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Publisher: MacSoft    Genre: Action
Min OS X: Any Version    CPU: 603e @ 200 MHz    RAM: 64 MB    Hard Disk: 120 MB    4x CD-ROM    Graphics: 640x480 @ 16-bit

Unreal Tournament
April 6, 2000 | Michael Eilers

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It is a curious thing when a game can both bust a game genre - in this case, the first-person deathmatch - wide open, and yet slam the door on said genre forever. Unreal Tournament takes the deathmatch-only style of gaming so far, and does so with such excellence, that it essentially burns the bridge behind it. UT covers the bases so completely, it is tough to imagine a game taking the concept any further. Mixing powerful weapons, diverse game play, gorgeous graphics and fearsome AI opponents, Unreal Tournament guarantees a powerful, pulse-pounding experience for fans of the first-person shooter.

What sets this game apart from others of its class - and indeed, apart from its rival Quake 3 Arena - is its diversity and richness. With more than 50 multiplayer maps included, six different game types, drag-and-drop game modifiers called Mutators, dozens of "bot" opponents and a powerful team communication system, UT can literally be a different game every time you play.

Letís get the UT versus Q3A argument out of the way right now: they are both excellent games. But each game satisfies a different type of player, or different moods of the same player. Q3Aís frantic pacing makes for lightning-fast quick fixes of blood and gore, while UTís larger levels and more diverse play modes satisfy those who want to exercise more of their brain than a twitch reflex or two. There is absolutely no reason why one person canít own both games and enjoy them equally well.

There. Enough said.

Prepare To Be Blown Away
The existence of a demo for this game makes my job as a reviewer much easier. Simply load that demo and take it for a spin, and several questions will be answered: Is my system and/or my graphics card powerful enough to play this game well? Do I like the feel of the game? What is Capture the Flag and Domination like? Can I play over my current Internet connection reliably?

My job is to fill in the whole picture for you: what does the full game have that the demo does not? The answer in this case is: a whole hell of a lot of stuff!

Aside from 50+ detailed, gorgeous and well-tuned multiplayer maps, the full game has more player models and skins, many more sounds, more game play modes, six more weapons (more on these later) and the ability to use OpenGL. Plus, an extensive solo game is included which features a deathmatch "ladder" to the top, battling extremely bright (and disturbingly human) AI bots.

The level design in UT is where the game really shines. Anyone who doesnít gasp in awe at the sight of the Earth rising above the horizon of an orbiting space station or who isnít blown away while doing battle on a speeding train is just plain jaded. The Assault maps, where one team attacks a certain objective while the other defends, are just plain works of genius, requiring coordination and skill for attackers and defenders. The CTF maps are masterpieces of balanced goals, where quick thinking and team play often triumph over brute-force assaults. And the deathmatch maps, while simpler in design, make for hours of rocket-launching fun.


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