Review by Xboxlover2

"You have just picked up a Redeemer. MONSTER KILL!!!"

Ahh, Unreal Tournament 2004. Where to begin? Well, let me introduce you guys to the history of the Unreal series first. It all started back in 1998 when a company called Epic Games released a game called...well, Unreal. A year later, in November 1999, Epic released an Unreal side game, called Unreal Tournament. Unreal Tournament was a game just like Unreal, except the main focus of the game being on its multiplayer aspects. Shortly after came Unreal Tournament 2003 and finally Unreal Tournament 2004. And that should bring us up to date.

Gameplay: 9/10
Unreal Tournament 2004 is a very addictive game. The carnage that you can inflict on others, the cool weapons and vehicles, the unique and large maps, and even those little things that you most likely won't really notice combine together to make this game a very infectious one. There are ten default game modes: Assault, Bombing Run, Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, Double Domination, Invasion, Last Man Standing, Mutant, Onslaught, and Team Deathmatch. I COULD give a little description for each of the modes, but that would drag this review out and make it way longer than it needs to be, so I'll tell you the general objective for each of these modes by summing it up in a few words: kill some stuff.

There is a great variety of weapons available at your disposal, ranging from a weak assault rifle to a handheld nuclear weapon called the Redeemer. There is also a wide selection of vehicles, such as the Hellbender, which is your standard Jeep, and a flying vehicle called the Raptor. There's even a few space fighters. Yes, you heard correct - space fighters. Which brings me to my next point - there's a ****load of maps available in the game. Totaling all of the gametype maps together, there's over 100 maps, something I've NEVER seen before in a game. The game takes up over 5 gigabytes of space, and 1.37 of those GBs come from the maps alone. The locations vary greatly; one moment you'll be playing in a forest, the next you'll be in outer space, chasing down an opponent in a space fighter. And I haven't even told you guys yet about how 90% of the maps are incredibly large and how some of the maps actually require the use of vehicles, as traveling on foot would end up taking a hell of a long time. There's so much to do in the game that I think it's near impossible to try everything out.

Now this may come as a surprise, but *gasp* there is a single-player game! Yeah, to be honest, it does feel like Epic added in the single player mode as an after-thought. "Hey, we've finished with the game. What else can we add to it? Meh, I guess a single-player mode would be a nice extra." There is a story that I found pretty cool, since I've never seen a story like this in any other game (well, any non-UT game): you are competing in a tournament for prizes. As you progress through the game, you will be challenged by various leaders of teams and you will also build up a team of your own. I don't want to spoil the game for you guys, so I'll allow you to find out more about it for yourselves.

Something else I love about this game is how gory it is. You can shoot off any body parts you feel like: arms, legs, heads. Hell, why even stop there? Why not take the whole burrito and completely destroy your opponent's body by turning them into pieces of meat? If you aren't too much into extremely gory violence, you definitely should not play this game as you will be disgusted by how much blood you will see flying around as you run through the maps.

Graphics and Sound: 7/10
I am not a graphics whore, to be completely honest. If a game is fun, as long as I can actually see what I'm doing, I'll more than likely enjoy it. But I must say, the graphics of UT2004 are pretty damn good, especially when you consider how large the maps are and how much is going on in the background. The frame rate is incredibly smooth and gives the game a sort of fluid impression. The animations of the characters are pretty impressive as well, and the ragdoll physics are in full effect. Everything is pretty detailed, but I will say that some of the things did seem a bit blurry to me. Not too much of a downer though, as the rest of the game's graphics completely make up for that.

As for the sounds department, it's just okay. It's nothing completely impressive, but it's not too shabby either. I do love the fact that they are announcers in the game that will blurt out things like "HOLY ****!", "HEAD SHOT!", and "MONSTER KILL!!!" If you ever get tired of the default announcer's voice (and I guarantee that you will after a while), you can always change the voice, which is pretty cool and handy, I guess. The gunfire and explosions and other sounds of the weapons sound alright, but as with the other sounds, they aren't anything too impressive.

Replayability: 9/10
Believe me when I say this, you WILL become addicted to this game. There is always a huge amount of people online, so you won't be hard-pressed to find a game. The two most infectious game modes, Onslaught and Assault, will gobble up so much of your time, but you'll be happy to have wasted that time as the game is incredibly fun. The mod community of UT2004 is also very active, so you will be very eager to test out new mods, weapons, characters, maps, etc. Hell, even if you get tired of playing online, you can always go ahead and try out the single player game :P

Overall: 8/10. Recommendation: If you're buying it for the single-player game, rent. Otherwise, buy.
If you're buying it for the single-player game, there's something wrong with you, so you should buy the game anyway :P. Seriously though, it will be hard-earned money well spent, as you get a lot of playing time for your buck. This game has enough widespread appeal to turn anyone into a fan of the series, with it's addictive multiplayer mode. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 01/24/06

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