Review by glassjaw2

"Not The Best FPS For Your Money"

I’m not a big fan of the whole bandwagon jump to make first person shooters all about arena battles, so I had that going against this game right off the bat. Quake 3 had decent arena battles, and the Tribes series always had better team play. This game saves some face by introducing new modes of play, Domination (hold certain points of the map by not letting the enemy touch them), traditional death match, Capture the Flag, Assault, and Challenge (boss fights). The assault mode is fun for a while because you can play Omaha Beach and I enjoy the sniper rifle in any game, which was never really very good in the Unreal series. They seem to introduce a few new weapons each series, so there’s that to be thankful for, but that big stupid mini-nuclear warhead returns, which is disappointing to me.

The game play itself is a bit too frantic to enjoy, but at least that keeps your blood pumping. Instead of balancing the weapons by toning down the rocket launcher, they just gave the bio-rifle a stronger alternate fire, but then again the rocket launcher can still launch multiple rockets. The weapons are mildly fun, but the character design is really lacking. I think there are two characters who are vampires, fifteen or so who are human, two robots, two beastly looking types, and a few “I don’t know what’s”. There is now a “mutator” option that lets you add a few changes to your custom death match levels by doing things like slowing the game down, removing all the redeemers (warheads), or starting everyone with a pulse rifle. That adds a tiny bit of variation to this monotonous play.

The graphics are very good, which makes me wonder if that’s the only thing this series is riding on. The textures aren’t really that great or original, and there are even a few lame ghetto levels, but the explosions look pretty nice. I think you can actually make out a skull from a pile of “gibs” or bits of body parts after blowing an enemy (literally) to pieces, so they get a kudos for minor detail.

The sound is decent and the control schemes had a setup I enjoyed, which was basically like the one from Red Faction. Unreal Tournament isn't a great game, but it has good graphics and if you were searching desperately for a First Person Shooter when PS2 first came out, this probably did the job for a while.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 12/04/02, Updated 12/04/02

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