Unreal Tournament 2004

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[[Unreal Tournament 2004]]

The Unreal series has set the standards by which online games are judged. Their popularity cannot be denied and even those who would criticize the games for their instinctive, almost reflex based gameplay, accept the fact that Unreal games are graphically stunning, highly addictive and basically well-crafted specimens of pure gaming fun.

Noting the above facts it becomes easy to understand why the latest installment, Unreal Tournament 2004, has created so much noise around its name.
The debate regarding the necessity of a UT 2K4 title only a year after the release of the successful UT 2K3 rages on but one thing UT developers have managed to do is evolve along with their community and they believe they had enough reasons to introduce a new installment. According to developers the game offers improvements which have been clearly requested by the thousands of dedicated players across the globe.

Megagames staff had their first real contact with the game at this year's ECTS show in London the game had been set up on the Atari pavilion in such a way as to offer a semi-cocoon in which players could better immerse themselves in the action. Within 5 minutes of joining play strange facial twitches and muscular contraction surfaced while a cry of KILL KILL KILL still haunts the Earl's Court venue.
It is therefore, obvious that Unreal Tournament 2004 continues in the tradition of its predecessors by tapping directly into the players Hypothalamus, bringing out the most basic and instinctive responses.

So what has changed then? If the core of the game remains the same why would a UT 2K3 owner buy the new game when it's released, latest E.T.A. being November 18, 2003? According to Cliff Bleszinski, Lead Designer of Epic Games there is one simple reason Vehicular Manslaughter.
This time around the design team working on UT 2K4 had to maintain a simple but very important balance. Keep the, much-loved UT gameplay core intact while adding enough to it to justify the release. According to EBGames they have succeeded since the popular games retailer claims that Unreal Tournament 2004 has double the content of Unreal Tournament 2003.

[[Gameplay]]

Many compare their progress within the UT gameplay with their progress to sexual maturity. The first experience certainly has similarities. It's messy, uncomfortable and doesn't last long leaving you a nervous, twitching wreck but with an unexplainable desire for more. Once the inner animal is awakened though things begin to pick-up, experiences become longer and more thoroughly satisfying and eventually you try to select your partners more carefully. Note : there is no need for gloves when playing, it is unlikely you will pick up a nasty virus that way.

Once you have drawn blood in UT however, the elation felt is tremendous even though probably not proportional to your success. This is the base of all things Unreal.
The developers have managed to coax those emotions out of the gamer by using a recipe of stunning visuals and cutting edge graphics with extremely simple but addictive gameplay.

Unreal Tournament 2004 does offer quite a few and significant additions to the original gameplay. According to Cliff Bleszinski Unreal Tournament 2004 introduces a plethora of new features - from software rendering (to improve compatibility) to dual Assault Rifles, to no less than 24 new characters and a host of new levels for existing game modes of Deathmatch, CTF, Domination, and Bombing Run.
The biggest one-two punches for 2004 come in the form of the two main flagship game modes - Onslaught and Assault. Onslaught is a large-scale vehicle-based mode in which two teams attack and defend key nodes throughout the terrain.
Assault is the rebirth of the original game mode that many fell in love with in the first Unreal Tournament. In no less than six unique scenarios we'll see gamers fly Skaarj spacecraft, attack a convoy as it speeds across the desert, man an enormous tank-killing Ion Cannon, and much, much more.

[[Vehicles]]

The key addition and possibly the most controversial one, is that of land, air and space vehicles. Although accused of buying into the vehicle fad introduced by Halo and of copying games such as Tribes 2 or PlanetSide, developers are determined that they have made the right choice. Mr. Bleszinski again While some may view vehicles as a fad, I think they're a great feature that really adds an extra layer to any shooter. Any time you allow your gamers another choice about what to do in your game dynamic, it is almost certainly a good thing. Done well, you can add many layers of depth to your gaming experience.

In order to offer some balance to the gameplay, developers have introduced a specific anti-vehicle weapon for almost every existing one. Anti-aircraft missiles, the shock rifle and the highly modified, link gun will all offer the pedestrian the chance to do some serious vehicular damage. In Onslaught, for example, the link gun will heal vehicles (not players), also healing and charging nodes. The more players linked together, the faster the healing/charging.
When referring to the gameplay and vehicles Bleszinski does not hide the fact that UT 2K4 does carry the influence of other games Vehicles are a lot of fun, but they can change a game dynamic significantly and it requires a bit of finessing to keep things fun and balanced.

We don't want the gamer to feel useless if he doesn't have a tank, so balancing each vehicle's strengths and weakness is an ongoing challenge (especially when you insert vehicles into a game dynamic that already has 12 or so established and well balanced weapons).

Onslaught's current design allows for a free-flowing combination of some of the elements seen in BF1942 and PlanetSide. On any given map there are two sides for each of the teams. Each team has a Power Core that they must defend; if the core is destroyed then, naturally, one side wins.

Since these maps are so large, making a run across the map in an attempt to make an early rush is very difficult, and that's where Power Nodes come into play. Power Nodes are the points that you'll want to control along the way in order to progress your team's spawning (as well as controlling the vehicles at that particular Node...).

It is important to note that you can only take over a Node if you have the one adjacent to it. This creates a great tug-of-war style of play that results in some highly enjoyable craziness.

Vehicles create their own set of issues that map designers must deal with. First and foremost, you need elbow room for a tank or buggy. Next, you need to worry about level borders. What's to stop players from riding off into the sunset or trying to fly into space? Do you kill players that go outside of the play area or just block them in or figure out a wholly unique solution?

Finally there's the issue of vehicle ownership. Who gets this vehicle and why? A sort of cascading effect occurs when you just drop one buggy into any given level. Solving these problems is challenging but quite fun!

[[Weapons]]

A game based on a primitive seek and destroy strategy cannot survive without the relevant weapons and this time UT 2K4 promises to scorch the earth on which it treads.
We mentioned the anti-aircraft missiles and the modified link gun but the mayhem doesn't stop there.

Although developers are fairly secretive about the new weapons introduced in UT 2K4, Megagames managed to get details on some of those:

Parasite Mine Launcher
This is the most talked about weapon, probably because Cliff Bleszinski will not stop declaring to everyone his undying love for it. The principle is simple. You fire the weapon into foliage and you wait. Once your poor, unsuspecting enemy goes by the parasites spring into action and chase him down and latch on to him. Once on-board they reach his head and a few ticks later, they set themselves off. Apparently the alternative fire to that weapon is another interesting weapon, the Sticky Grenade Launcher, a weapon with which you fire out a grenade and giggle as it latches itself onto your foe with an all-knowing beep. A second and a half later your enemy will, in fact, explode.

Controllable Turrets
UT 2004 also includes controllable turrets. These will be under AI control for most of the game but most can also be commandeered by players. The importance of these turrets will be more obvious in some levels where extreme damage will be a necessity.

[[Further Additions]]

Unreal Tournament 2004 has focused on community-generated improvements and in true Epic fashion has introduced many such features to the game.
Jay Wilbur from Epic said We took everything the community said was good and we made it better and everything they said was bad, we worked to make that better too or eliminated it completely.

VoIP

One such example is the introduction of Voice Over IP (VoIP). This lets players talk to each other online using headsets and increases the tactical ability of the team.
As more players take up broadband, Epic believes VoIP will give them enormous benefits and make the games even more fun.

Unreal TV

Another, even more obvious, example of user-innovation being introduced into the game is Unreal TV.

It was originally a mod developed for the Unreal Tournament by two Swedish players.
UTV is a software process called a spectator proxy that allows many people to connect to games in play and watch the battles. Thousands can be watching, live, with only a few seconds delay.

Unreal Tournament 2004 will truly attempt to be created by the people, for the people.

Have you pre-ordered your copy yet? The link is available by following the download tab above.

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Comments

Unreal Tournament 2004

Someone read the sexual experience part under gameplay. My god, why would they mention something like this? Pretty much everyone who posts after me here has never had sex, and likely never will. Thats why they're on here, complaining.

Unreal Tournament 2004

Year after year? This will be the third installment of UT so I'm not sure what you're talking about matriXBOXsucks.UT is an awesome game, same with UT2003. If you say it sucks its because you haven't played it yourself yet. UT2004 will even compete against HL 2 and Doom 3.

Unreal Tournament 2004

UT was great, it had tons of new features, but UT 2k3 was EXACTLY like normal UT, except with better GFX and the rocket launcher held 3 rockets instead of the original 6.Now, ut 2k4 will have no unique features or anything.Once you've played UT, you've played em all.

Unreal Tournament 2004

matriXBOXsucks, you piss me off, all you do is come on message boards and criticise everything, i wish i could smash your face, you piss me off, just go away and stop talking shit.Also, UT2k3 was quite the same, but it had such good graphics it was worth it, and it also had bombing run, but i didn't like that very much, i'll buy UT2k4 anyway cos they are really fun games, but it would be nice if they changed the game a bit, but its so successful they may think that if they change the game they will lose money etc.

Unreal Tournament 2004

Ladies, ladies. simmer down now. UT is gonna be in its 3rd or wutever installment, yes? good. let us see as this game will soon be another MIA game. everyone knows that that crap-tacular game, CS, is the true champ of multiplayer madness. as sh!tty as that game is, in terms of graphics and wutnot, it is still envied by current developers. i laugh coz UT is without a doubt the greatest under-achiever of all FPS, although i could care less.look Mr.I-have-a-small-d!ck, y don't you find enlargement pills coz they actually do work.Sgt_Pitt, don't waste your time. i may look like a loser to you, but hey take your time to look @ your own writing and tell y would you have 2 apologize for "abusing" anyone. you dumb.f.u.c.k, all you have to do is say wutcha wanna say like all those who have failed to flame me. if my "smaktard resonses" are dumb, why would you hold Homer Simpson as your greatest liner-man. LOL...gee, you make me feel/look like a genius. i've seen tuffer puppies than you, so here you go and play with the other muts.milla_kazuya, the only thing redeeming that you have is maybe the "kazuya" part of your name. either than that, i don't think you'll be able to do such things as "smash my face" or make me stop "talking shit". if you did make me do so, you would be offending my free-speech rights. and technically, i would be able to get your @$$ in trouble. but since you are unable to do so, i'll sit here and smile. your gratitude is appreciated.In all, UT is still crap. good day, ladies.

Unreal Tournament 2004

I'd hardly call UT2003 "crap". Personally, I don't think that it stood out that much next to some other games but I wouldn't go as far as calling it crap.By the looks of it UT2004 may be OK... I can't see how you guys can justify passing such final judgment on it without even playing the game!

Unreal Tournament 2004

The only thing worth playing in this whole series was the original UT. The gameplay weapons and overall look was perfect. However UT 2003 sucked considerably. They put so much eye-candy in the game it just ended up as a distraction and the weapons really sucked. imoho.

Unreal Tournament 2004

UT owns, UT 2k3 sucks, and UT2k4 is going to have vehicles. WOOHOO! Vehicles, Lets all play HL2 instea, which has vehicles too! Or wait, lets play BF 1942, where they have flying airplanes.UT was great, original and such, but now they just suck ass.

Unreal Tournament 2004

I agree on the schittie gameplay. I have to say that the weapons are really slow and lame, and the animations are weak. Quake Series games are way fast and action packed to where you have to hit the ground running when you join games online. Unreal 2/2003 is all eye candy, and poor gameplay. I own all the above games, but QUAKE series games just own.

Unreal Tournament 2004

Quake?but unreal has 2 firemodes, that and u can dodge. which makes for some actual skilled combat. i consider UT and UT2k3 totally different games on the basis of the gameplay, the controls feel so different. i'd like the next installment to have UT2k3 graphics + original UT feel.don't like CS since its slow as hell and basically not the type of gameplay i want, point and shoot with no way of avoidence(alot of camping, rofl). i like unrealistic games. i guess i wouldn't mind CS so much if i could actually run. haha. i'm not saying its a bad game, i'm just saying its not right for me. :)

Unreal Tournament 2004

actually, CS isn't that realistic. i mean, if someone was shooting at you(missing), i would run(fast) my ass to the closest wall or something. hate it when i'm a sitting duck rofl.i'm pretty sure, it would be the same for paint ball. ehehe.

Unreal Tournament 2004

Im with slim, UT kicked the absolute life out of everything available at the time, however UT2K3 really dropped the ball and then everything just ran a return. Without 4 team deathmatch, domination and CTF (CTF4 was the grand finale) it just couldnt compete with the original, I felt bad for my friends who spent A$90 for it- if UT2K4 has 4 team DM, DOM, CTF, BR, it will surely kill the market for months to come.

Unreal Tournament 2004

UT2003 is UT, but Lame. The level design is not as good, the snipers lame, the mashine gun is useless, unlike the good old enforces. The only improvments the rocket launcher, which is not as good as the Q3 rocket launcher. Boo

Unreal Tournament 2004

UT original was great. UT2003 took everything that was good about UT and squeezed it out, adding new graphics and taking away the fun of simultaneos headshots with your friends over then LAN unzoomed with sniper rifles :)

Unreal Tournament 2004

Man, does UT2004 look crappy. UT was the *best* game in this series, and perhaps of all multi-player only games. UT2003 was a major let down (bought it for 79$, played it for 2 weeks, then shelved it..) and 2k4 looks like it's more of the same crap.Boo Epic. Boo Atari. Shame on you guys for killing such a great original game.

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