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Unreal II: The Awakening (Windows)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Description

Some years after the Strider Wars, humanity has resumed its expansion into space. On the rough frontier, it falls to the Terran Colonial Authority to maintain peace and order among the outlying colonies and outposts. TCA Marshal John Dalton and the crew of his ship, the Atlantis, patrol this dangerous sector of space when several distress calls lead to the discovery of alien artifacts with unique properties. Soon, the hunt for these artifacts is on between several alien factions as well as human corporations and their mercenary forces, with the TCA and their allies caught in the middle.

The first-person shooter Unreal II, while a sequel to Unreal, has no direct connection to the first game except being set in the same universe (with the Skaarj from Unreal and the Liandri Corporation from Unreal Tournament being major enemy factions). The player controls John Dalton through a dozen missions, taking place in such locations as the dense jungle of a tropical planet, a research facility on a frozen moon, the insides of a planet-sized living organism, the home world of an insectoid machine civilization, as well as a huge starship.

The weapon arsenal consists of more than a dozen guns. Standard types include pistols, an assault rifle, shotgun, and sniper rifle. Some heavier ones are a flame thrower, as well as rocket and grenade launchers, with the grenade launcher being able to use six different ammunition types, including fragmentation, EMP and smoke grenades. Available in later missions are weapons adapted from alien technologies. These include various energy guns, a biological weapon that creates living spiders that attack enemies, and an autonomous floating orb that either seeks out and attacks enemies or circles around the player in point defense. As in other Unreal titles, each weapon has two different firing modes.

Missions are usually of the run-and-gun type, but there are exceptions. Several levels include defense assignments where either a position must be held for a certain time or a character be kept alive. These levels usually include additional tools such as energy barriers and automated turrets that can be placed by the player in any location. Sometimes, AI-controlled characters will be there to help out the player as well. In that case they can be given orders on which sector to defend or patrol, for example.

The story of the game is told through a variety of means: besides in-engine cutscenes, there is a lot of radio chatter during a mission; in fact, it's not unusual for mission objectives to completely change due to story developments. Between missions, Dalton can wander freely about the Atlantis and chat with his crew, going into their personal backstories as well as more details about the main plot.

Screenshots

Unreal II: The Awakening Windows Poor Raff has to stretch his neck to catch my eyes :)
Unreal II: The Awakening Windows Riding the elevator to the very top of the facility.
Unreal II: The Awakening Windows The man who runs the generator is tracking you through the camera network, providing help.
Unreal II: The Awakening Windows Finally outside!  No more corridors for now.

Alternate Titles

  • "虚幻II:觉醒" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Unreal 2" -- Informal title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A pretty, entertaining shooter that requires little investment jTrippy (63) 3.29 Stars3.29 Stars3.29 Stars3.29 Stars3.29 Stars
Eye Candy (Gameplay Sold Separately) Richard Cramden (7) unrated
Am I the only one who really enjoyed this game? kbmb (399) 3.88 Stars3.88 Stars3.88 Stars3.88 Stars3.88 Stars
Under-rated FPS and a decent Coda for the Legend developers. Scott Monster (922) 4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars
An impressive tech demo thinly disguised as a game. Sycada (175) 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars
This game is exactly like Jell-O. Lucas Schippers (59) unrated
Space Opera Dr.Quake (3) 4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars
This is not actually a game Paranoid Opressor (167) 1.75 Stars1.75 Stars1.75 Stars1.75 Stars1.75 Stars
Great to look at, nice guns to shoot with, but sadly not much to explore Dave Billing (24) 3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars
A review, one year after the hype. Der.Archivar (673) 4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars

The Press Says

PC Action Feb 18, 2003 88 out of 100 88
Shooterplanet Nov 07, 2004 88 out of 100 88
PC Powerplay Jan, 2005 80 out of 100 80
Factornews Feb 28, 2003 8 out of 10 80
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Apr, 2003 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
GameSpot (Belgium/Netherlands) Feb 10, 2003 78 out of 100 78
Peliplaneetta.net Feb 12, 2003 74 out of 100 74
PC Gamer Apr, 2003 72 out of 100 72
Absolute Games (AG.ru) Feb 05, 2003 65 out of 100 65
GameSpy Jan 31, 2003 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60

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Trivia

German version

In the German version, all blood and gore effects were removed. Also some corpses in the levels were replaced or removed. The later released Special Edition is not affected.

John Dalton

The main character's last name, Dalton, was based on Scott Dalton, one of Unreal II's game designers. The developers tried to avoid the name collision for a while, but in the end "Dalton" just seemed to work best for the game and was used in the final product.

Multiplayer

A patch to this game adds multiplayer, vehicles and new weapons. It is called Expanded Multiplayer or Unreal II XMP.

References

  • Coincidence...or not? The player you control in the game, sometimes appreviated as "U2," is named John Dalton. In the late 80's, the Irish rock group U2 would sometimes dress up as a country western band and open for their own shows. The name of the group?: The Dalton Brothers.
  • An NPC in the tutorial area muses about getting himself two flags and conducting a some kind of tournament. An obvious reference to the Unreal Tournament series of games.

Seagoat

The Seagoat, the alien, bunny-like pet that shows up on the player's ship during mid-game, was created very early on in development and originally thought to be a huge, bovine creature that could inhabit one of the alien worlds in the game. During development, the name "Seagoat" started to stick for the creature, and it was greatly reduced in size and given the role of cute, slightly weird pet.

Voice acting

Even though all other voices for the game were performed by professional actors, Ne'Ban, the ship's alien pilot, is voiced by one of the developers (Grant Roberts).

Awards

  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 04/2009 - One of the "10 Most Terrible Sequels" ( It is a good game in its own right but forgettable and far from being as groundbreaking as Unreal. The technical potential goes to waste because the player mostly walks through illogical and linear levels instead of being outdoors.)
  • PC Powerplay (Germany)
    • Issue 03/2005 - #6 Biggest Disappointment
Information also contributed by Matthias Worch, St. Martyne and STU2

Related Web Sites

Riley Beckham (300) added Unreal II: The Awakening (Windows) on Feb 07, 2003
Other platforms contributed by Kartanym (10777)