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Main » Files » PC

Unreal II: The Awakening (PC)
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2008-03-31, 3:02 PM

The good news is that Unreal II is better than Unreal. It's both more eventful and more focused. Unlike the first game, it doesn't reach its dramatic climax during the first couple of missions and then peter out over the next 30 hours of endless, forgettable levels. The bad news is that Unreal II isn't as good as the best shooters currently available. It has the look and polish of a great shooter, but the gameplay of a merely good one. It's also a fairly short game with no multiplayer support to speak of.
While it takes place in the same futuristic universe, Unreal II doesn't share any plot points or characters with its predecessor. You play as Dalton, a space marshal patrolling the "ass end of the universe" with a crew of two former space marines and one malapropism-spouting alien pilot. Once you're in a given mission, the game does a good job of laying out a clear set of goals and then walking you through them, usually in the form of a character (often your first officer) relaying information to you via a headset. Between each of the missions, however, there's usually a largely pointless intermission level in which you walk around your ship and talk to your crew. Presumably, this is supposed get you more involved in the plot, but the dialogue is bad enough that it'll just make you anxious for the game to get on with itself. Every conversation in the Unreal universe is an exchange of the worst type of sarcastic, tiny-cigar-chomping action-movie one-liners ("Go to hell, Dalton!" "I'm already there, toots!"). That is, until it comes time for each character to reveal his or her dark secret. Worse, even the cutscenes have cutscenes--almost every one of these long and pointless interactive intermissions ends with a 20-second load into a pointless noninteractive scene that usually shows nothing more interesting than your landing craft speeding toward a planet.
Back in the plot, one thing leads to another, and Dalton and crew end up embarking on 12 missions in pursuit of seven mysterious alien artifacts. Apart from the tedious preliminaries, these 12 missions are well designed. To its credit, Unreal II sets up many situations in which you must defend a position rather than simply assault one. One level, for instance, requires you to fight your way up to the top of a tower, use a sniper rifle to protect a marine while he repairs some equipment, make your way to a forward base, and then defend it with the help of some friendly troops until a rescue ship arrives. In some of these defensive sections, you can give simple orders to a handful of troops under your command by "using" them and then choosing an order from an onscreen menu. You can really only direct them to cover a certain area of whatever it is you're defending, and even though everyone appears to be equipped with a radio headset, you can communicate with them only when they're standing right next to you. You'll also occasionally get stationary turrets and protective force fields that you can place to help set up a defensive perimeter. Although other shooters have included a few defensive levels here and there, Unreal II has the most complete implementation of this mission style to date.

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Category: PC | Added by: onlinegames
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