Review by LionHeart11

"Simply the most fun you will have in an FPS for a long time!"

Ahh, Unreal Tournament 2004. I don't really know where to begin, because there is just so much things to do in this game. This is one of the few games that kept me hooked for over 2 years now, and I regularly play it even now, as well as thousands others. This is a game that you should not miss the opportunity to buy, as it is one that will keep you hooked for years to come.

Here is the meat of this game. The gameplay in Unreal Tournament 2004 is simply superb, and will keep you hooked for quite a while. Basically, there are several modes you can choose from, ranging from the standard deathmatch, all the way to the strategy game-types of Onslaught and Assault. You are handed a default arsenal at the beginning of each game-type, but you gain many weapons throughout the map, such as rocket-launchers, plasma rifles, and even air assault weapons. All of these weapons are near perfectly balanced, a feat few FPS games have yet to accomplish. As you get into more competitive play, you will realize the usefulness of each weapon, and how balanced the weapons really are. The levels themselves are designed well, and allow you to use certain areas to your advantage. The level design really adds to the gameplay experience. Overall, this game has superb gameplay, as well as some of the best balanced arsenals I have ever seen in a(n) FPS.
Gameplay Score: 10/10

This, in this game, is one of the less important aspects, though Epic managed to deliver well in this section, too. The weapons all sound realistic, from the hi-tech sound of a plasma rifle, to the giant boom you would expect from a nuke-launcher. The taunts and orders section of the voice menus are also well done, and add to the realism of the deathmatch arena. It really does make the game seem more realistic when your foes continuously taunt you, laugh at you, are cuss at you when they get killed or they kill you. Now. the music in the game, in my opinion, is great, contrary to the fact that many people seem to think the music is stereotypical. The music is varied well from level to level, and matches the levels theme on most cases. I am a personal fan of the music, and even listen to it off game. Overall, the audio in this game is great, and adds to the effect of the game's different modes.
Audio Score: 9/10

The graphics in this game are simply amazing. Some people say they are ugly, etc. but you can't deny that the graphics are simply amazing. The weapon designs are extremely well done, and the little details, light shine, pretty much everything on the different weapons help to add a great realistic effect, and are really good eye candy. The levels themselves are also extremely well done and designed. The areas are all different, and each has a sort of theme that all of the static meshes are wrapped around, which really makes the levels look nice. In the new mode, Onslaught, there are vehicles which you can use, and the vehicle designs and graphics are extremely well done, they all look really nice, even on the lower detail settings. The different textures, depending on the scale, look top-par, and add to the atmosphere of the levels extremely well. One thing that I really like about the game, is that it is so well optimized, even low end cards of today can run this game fine! Even low graphic settings look great, and that says something about how well this game was optimized. Overall, the graphics were pretty much the best you could find when this game was released, and even today, the graphics still stand out as being one of the better.
Graphics Score: 10/10

There is barely any story in this game, however, that doesn't make the slightest difference in your gameplay experience. Basically, you are a rookie fighter, who works his way up the Unreal Tournament ladder, eventually fighting the best of the best. It is pretty simple, and only takes place in the single player mode. Though, as said before, the story makes the littlest difference in your overall gameplay experience, and as you become better and better in the multiplayer world, the story eventually becomes void of any importance.
Story Score: 5/10

This is where the game truly shines. The amount of replayability in this game is simply phenomenal. Now, let's just say that you happen to be an only Single Player game person, well that's fine also, seeing as how there are many difficulties to choose from, and many different team rosters you can pick. However, the meat of the games replayability shows in the multiplayer game. There are, even today, thousands of people regularly playing on the online games. Some of these people are experienced pros, while others are newbies, but there is an even balance, even on the older servers. This adds for a not so steep learning curve, but just don't expect to do good in the online world after having only fought novice bots. The different servers, different people you meet, and the feeling of always improving your game will almost never leave you, and you will, most likely, always want to be playing this game. That's how addicting this game truly is, and shows you how great of a replay factor this game truly has.
Replayability Score: 10/10

Overall, this is a superb game. The graphics are great, the audio and music really add to the themes of the levels, and never seem overused or unnecessary. The gameplay itself will keep you hooked for a while, and the game has a replayability level far past 99% of any other game that aims for the same effect, at least for me. In the end, this game is a must-have, for anyone who wants one of the best FPS's of all time!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/20/06

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