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Reviewed: Unreal Tournament
Author: Chris Kim       Date: February 10th 2000
Page: 3

Obviously the game revolves around multiplayer, so it's not really a surprise to see that the networking code and availability of servers is excellent. Thanks to the use of the in-game internet tracker, finding dedicated servers and games going on is a cinch and quite easy to connect to. Most dedicated game servers are very quick and support several simultaneous players, usually up to the full sixteen players. The lag and inconsistent gameplay found in the original version of Unreal has been greatly reduced and the game is even very playable on a 28.8 modem connection.

One of the most revolutionary aspects about this game is the inexplicably humanlike AI. UT quite easily has one of the best AI schemes programmed into any game--ever. The next closest game that comes close is Descent 3, and those AI units were simply amazing. Unreal Tournament improves on this by bringing those superb moves and sporty/athletic opponents that impose a large threat to the world of multiplayer... well maybe not THAT far, but the AI is amazing. Opponents will chase after and follow enemies, they will also back out and run when necessary. Deathmatch isn't made for just multiplayer anymore...

Stay Away
Take That
Man the Poop Deck!

Another major advance in gaming was created by Unreal Tournament by the interface as the one used in the game is one of the most streamlined and cleanest interfaces ever produced in a game. All the icons and images on screen are reproduced to scale at all resolutions. The GUI used in the game is an excellent Windows style interface complete with pull down menus. Nearly every aspect about the interface is configurable to the tastes of the player. Nice round buttons, simple to read and see controller functions are available for the player to take advantage of. One of the nicest features about the interface has to be the in-game internet game server tracker that allows gamers to connect to multiplayer internet games without the hassles of using any 3rd party software to create games.

Controllers similar to the interface, is quite excellent and 100% configurable. All controls from movement to weapon switching is excellent. Giving commands to bots is quite simple, a pull up menu using the 'V' key does the work. The only slight odd worry is the use of a numerical value for mouse sensitivity instead of using a more friendlier sliding bar. Typical control with the mouse is available, and those with a third button can even take advantage of it by using it as the movement button.

Hidden in the Shadows
Death by Scatter
Dying Isn't Much Fun

At a time when 3D Accelerators are put to hard use, Unreal Tournament comes onto the scene using the very advanced Unreal graphics engine which scales well on all levels of platforms. One of the greatest accomplishments with the engine was the excellent scalability and ability to maintain a consistent frame rate even during the heaviest battles. While the engine might not be as advanced or carry the geometrical advances that the Quake 3 Arena engine possesses, this engine sports some excellent features that won't make you forget about Q3A, but will make you not think about it while playing UT. One of the strongest features of the engine are its ability to render both large and enclosed settings extremely convincingly while still maintaining a very tight level of detail. All the textures and structures used to construct the scenes of levels is of an extremely complex level that really pays off in the graphical flare department by delivering sweet cotton candy for the eyes. Combined with several of the best looking special effects of weapons and other environmental hazards creates one of the greatest looking games to look at.

Technically Unreal Tournament really allows powerful and slower machines alike to use the graphics to the best of their abilities. Offered is an excellent software renderer that is quite quick and still allows playable frame rates with decent graphics. Of course, the full graphical splendor comes from usage of a 3D Accelerator, which really shows off the textures and smooth looking environments. Resolutions from the low 320x240 all the way up to a pumping 1280x1024 is supported.

Netstats
Trophy Room

Once again, the game delivers strongly in the sound department by supporting both major 3D sound APIs--A3D and EAX. Utilizing the A3D support in the game, sound effects gives the player a feeling of immersion and positional effects quite effectively with high rate sounds and great indications as to where certain actions and weapon firings are coming from. Gun other weapon sound effects are all very well produced with a very high quality rate and excellent sounding death cries from the players. Overhead speech from the players communicating with each other is excellent, the taunts from the players are also something to really listen to.

Musically there isn't much to listen to, not because there isn't music, but because there is so much going on it's difficult to listen to what's go around. But if you do get a chance to listen to the music, the strong techno beats give an adrenaline pump and adds to the feeling of the game.

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Added:  Thursday, February 10, 2000
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Score:
Page: 3/5

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