Review by Deadmeat X

"It would suck, if it wasn't for Onslaught..."

Let me start off by saying that, yes, this game IS in fact UT2003. It has the same look, the same weapons, hell, over 50% of the levels were in UT2003 or one of the expansion packs. The latest installment of the massive multi player game Unreal Tournament looks like nothing more than a mere update of its predecessor. If I were to give marks for originality, UT2004 wouldn't score high. At all.

Then, you might wonder, why the nine? I'll get to that later. First, a bit about the basics. UT2004 is a futuristic, unrealistic shooter, full of fast paced action, a dozen destructive weapons, another dozen of game modes, lots of characters, and almost 100 maps. So far, so good. The controls are nearly perfect, but that's not a big surprise: they were excellent in 2003 too.

Like I said, there are almost a dozen of different game modes. Most of them were in UT2003. First and foremost, there's Deathmatch, a mode that needs no explanation, I'm sure. If you dig team play, you can try the popular modes Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. Double Domination (control two points for ten seconds) and Bombing Run (soccer with weapons) also make their return, something I'm very glad for. Invasion and Mutant also return to the battle field, even though not many people played these modes.

So, we've got around 8 'old' game modes. Most of them are a lot of fun, and the new maps look pretty cool. Still, if this had been all, I would have felt very ripped off. Luckily, Epic realized that too. So, they put in two sparkling new game modes: Assault and Onslaught. Well, only Onslaught is really new; Assault was featured in the original UT, but it didn't make it into UT2003. In an Assault game, there are two teams: attackers and defenders. The attackers must complete a number of objectives in a certain order, and the defenders must prevent the attackers from doing so. Simple, eh? Assault doesn't rely on team play as heavily as other Objective-Based on-line shooters, like Enemy Territory. Still, it's fun, and there are some very nice Assault levels, like the Mothership level, where you have to fight in little spaceships, and the demo level Convoy, in which the attackers must steal some missiles off a vehicle that's driving through the desert at sick speed.

So, Assault is pretty good, but the real fun starts when you play Onslaught. In this last game mode, the objective is to build nodes for your team. All nods are linked to each other. The goal is to capture enough nodes, so that you can link all the way to the enemy base. You can then attack their base, and try to destroy their core. Sound simple, you say. Why is everyone so happy with Onslaught? The main reason are the vehicles. Onslaught maps are enormous, and it would take you several minutes to get from one end to the other on foot. That's why they put vehicles in, like the Mantra Hovercraft, the Goliath Tank, and the Raptor plane. Each vehicle has its strong and weak sides; people on foot can blast the vehicles with homing AVRiL rockets. And it works. Onslaught is by far the best game mode of the whole game. It's fun, it's fast-paced, but it's also very strategic.

Anything else? Well, the graphics are pretty decent, and so are the system requirements. Epic has tried to keep these as broad as possible. People with a brand new, top-of-the-line PC can enjoy all the eye-candy, but people with older PC's can still play the game. According to Epic, the game can even be played on a laptop. The difference in graphics isn't that big, compared to UT2003, but UT2003 looked pretty good anyway. The sound is decent, especially the taunts are cool. The game does feature a Single Player mode, but that's exactly like in 2003: no story, just fragging bots in multi player maps. Only fun if your internet connection is out. If you don't have internet access, don't buy this, it's very lame in Single Player.

If you haven't played UT2003, this new edition is really worth a purchase. UT has some very solid game play, with cool weapons and a lot of game modes, ranging from the mindless fragging fun of Deathmatch to the tactical team play in Onslaught. But, what if you have played UT2003? Deadmeat's verdict: buy! There are two reasons why even UT2003 players should buy this game. The first is that hardly anyone plays UT2003 these days, and the second reason is called Onslaught. The old game modes, the new maps, Assault...it's all a lot of fun, but it's Onslaught that makes this game worth every penny.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 9

Final Score: 9/10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/15/04


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