Review by Fila
Reviewed: 02/20/03 | Updated: 02/20/03
Introduction? For this game? Well, here goes a lame one: Unreal II: The Sleeping
Years ago, many many years ago a game hit a PC near you (or even your PC). It was called Unreal. This happened back in the days of Quake, back in the days when the graphics were horrible (by today’s standards) however they were breath-taking in their days.
This Unreal game had a big success, so big that the gaming industry simply had to bring a sequel to it and so it did. The sequel is under the name of Unreal II: The Awakening. Sounds scary? Well it isn’t.
There’s a story to this game… sort of. It’s one of ‘em routine stories. You are a TCA (I forgot what it stands for, something with colonists association) Marshall since you were turned down by the Marine Corporation. So instead of you fighting evil commies and evil aliens you inspect planets and take care of them colonists. But that is soon to change as you are assigned a mission far greater then your abilities… uh excuse me, you are assigned a mission that fits your skill level perfectly. You are supposed to collect some ancient artifacts that are surrounded by all sorts of dangers that range from humans to aliens and to some more aliens (I think I forgot to add “even more aliens”).
You collect the artifacts, save the world, go home, eat at McDonald’s and have a diet Coke. The End.
Striking story I must say, almost made me cry because of its… predictability. So in short I found it to be just an excuse to bring some superb graphics on to the screen of your beloved computer.
The game-play is like Unreal Tournament 2003, heck it’s made on the same engine and it is noticeable in the minute you set mouse… sorry, foot in the game.
For those of you who don’t know how Unreal Tournament 2003 plays… you simply need to shoot, take cover, shoot some more, take cover some more and voilla, game done. No brains required.
The AI however isn’t as dumb as it looks, he knows when to hide, when to run away but still it doesn’t posses a great IQ and unless they are in great number they are an easy prey. Oh wait, they need to be in a huge number to be a challenge for the player. Either that or you can play the hardest difficulty level. I chose normal difficulty and I regret it, if you are a fan of FPS shooters then go to Unreal difficulty right away.
But because this is not UT 2003 the game isn’t as dynamic since it’s single-player based. Oh and speaking of that I must bring to notice that the game doesn’t have a multiplayer. Perhaps later on we will see such a thing from an official or unofficial patch.
Now I haven’t found many bugs from the action point of view (lots of bugs in the rest). You usually won’t have a problem finishing a mission. Sometimes you can get stuck in odd places which will require a “load game” to get you out of that horrible and unthinkable mess.
The creators tried to make the game friendlier or with a more feeling (I think) by adding the possibility that in between missions you play your own way. What I mean by that is that you get your missions while aboard a ship named Atlantis that is piloted by a strange alien. You get your missions from a couple of round br… ugh, from a sweet female character named Aida (they say she’s a genius) and weapons from your favorite arms dealer that is on board the ship. Actually he’s a friend of yours, ex-soldier that knows his way in mechanics. He assembles weapons and keeps the ship running from the mechanical side.
And back to what I originally wanted to say: When you talk to these different NPC (Non Playable Character) you can choose what to speak with them. They tried to give you a some sort of feeling that you lead your own destiny but they failed since in the end you simply receive the mission info and then you go complete it.
The visual quality of the game is incredible. Right when I started the game and saw that island my jaws fell out. But from there on the graphics is pretty routine with a few exceptions. There’s just too much interior and because of that you won’t be amazed. Too bad, they didn’t take advantage of the key element of the game.
The weapons looks awesome, the projectiles look awesome, the fire looks awesome, the characters look very good but waaaay to much interior.
The audio implementation is good though. Occasional hick-ups in the voice department but nothing major. However you won’t be able to use EAX in the current state of the game.
And here is why you can’t use EAX along other annoying programming errors (since “bugs” is too much of a sweet term).
If you try to use EAX you’ll come to the “pleasant” surprise that the game gives errors when using it. Errors that make the game quit to desktop and that take you to a pop-up made by the creators asking you to submit the error (similar to Windows XP error report).
But that’s not the all there is to it. Here’s more: If you have Logitech mice you need to download the latest set of drivers in order to be able to use the scroll. If not then the error page pops-up again. Then you need the latest Nvidia drivers (41.09, to be sure that you won’t have visual glitches, really bad ones), which incidentally are worse in performance then previous versions (40.XX) for a lot of people.
And last but not least: This apparently is a completely random bug. For some people the system becomes unstable once you exit the game. For a friend of mine the keyboard+mouse go haywire, for me I the Internet browsers lock-up.
Strange strange errors I must say. The game really needed more beta testing. Hopefully patches will arrive to fix the problems. I read an EAX patch is out there but I haven’t tried it since the game is deleted from my system from the minute I finished it.
But overall the game is somewhere between decent and good. It has great graphics, decent sound, common story, ugly errors. For genre fans the game will please them, for all the others… I am not so sure.
Oh and not to forget, the game is short… somewhere around 7 hours.
Graphics – 9
Sound – 8
Gameplay – 7
Story – 5
Impression – 7
Overall - 7
Rating: 3.5 - Good
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