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Reviewed: Unreal Mission Pack: Return to Na Pali
Publisher: GT Interactive
Developer: Epic Megagames
Genre Type: FPS
Required System: P166, 16MB, Win95+
Reviewer's System: K6-3 450mHz, 128MB, Riva 128ZX video, Win98
Related Games: Unreal, Unreal Tournament
Overall Rating:
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: August 31th 1999
Page: 2

The first item to check for in any mission pack is engine improvements: new weapons, new enemies, and other incidentals. While the programmers tried to add in nifty items, they seem to have had a bad day.

The main improvement in the mission pack is storyline: the opening cutscene is nicely done, explaining well why it is anyone would go BACK to Na Pali (and why anyone would be sent there), and there is finally something between missions to show accomplishments, a kill counter (which tracks by weapon) and audio log entries to keep the player up to date on their character's thoughts.This makes the gameplay a lot more immersive (I could sit down and play much longer than Unreal, which had no sense of accomplishment).

Outdoors... looks the same.
Finally we get some
between-map information!
Nice waterfall.


Unfortunately for the game manufacturers, the gameplay doesn't improve any more from there. The extra weapons themselves are rather dull. The first, called the "Combat Assault Rifle" (CAR), is an obvious crossover weapon. Its primary fire mode is a rapid machine-gun attack (already accounted for in the original in the Minigun) and a burst of high-density fire (the original's Rifle). The Grenade Launcher is the same way: its primary fire is like the old Eightball Launcher's secondary fire mode, and its secondary is a pipebomb (launch now, explode on second fire button hit). Finally, there's the Rocket Launcher, the primary fire mode of which is again a copy of the Eightball Launcher (without the multiple projectile load). Its secondary mode, while interesting, wasn't too useful: the missile tracks and moves according to the mouse movements of the player, making it impossible to use while moving around. I couldn't really see any of the weapons as "new" at all, merely hacks of existing weapons or in two cases weapon tie-ins from other games.

An icy wasteland with a Titan.
The "New" Rocket Launcher
A pump station, and
the Grenade Launcher

New items in the game existed... well, sort of. There were UMS tactical drop boxes almost everywhere (so there was plenty of ammo for the "new" weapons"). The new ammo boxes were unique. Other than those, however, there wasn't anything new in the way of items at all. The same old weapons, health, and miscellaneous prefabricated items (like tables, houses, and chairs) were everywhere to be found, as well as a very few Nali who didn't get the hint and run to hide after the first time you and the Skaarj went through their planet.

A Nali town.
Overrun by Skaarj as usual..
Apparently the Nali kept
livestock underground
at some point.
The UMS Prometheus.

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Added:  Tuesday, August 31, 1999
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Score:
Page: 2/4

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