, Last Man Standing, and Assault, Unreal Tournament won people's favor and its community only grew. The series hit a rocky slope of a hill with the release of Unreal Tournament 2003 and Unreal II: The Awakening but the two games proved to be far from waste. However, 2004 was the year the game reached the peak with Epic releasing the much anticipated Unreal Tournament 2004. Setting a higher standard for today's game, Unreal Tournament 2004 features everything players want and then some! Boasting new vehicles, the return of Assault and hundred of maps that goes along with more game modes than you can count, Unreal Tournament 2004 offers more than what players would expect!

Gameplay:

The gameplay of Unreal Tournament 2004 is what makes it stand out from the crowd of mediocre shooters. This game introduces the new Onslaught mode which is the key to the game's fun factor. It features up to 9 vehicles and some turrets that are available on varieties of maps, including the unmanned and automated Phoenix, the behemoth of a vehicle called Leviathan that could hold up to 5 players, and the Skaarj Spacefighter that could be found in the Assault map, Mothership. There are also other random machineries that could be used as weapons such as the Link Turrets in Mothership, the Ion Tank in an Assault map, and different turrets in the Onslaught maps. The game also features the returns of Assault, which now has a few of its own vehicles in different maps. The Assault mode is now much easier to follow because Epic remembered to add in a few extra details (i.e. the arrow and numbered direction on the HUD, or the ''guiding light'') just for the confused newcomers. If the new modes don't appeal to the die-hard Unreal fans, the returning old modes surely will: Capture the Flag makes a return as well as Double Domination and Bombing Run, each having new little features such as the ''guiding light'' and weapons such as the awesome Ion Painter gun. Side from the mission modes, there's also Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Last Man Standing that plays in loads of very unique and detailed levels, along with the Mutant and Invasion modes that bring even more fun to the playability. The gameplay itself is very balanced and honors the memorable game feature of jumping, along with dodging. Each handheld weapon has disadvantages and advantages of their own and each can take down one another or even vehicles, such as the newly included AVRiL or Spider Mine Launcher. The Adrenaline combos are back as well and makes the gameplay even more fun as players can frag while pumping up the Adrenalines for a super combo in the end. In the midst of all the little details and extras, the key part to this golden shooter game is the balanced system itself.

Graphics and Sound:

The graphics of UT2004 is very up to date and the level design is amazing! An example of one of the brilliant spectacles in the game (with only the default graphic settings) is the planet Earth on the Capture the Flag map, Facing Worlds. Each map has its own theme from roaring mechanics, to elegant forests, to deep space, and icy terrains. The sound of the game is superb as well, having the options for text-to-speech, voice chat, and even an in-game mp3 player. Players can choose different announcers ranging from sexy to the loud and funny UT2003 announcer. Each player can have their own default voice for taunts and in-game commands and bots can even be controled by the sounds of a player's voice via headset. The music is top-notch and continues Unreal's winning streak of unique gameplay music that's different from any other first-person shooter games!

Play Time/Replayability:

With enough modes to keep a gamer lasting forever, Unreal Tournament 2004's replayability can last very long. Even when the old maps are replayed over and over again, the new maps will keep on coming as the community grows. There's an in-game community section where players can download the hot new maps or mods and find out what's new in the community. Players can also make their own maps and mods using the UnrealEd engine that comes with the game and release it to the community as they discuss about it in the in-game chat rooms. The online stat system is also featured, depending on which server a player plays in. There are loads of mutators that can be toyed with, including the famous Arena or Instagib mutators. The bots are much better and can even be controlled by commands on the mic, making the single player campaign as enjoyable. There are hundreds of ways to alter and edit UT2004 (models, skins, maps, and textures) to make it a happy and worth-it ''home''.

Final Recommendation:

Unreal Tournament 2004 is definately worth it and if one is still skeptical, they can always check out the amazing UT2004 demo that's available to download. Unreal Tournament 2004 is worth the money and the wait because it has so much to offer. Owning this game feels like owning gold!


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 04/05/04


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