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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: 4
Final Breakdown


Welcome back to Unreal: same old, same old. I was hard-pressed to find any real changes at all in the gameplay itself: I was expecting at LEAST to see the AI of the original enemies beefed up a little.


Environments were great, with the same eye candy expected from Unreal... but that's it. Based off the 2.24 source, Direct3D was still bad (I wound up using software instead), OpenGl wasn't even usable (black blocks everywhere), and there seemed to be no visual improvements. Given the age of this engine, one would expect some of the improvements planned for Unreal Tournament, but nothing was there to be seen.

Sound and Music:

Yet again, we hit the crucial part: the sound and music are good, but they're the same once more. I give this four stars because Unreal really does have better sound than anything and it needed the least amount of tweaking from the original engine. An especially nice touch is surround-sound availability, actually bringing sounds into their rightful location (if you have the necessary 4 speakers to do it).

Multiplayer: N/A

Here again, we see the same old game engine rearing its head: the new weapons weren't too important, although the new DM levels were worth a look or two.

AI Intelligence and Difficulty:

Again the game disappoints: while the AI was enough to prove challenging, the old enemies had no new tricks and the new ones seemed (with the exception of the lizards) to use old tricks as well. It got pretty sorry when I was able to accurately predict which way the Skaarj were going to dodge and aim my next shots right at them every time.

Controls and Interface:

Welcome once again to a repeat performance: this gets a two simply because the new weapons were double-bound, forcing the player to be EXTREMELY careful with getting weapons out in the heat of battle, and making it difficult to track how much ammo each weapon had (there were no weapon ammo bars for the new weapons, only the original ones). The interface could have been streamlined to accomodate the new weapons with their own buttons, certainly, and maybe a few other changes made as well to make the game less reliant on memorized key commands.


While the game itself would be worth playing to Unreal fans, the sad fact is that the mission pack doesn't do anything to improve the original gameplay experience. As such, it has to get the score that Unreal itself would get when placed against more modern contenders (System Shock 2, Quake 3); just another FPS on the shelf waiting to draw in some cash from a gullible buyer.

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

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