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Unreal 2 [old review found]

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Joined: 15 Mar 2005
Posts: 9245
Location: ROTFLMAO in Belgium.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 4:24 am     Post subject: Unreal 2 [old review found] Reply with quote

A review I wrote some time ago for a defunct French AW site, Thought I could post those ol'things here.

Unreal 2
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Publisher: Infogrames
Developer: Legend Entertainment
Platform : W98 or better.
Released: 03-02-2004
Multi: NO
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Publisher: Atari Inc
Developer: Legend Entertainment Company, Tantalus Interactive
Released: 10-02-2004
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ESRB: Mature, Blood and Gore,Violence
PEGI: 16+ , violence
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System requirements:
W98 or better
1200 GHz
512 RAM
128MB vid
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The first time I've played Unreal 2 it was on my ol'rig, a P3/800/256MB/Geforce 64Mb, fitted perfectly the minimum sys requirements that Legend-Atari stated, but the game played as a jerky slideshow, even in 640X480 with barely any extra eye candy enabled, darn. Now playing U2 on my one year old AMD64 3500+/1Gb/ Geforce 128Mb it runs smoothly with all the graphic settings on best. Looks much better this way and plays agreeably in 1600x1200. You d'better don't set all choices on highest if you don't have a 1.6 GHz CPU, 1 Gb RAM and at least a 128Mb vidcard. But the game still looks good in 800X600 with medium settings if you have a bit less compy.

The game itself is pretty well done, a jumpy storyline, included the o so funny one liners that the hero (you?) sprays around in the most hazardous situations. How more life-threatening the situation, how more funny the one-liners, I blame Duke Nukem for this, since that guy had some success with his remarks they all seems to be obliged to flood us with real hero's talk. Boring and needless, brings nothing that's worth anything on the gameplay. Boring. Me not laughing. Me groans in despair.
I won't give nothing away nor spoil the game if I tell you it's about artifacts, seven of them. You will go on artifact hunt on several planetary systems, moons, living planets with big teeth, low-tech planets, high-tech planets, frozen planets, swamp planets, desert planets, water planets, yep, and that all whilst you aren't even a real marine. You are a marshall, enlisted in the Terran Colonal Authority, master a board of the space mothership Atlantis. You are even a reject marine, you would likely be a marine again but they don't want you anymore. Now, master a board of Atlantis, yes and no, you have a crew, and they will save your ass more than once. The crew is a pilot, Ne'Ban, somekind of "can I talk good not so" creature, who want the freedom of living his or her life. The crew is also a mechanic who is a sober'd up old drunk, always a siggy in his mouth, and able to achieve miracles with all that is technology, a creator of heavy and modified weaponry. The crew is of course also a woman, there is ALWAYS a woman, ALWAYS, we couldn't go into space without an Aida with the semi nude breast, who is your navigator and second in command, and she is a tactical genius. Why are women in service on space ships always wearing low-cut décolleté and have well-developed breast? Must have something to do with the lesser gravity and the effects it has when they …. euuurh …. nevermind.
I call the story jumpy because the goals you must achieve changes whilst you are on mission. Understand me well, the story is scripted, nothing you do or don't do will change the course of the game, the most change you can accomplish is saving more or lesser marines when they are in need of a helping hand. Anything you do, don't do, fight well or be a coward, nothing changes the storyline, if you play well enough to finish the missions, the game ends when … whoops, you will see that for yourselves.

As you are a marshall you will have to try saving lives on some missions, that the fact saving one or two brings you to kill some hundred or more others, that's a small detail, we will not nag about some details, oh no, that would be silly. The others are the bad guys, ohla: or girls, so they may die, good riddens. The others are the enemies, they are supplied in many flavors, from the Skaarj to the mercenaries, who are some kind of future Japanese samurais wearing armour. From the genetic modified woman called Angels, and they aren't Angels, believe me, to the robotic high-tech Drakk. Big nasty spider likes also, or small ones who comes in large numbers, if you have aro .. aru .. arachnophobia don't play this game. The hardest enemies are the Skaarj, better than those in Unreal 2 I haven't seen any 'til now, and of course: how more colours they have how harder they are, tough creatures. Fast, and now they jump right on top of you if necessary, cutting you with their blades, blasting you away with their energy bulbs.
Me think mankind better stays on Earth, nothing good awaits us in space. Of course looking at the second in command, maybe there could be something of interest in space, Aida, with her …. nevermind (again).

They released this game as Unreal 2, so I will compare it with Unreal and Unreal Gold. I enjoyed the first release of Unreal, kinda liked the game. Graphically maybe not the real top back in those days, but better than average, the only enemies worth that name were the Skaarj. The Krall and Brutes were really to slow, and the Slith easy targets, Titan's dangerous but fucking slow. The game has something, hard to explain, gameplay, and a good gameplay. Lot's of large levels, a good story, interaction, and some more interesting whatnot's. Unreal Gold was better, better graphics, extra (but short) Return to Na Pali, and at last a mod with full COOP, all kinds of mods were findable, extra levels, even extra full single/multiplayer games. Spend days, weeks, even months on those in COOP. Lov'd every second of it.
In Unreal 2 the enemies are faster, more dangerous, certainly whilst playing in unreal setting, and that's the setting you should play it. The two easier settings are really too easy, far from challenging enough.
Graphically this Unreal 2 is pretty good, certainly for a 2004 game, high resolutions, eye candies, lightning effects, making this game agreeably to play, if your computer can handle the requirements. Lovely weapon effects, the impacts are neat. The best looking effect is the flame-thrower, the flames are really the best I have ever seen in a game. Lovely, I could almost smell the ignited napalm setting the enemies ablaze.

Brings us upon the weaponry. I love the weapons in Unreal 2, they all have primary and secondary firing modes. The grenade launcher can fire several kinds of ammo, fragmentary, toxic, EMP grenades and others, if you find the necessary supplies. The shotgun can fire narrow spread short distance single shot or devastating multi shot. The assault rifle is a lovely weapon, fast firing salvos or concentrated heavy blast. The sniper gun has a real good-looking zoom, shame you can't regulate the zoom. Shocklance, waw, fast firing energy weapon, also in primary and heavy secondary mode. Also you will find more alien weaponry, defensive or attack globes, spider launching guns, laser armament. Isaac the mechanic on TAC Atlantis will prepare them for you, make them more effective. And of course I have already mentioned the lovely flame-thrower, the best I ever seen in a game, beats even the flame-thrower of Serious Sam by far.

Ingame sounds are really good, the distinct noise when hitting metal surfaces or flesh, ricochets and such. Voice acting is also well done, you can converse in a limited way with your crew and other NPC's. Music you ask? Not for me, thank you.

The story in Unreal 2 is also pretty good, some turns in it, sometimes switching goals in mission, shame it's having the sickness our days, console restrictions, scripted, straight scripted even. You do this, you get that. No changes in the scripted events. The most changes you can get is when you fight good enough with a bit tactical sense, then you can save some more allies, but again not always, if it's written that your allies will die, now they will die, whatever you do.
The best thing in the Unreal 2 scenery is the wide diversity of the worlds you gonna visit, they really put work on them, from the wasteland likes to the high-tech ones. Neat decors, carefully build constructions, lovely artworks, good-looking machinery's, real huge factories and mining facilities. Or should I better say real huge "looking" constructions and level maps? Because it's in fact an impression you get: the level maps and constructions only look huge, they aren't huge. In fact the level maps even are on the small side. No Unreal or Gold scouting around here in the Unreal 2 maps, shame.
Between missions you have the opportunity to explore your mothership, the TAC Atlantis. You can visit the whole ship, opening hatches, nosing around, you only have to get to the next mission when you are ready for it. Talking with the crew, learning to know them, their stories, their hopes, and their thoughts. How further ingame how more you learn about them, and of course at the end the lovely Aida is right, her female intuition is on spot, you are going headlong into knee-deep shit, stupid you.

There are also some negative things to say about this Unreal 2:
The game is really to short. In fact you can spend more time between the missions on the TAC Atlantis then on the missions themselves.
You can give orders to the marines (if are) by direct contact, not over the radio. And most of all: the original release doesn't have multiplayer support whatsoever.
They have released an add-on later who gives DM varieties.(XMP, Freeware). But again no real COOP play, and don't say the maps aren't suitable for pure COOP, look at Doom 3, they sayd the same, but it's freaking pure gameplay-joy COOP on those maps.
There are some graphics glitches, luckily not too much and minor ones.
Already mentioned the straight scripted story line.
Not enough save games slots, the quick saves aren't "on the actual spot" savings but at some predefined spots.
Not enough interaction with the surroundings, only few usable furniture, voice recordings and stuff, only scripted furniture can be destroyed, oh yeah sure, I love it when I can trash my surroundings in gaming.
The enemy AI isn't very bright, even if they act sometimes good, on other occasions they seem completely deaf and blind. Sometimes you kill one with the sniper and the others just keep on patrolling as nothing happens, weird. On other occasions they all react when you produce a little fart.

To conclude:
A better than average fps game, alas too short.
Good thing is that you can find several extra levels, even full missions on Internet.
If you liked Unreal and Unreal Gold you gonna like this one.
If you liked one of the UT's you gonna like this one with the free XMP extension.
Play it in unreal setting, which's the only way to get a challenging gameplay.

The good:
Graphics are neat.
The "between the missions" interludes a board of the TCA Atlantis.
Aida with the big boo....nevermind.
Fast and deathly Skaarj.


The bad:
Released without multiplayer.
XMP add-on without COOP.
Enemy lacks AI.
Narrow scripted events.
No radio contact with the marines.
ESRB and PEGI rating as usual are ridicule.

In single player not twice in a row, maybe some year or two later.
With the XMP and if you are a DM lover: great replayability.

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DOS Wolf
Lord of Gaming
Lord of Gaming

Joined: 28 Oct 2014
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:30 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, her breasts were top notch. Laughing But in all seriousness, this game was lacking and I never could quite put my finger on it. I remember it had an awesome gun where you could shoot spiders out to attack enemies and I think it had a brief mission with shields and turrets, reminding me of HL2 years later... then again it has been so long I could be completely mistaken. But I do remember the breasts... I always do... Cool

Actually I do not think I ever truly liked any of the Unreals up to that point, offline or online, nor it's mods. I was always a Half Life fan myself I suppose... Blissful
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