Unreal Tournament 2004 (PC) ReviewFormer staff writer - May 23, 2004
Closer Look (Cont.)Mutant is an interesting game mode. The person who draws first blood automatically gets everything (ammo, weapons, power up, etc). The mutant’s health slowly degenerates, and can only be replenished by fragging others. The mutant scores points by fragging other players. There is another mode to the mutant game called BottomFeeder. In this mode, the person with the lowest score can frag other players and get points. Once the player no longer has the lowest score, someone else becomes the BottomFeeder.
Last Man Standing comes from the original game. As you frag someone, your health is restored. But if you stand in one spot to long, you are declared a camper and your location is displayed on everyone’s map.
The Invasion game mode puts everyone on a team. Together they fight a swarm of monsters (which include some from the original Unreal). If you die during a swarm, you wont be able to respawn till the swarm is defeated, and that is only if at least on person from your team is left alive.
Even though Onslaught and Assault are probably my favorite game modes, I’ve found that the 1-on-1 maps are awesome. This is really the place to pwn your friends. And I imagine a good number of LAN Parties will be having 1-on-1 tournaments.
The game includes all of the maps from UT2K3, and has close to 100 total maps (more than 45 of which are new). Despite the huge number of maps, I found that some of the game modes could have used an extra few maps. But knowing the Unreal Community, I’m sure that this problem will soon be rectified.
A FPS without a weapon arsenal is like a LAN Party without bawls. With UT2K4, we have all the old weapons, as well as 4 new items. Including a new sniper rifle, which puts the old lightning rifle to shame.
Included with the new arsenal is a Mine Layer, which deploys spider mines, which are great for anti-vehicle and even better at anti-personnel.
Speaking of anti-vehicle, nothing is better than the AVRiL, or Anti-Vehicle Rocket Launcher, which fires homing missiles.
The final new weapon is the Grenade Launcher, which fire sticky grenades that stick to players, vehicles, and everything else. The nice thing about these grenades is that they explode when you want them to (by pressing alt-fire).
For those of you stuck on 56K, or needing some offline practice, UT2K4 also includes a single player mode (who would have known...). After finishing the qualifying round of DM, you are allowed to buy your team with credits earned during matches. After picking a team, you must qualify in the Team DM before being allowed to enter the tournament ladder.
Credits can be earned by winning a match, and by certain accomplishments during the match. The credits can be used to buy new team members, or to “heal” a member that may have been injured in the tournament.
In addition to buying new members, you may also challenge other teams to a “blood rights” battle, if you win, you get a person from the team you battled for. As you would expect, your challengers get more difficult as you progress on, so keeping your team roster stacked with the better players is a must.
In any team-based game, communication is a must, and UT2K4 is no exception. As with other games you have your standard preset macros, as well as the ability to type out messages. But in a fast passed game, if you stop to say something, you are as good as dead. To help facilitate communication among teams, UT2K4 includes voice-over-IP (VOIP). This allows you to talk to your teammates (and even issue commands) without relying on a 3rd party program. If you pick up the DVD Special Edition version of UT2K4, you get a nice little headset to be used with UT2K4.
The sounds of the game don’t have much of a difference from UT2K3. While some new phrases have been added for the announcers, they still say a lot of the same old stuff that’s been said since the original. It’s time to change things a little more, don’t ya think? Though I will say, some of the new comments by the announcers are great.
I find the music also gets old rather quickly, and after just a few hours of playing, I disabled the in game music and turned on some real music. Something about fragging with Disturbed, Saliva, Korn, NIN, Audioslave, Nickelback, Metallica, and other hard rock bands made the game a whole lot better. Perhaps in the next edition of UT, we’ll see a real soundtrack. It’d defiantly make the game a whole lot better.
While they may not provide the eye candy that some of the upcoming games are promising, UT2K4 graphics are nice. There’s been some work to increase the detail level of UT2K4, but not too much was done that bogged the game down. I’d sacrifice eye candy for a smooth, fast game play any day (that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like both :p).