Unreal Tournament 2004 (PC) ReviewFormer staff writer - May 23, 2004
Closer LookThough it may seam a lot like UT2K3, there have been a number of nice changes to the game. This first and probably the biggest change will be the addition of vehicles. The ability to use vehicles helped make BF1942 a great game, and the use of them in UT2K4 can’t be a bad thing. The 8 vehicles in UT2K4 give us the ability to drive or fly through the air and space, which also adds a whole new level of difficulty. Before most of your opponents were on the ground, or on platforms you could identify, now your opponents can come at you from the air.
A majority of the vehicles in UT2K4 are single seat vehicles, which as we’ve seen in other games can lead to a line of runway junkies. These would be the people that’d rather stand around and wait for a vehicle to spawn, rather than heading out into the action on foot.
While the 5 seat Leviathan is a nice vehicle for one person you really get to see how cool it is once you’ve piled 5 people in it.
Vehicles or not, probably the best part of UT2K4 is the onslaught mode. In this, teams battle to destroy each other’s power core. Sounds simple? Well, it’s not. The two power cores are connected by a series of power nodes. You must claim control over the power nodes, building a link to the other teams core before you can even attack the core.
To make things harder, you can only attack (or claim) a power node that is in line (or linked) to a node that you already control. Each node that you control will also serve as a spawn point for your team. Because of this, battles tend to stay focused in one or two locations at a time. This also keeps one person from running around the major battle and taking control of a node behind the lines.
Onslaught is much like an improved version of the Battlefield’s “Conquest” mode.
Making its return to the Tournament is the Assault mode. I’d have to say this is probably my 2nd favorite game mode. Here we have two teams, one plays offense and the other plays defense. The offensive team has a series of objectives to accomplish, while the defensive team lays back, camps, and tries to stop the offence from completing their objectives. At the end of the time limit, the teams switch rolls and it all begins again.
For those of you who just want an intense free-for-all battle, DeathMatch returns. It’s a fast passed, kill or be killed world that relies on timing, skill, luck, and a whole lot of ammo.
Returning from UT2K3 are the Team DeathMatch, Bombing Run, Double Domination, Capture the Flag, and Invasion modes. With all the game modes available, you are sure to find a mode you like.
Team DeathMatch takes the free-for-all DM to a new level. Now it’s not just a game of “hold down the fire button.” You are now in the arena with team mates, who will get very pissed if you kill them (and lower the team score).
In Capture The Flag (CTF) each team has two goals. Protect your team’s flag and capture the other team’s flag. Scoring is accomplished by bringing the other team’s flag to where you flag is. The only catch is, your team’s flag must be in place before you can score, often times requiring you or your teammates to hunt down the other flag and return it.
Double Domination is similar to the CTF and assaults games. Each team battles over two locations. To score, you must control each location for 10 seconds.
Bombing Run is an interesting game. It’s like an extreme basketball with no traveling penalties and the other team trying to kill you (literally). A ball starts out in a central location between each teams “base”. Scoring is accomplished by getting the ball through a ring in the opponent’s base.