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Thursday, May 30, 2002
Unreal II Impressions
7:51 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Though news has been flying around the net on the upcoming frag-fest Unreal Tournament 2003, its single-player cousin, Unreal II: The Awakening, has been hot on its heels in terms of media coverage and overall impressiveness. Shown off at the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo, many gaming sites have posted impressions of this sequel to the original Unreal, remarking on its graphic prowess and variety of features.

Though players waiting for this title have undoubtedly viewed plenty of screenshots showing off the power of Unreal II's graphic engine, GameSpy notes the actual progression from the older engine used for the original Unreal Tournament:

Read any preview of the upcoming Unreal games and you're likely to see lots of drooling over the game's new graphics, and with good reason. Not only are the levels quite colorful and vibrant, but they're also far more detailed than the previous Unreal games — Unreal II will reportedly push 100X the number of polygons as Unreal Tournament. As we were told, just one tree in Unreal 2 could have more polygons than an entire SCENE in UT.
GameSpy also notes that the music in Unreal II will be dynamic, adjusting itself on the fly to occurrences within the game itself.

To facilitate the story-driven aspect of Unreal II, the available weapons will be quite varied, allowing for greater versatility in combat. GameSpot makes particular note of the modular grenade launcher:

Even at this early point in the game, you have a good selection of human weapons, including a shotgun, a sniper rifle, an assault rifle, and a rocket launcher. The weapon models are all incredibly beefy, much larger than what an unarmored soldier would be able to carry. The grenade launcher is modular, with six different types of grenades — including EMP, frag, smoke, toxic, and stasis — and each type is more appropriate than the others in particular situations.
IGN PC also notes the induction of a huge number of alien races into the game, meaning that the player will be required to come up with numerous strategies as gameplay progresses:
When I asked a member of the design team how many different types of enemies will be present in the game he shrugged, implying that the number was too high to recall offhand. Just think of it this way, the there are four different factions of marine enemies, each with light, medium and heavy variations. And that's just the human race! The meat and potatoes of Unreal's opposition lies in its dynamic alien races. Mind you these are not just your typical, run of the mill alien races either. Each one has truly inventive strengths, weaknesses and forms of attacks. For instance one mechanical race utilizes shielded drones to raise their fallen soldiers from the dead. You must take out the drones as well of the soldiers, unless you want to take on a perpetually regenerating alien army. In another scenario, while exploring a huge creature's insides, you'll have to take on its immune system.
Readers interested in more impressions on this upcoming first-person shooter are encouraged to check out any of the aforementioned previews. There's no word yet of a Mac conversion, but rest assured IMG is keeping its ear to the ground for any developments.

Epic Games
GameSpot: Unreal II Impressions
GameSpy: Unreal II: The Awakening
IGN PC: Unreal II

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