Game Review - by StormDaemon
All you gamers out there get ready for one of the best first person shooters out on the et today, Unreal Tournament. Riding on an incredibly enhanced Unreal engine, the newest game to come out of Epic has Quake 3 and id software running away with their tails between their legs. Boasting absolutely incredible and original gameplay, and gorgeous graphics, this FPS is sure to make its on the game industry and start off a whole new dynasty of multiplayer games that will keep their players drooling for more.
Considering that first person shooter games have been out on the et for several years now, and many have improved greatly on others, most people would say that a game couldn't bring anything new and improved to the table. To those gamers I say that you are dead wrong. Unreal Tournament blows just about every other FPS game out of the water and that's because of the incredible amount of polish that has been carefully applied by Tim Sweeney and his band of die-hard game programmers. Putting the sweet graphics engine aside (which we'll get to later), the most immediate and noticeable feature is that lack of a conventional single player game. Where is it you ask? Well, Epic has placed a big bet on the idea that multiplayer action is the wave of the future, whether its with other people over a LAN or internet, or with artificially intelligent bots. Not your usual run-and-gun bots, but rather ruthless players that think quick and smart and put up one heck of a challenge that even an experienced like myself enjoys. Combine that incredible multiplayer action with the sweet and smooth interface, and you got yourself one of the best, if not the best game out there on the et.
The gameplay can be described in one, single word: sweetness. Not bittersweet, but rather pure, smooth, sweetness that few others have. Everything in this game has been balanced and playtested time and time gain until near-perfection was achieved. From the first time a bot or another player frags you until you can be crowned the Unreal Tournament champion, you'll have a great time with the incredible arcade action that not only makes you use your fingers but your mind as well. Strategy is a factor in the game, but not enough to downplay the sheer action. The strategy that is involved is one of the many things that make this game stand out from the rest. Sure you can run around and shoot here and there, but it is so much fun to find a good hiding spot and snipe off victims using your zoom scope or running into a fray with your two enforcers in akimbo style turned sideways for a little gangsta style rapid fire. Of course, running around and shooting other is not the only type of gameplay that this game involves; many other types of games such as capture the flag, teamplay, assault, and domination. What are the last two you ask? Well, in assault the players are divided into two teams, one assaults part of the map, while the other defends it. Once the timer runs out or all of the objectives are achieved, the teams switch sides. The maps include a Saving Private Ryan type beach invasion, and hi-speed train hijacking, just to name a few. Domination is a teamplay game where teams fight to control certain parts of the map, and you get points for controlling those locations.
Playing against the artificially intelligent computer controlled bots is just as, if not more, fun as playing against live human opponents. The bots behave incredibly and almost like a real opponent, guaranteeing great matches all the time. If anyone can remember way back in the old days of Quake 1 when bots first started, there was the Reaper bot, which had to be the best ever made for quake 1 or 2. The creator of the Reaper bot was hired by Epic to make the bots for Unreal, and for Unreal Tournament, he has truly made vast achievements with them. Another great thing about them is that they are customizable too, allowing for a simulation of any type of player, whether it's a camping sniper, or a berserker with a rocket launcher.
An added feature that brings the game up to another level is that adding of announcements made when players either kill many opponents in a row or go for a while without dying while fragging lots of others. Once a player does one of those, or both, a loud voice announces it and displays it on the screen, bringing more excitement to the match. Knowing that the guy who's firing at you is Godlike and just did an Ultra Kill is a little more intimidating than knowing he's some jerk firing rockets at you.
With sweet gameplay and loads of awesome features, what else could there be to this game? Well, an incredible graphics engine that had its basis in the original Unreal engine. For the gamers out there that remember Unreal, you'll remember how it was heralded for its beautiful outdoor scenery and great special effects that made it one of the best looking games out there. That engine, which is still being used by a few developers, was upgraded immensely and is now one of the best. With levels that have to be seen to be believed, such as the old galleon ship that sails in the water to the hi-speed bullet train that is going fast enough to kill you if you jump off, the designers made a game that is a sight to behold with many special effects that dazzle and amaze. Hopefully, the screenshots can do the engine some justice, but you'll just have to see it for yourself to get an understanding of the smooth sweetness that it is.
Utilizing fast paced music and crisp sounds, Unreal Tournament compliments its graphics and gameplay with an equally good sound engine. Glittering sounds fill the game and provide for a full sensory experience, which if withheld, takes away some of the best parts of the matches. Whether it is the sounds of the Chaingun as it spins up, or the sound of the announcer screaming that you are on a killing spree, every sound gives the feel of being in an arcade match of which the likes have never been heard. The music itself is a great mood setter no sweet, soothing sounds here, just fast paced, adrenaline-enhancing music to frag your best friend or worst enemy to.
For a long time I've been waiting for a game that will just completely amaze and entertain myself, and with Unreal Tournament, I've found that game. Whereas most other games are great in an area or two, such as graphics, UT is completely polished in all areas. The developers took their time and put a lot of love and care into this game, which is so well reflected in the end product. A complete shooter gaming experience is what this is all about, and if you want to find a game that can sum up the best qualities you could hope for in a game then UT is it, no questions asked. Other competitors exist, but they don't have such an overall greatness that could only be described as Unreal.