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Reviewed: Unreal Tournament
Author: Chris Kim       Date: February 10th 2000
Page: 2

While the genre is relatively new to computers, the concept is not complex or difficult to follow. Gamers just need to grab a gun and start shooting at the enemy, pretty simple right? Wrong, the days of run and gun have changed greatly since the days of the Doom or Wolfenstein 3D. Now with the latest installment of the ever-growing popular Unreal Tournament, the first person shooter genre is getting closer and closer to perfection. Not perfection is just terms of graphics and weapons, but the gameplay values and fun factor has come a long way to actually create a real team unity that creates an environment that really engulfs the player into the game more than any other game could.

Blast'em Dead
Guess Who's the Winner?
Haha, Killing Spree!

Offered are four basic game modes, the typical deathmatch mode where players just go around killing each other for points. Players will just run around collecting powerups and killing each other, while trying to stay alive, there are three variations of this game style, classic deathmatch, last man standing, and team deathmatch. The original deathmatch is pretty simple, it's an all versus all match where nobody is allied with anyone else--pure chaos roams free. Last man standing is similar to a demolition derby where players will just duke it out until only one guy is left. Deathmatch is nothing special, it's pretty much a simple game where there is not much depth to it aside from just roaming and killing.

Capture the Flag and Domination modes are pretty cool as well. CTF is the same old capture the flag, return it to your base and score points. Pretty simple, the team issue comes into play here, however. Working together as a team is crucial, otherwise the team will ultimately fail. Domination is a rather unique game, where players will have little "zones" they must protect and as that zone remains under their control they will receive points, another team based game. This team based domination game really involves a lot of communication and work between team members to ensure that control of certain locations remain under control. This extra element of working together in both capture the flag and domination add to the feeling of a more full experience.

Explode Downfield
Go Go Go!

Then there is assault, probably the best part about the game. This game mode is similar to how Team Fortress will work, where team members have to protect their bases while another team invades their base to accomplish tasks. This team-structured play is much more fun and involving than regular deathmatch and contains much more depth than a deathmatch would. Of course, none of this would be possible without team play, which is a key component in Unreal Tournament that makes it so much better than say Quake 3 Arena that is just deathmatching. The feeling of working together as a team and not just a lone ranger adds the feeling of accomplishment and reliability, which therefore leads to a more fulfilling and fuller gaming experience.

But not only is this game based for online multiplayer game. There is an excellent single player game (gasp!) based on a ladder, which incorporates team play with bots for practice. But don't just toss these AI units away, these bots are some smart little chaps. Their moves and schemes programmed into them are more than typical bot moves, they are so good they are eerily... human. On a side note, one of the coolest extras that is incorporated into the game is the addition of a tracker that keeps count of all stuff that has been done including shooting percentage, frags, wins, and other stats which can then all be accumulated via the ngstats page.

What About Them?
Revert Control!
Blown Apart

Level structure and weapon design is darn near flawless. The balance of the weapons might not be the best, but the weapons are pretty damned good. Each of the weapons have slight drawbacks and advantages. Certain weapons are more useful and effective than others are at times. The weapons also all have a double firing mode, a standard attack and a more powerful one that is more effective at times. Each of the level designs are so damn well done that the designers deserve to be architects (unless they already are). There are over fifty levels available on the shipping CD that offers gamers plenty of challenge and missions to play out. Each of the levels are structured to develop the player's skills slowly so that they will be ready to compete online with the smarter human opponents in the multiplayer option. Once beyond all the maps included on the CD, players can use UnrealEd, the level designer that is included with the game to make their on maps and modifications to the game as they wish. Luckily, the Unreal community is already hard at work and several hundred maps and levels have already been designed by players alike, may of which are available for download across the internet. Even better yet, the multiplayer levels designed for the original Unreal are compatible with Unreal Tournament, which adds even more enjoyability.

Go To: [ Previous | Next | Home ] - Multiplayer, AI, Control/Interface, Graphics, and Sound
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Added:  Thursday, February 10, 2000
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Page: 2/5

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