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Unreal II: The Awakening (Windows)

79
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.5
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Paranoid Opressor (167)
Written on  :  Feb 25, 2003
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  1.75 Stars1.75 Stars1.75 Stars1.75 Stars1.75 Stars

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Summary

This is not actually a game

The Good

I have to admit - graphics are mostly great. The scale and the variety of the levels is amazing, especially landscapes. Skies look extremely cool - being on a satellite of a gas giant with huge rings across the sky is a beautiful experience.

Sound is adequate. Nothing mindblowing, mind you, but decent.

The Bad

The game process. The story. The interactivity. Everything that constitutes a game. The levels are extremely linear. In fact they are so linear, you would remember Wolfenstein 3D (the original) with nostalgia. To add insult to this injury, the sriptwriters decided to constantly instruct you what to do next in the lamest possible way. Imagine constantly being assigned new objectives (such as "heal a survivor") before you realise the situation (in this case see this damn "survivor") or being instructed to find a way around a barricade before you see this stupid barricade.

Next. The story has every cliche from the last 8 years of FPS games. Imagine looking at an apparently "surviving" human being dragged under the door which breakes right after that on almost every level. Like we never saw this in Unreal 1, or AVP2, or anywhere else. Then you have voiceovers of your main character and other random people constantly telling you "it is safe"/"there are no more bad guys"/"that was easy" exactly 5 seconds before some more enemies are jumping at you. That is unbelievably lame and boring.

Now the story. There is none. You basically ran straight through the levels killing everyone (with pauses for level loading every minute or so). There are some random people/objects/objectives that you don't really care about. The only character that you might care about is your female friend. And the only reason you might care about here is that she is actually female and has boobs. BTW, she is not pretty. Not even for a 3d game character. She is actually quite ugly...

Next, interactivity. There is none. Forget cutting-edge stuff from Duke Nukem 3D. No more breaking glass. No more nothing. The levels are made in one single piece. There is basically nothing you can interact with, except meaningless buttons and switches. Imagine having 3 (THREE!) switches in an elevator... And to again insult our intelligence, all such buttons and switches are highlighted on the screen so that you do not spend any time actually thinking about where to click. On one level they have 3 or 4 "laboratories" that look exactly the same. And it's not that they look like laboratories either. Forget Half-Life level design. Think "Quake 2"-style laboratories, i.e. empty rooms with boxes. And the lamest thing is that there is a voice-over like "entering biological laboratory," "entering some other laboratory", etc. Like one can actually give a shit... Yeah, whatever.

A game is something that is both interesting and enjoyable, as opposed to things like masturbation (enjoyable but not interesting), reading a physics book (interesting, but not enjoyable) and work (neither interesting, nor enjoyable). Unreal 2 is neither. I must conclude that it feels very much like work, except you are not getting paid.

I was so frustrated and angry that I actually threw the game into trash can and I am a much happier person now. I would recommend everyone, who wants to play a good FPS, to get Quake 1, download an engine mod (like mhglqr6) that updates graphics to a really cool level and enjoy fun and excitement. [Sorry, I know it is agains MobyGames policy to compare old games with new ones] I did just that and I can say that graphics are good enough and the gameplay is lightyears ahead of Unreal 2.

The Bottom Line

1) Nike of PC games. Pay 50$ for a brandname 2) Gameplay from a lame 1980s arcade game (think Jungle Jill) in a brilliantly rendered 3D environments 3) A technology demo 4) Something that makes AOL CDs look useful in comparison