Review by Spincut
Reviewed: 06/12/03 | Updated: 06/12/03
Short but sweet....
This games timing couldn't have been better. The FPS genre was quite empty, awaiting new improved games like Doom 3 and Half Life 2, so when Unreal 2 hit the scene it had very little competition. I guess this is partially what made the game such a success in my mind.
The graphics are premonition of what's to come with FPSes. At times, the player gets to see a very small glimpse of what the newer FPSes will look like, with advanced smoke and flame effects, making use of the newer cards vertex and pixel shader engines. It also does not require much to run, as a Geforce 3 (two generations old at this point) ran it at top quality with satisfactory results. The worlds were also very well done, with a gritty yet sharp look which made the environments very interactive.
The sound was also done very nicely, making nice looking stages sound good as well. You have the option of using advanced EAX for enhanced sound effects, which in this game becomes very useful as enemies can and will come at you from all sides. I found some enemies to be so elusive that their appearance physically surprised me. The music was also on par, although not necessarily memorable, it definitely did its job to set the right emotion for the situation.
Story wise the game fell a little short. At the core the story was fine, I never found what you were doing in the game to be questionable, but considering that most people expected the new unreal to be epic, I think they could have done a lot more with the characters. They also could have added more plot in general, as the game itself feels like one of what should be many compliable missions. Hopefully they'll make up for this with an Unreal 3 and a continuation of what we've already seen.
Game play was well though out and the controls were quite solid for an FPS, my only complaint being the weapon organization system being a little awkward, making it hard to get the right weapon on a quick thinking situation, but it still was creative. Most of the guns were also interesting to use, my favorite being the grenade launcher with the alternating barrels for different types of grenades, which is too cool for school in my book.
Unreal 2, overall, was a fun little trip which I recommend to buy if you're yearning for a fun FPS to tide you over before the big boys come, but only if it's on sale.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
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