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Publisher: MacSoft    Genre: Action
Min OS X: 10.2.8    CPU: G4 @ 933 MHz    RAM: 256 MB    Hard Disk: 6000 MB    DVD-ROM    Graphics: 32 MB VRAM

Unreal Tournament 2004
April 9, 2004 | Joel Davies

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The sound in UT2K4 is also top notch, with good effects, good music, great announcers and great overall voice talent.

I was not able to let the Apple Pro Speakers and iSub boom away all the explosions and gunfire due to a recent delivery from the stork in the Davies household. However, I did use a pair of high-end noise canceling headphones to play UT2K4, and found the sound experience to be immersive and very complimentary to the gameplay.

Stereo cues help you zero in on an opponent, and the sound made by your opponents and teammates as they run across different surfaces can alert you to upcoming ambushes and incoming attacks. Announcers call out awards you collect over the course of a match, and I always thrill to hear an announcer scream "Flak Monkey" over the clanging thud of my overworked Flak Cannon.

The real new development in the sound arena is built-in voice over IP. As a gamer that has used NetFone both running "under" a game and on a separate computer to stay in contact with squadmates. Occasionally, in multiplayer, the sound would fade a bit so a teammate could issue a command over voice chat. The sound quality was really quite decent, and seemed to occur within a reasonable amount of time after the spoken command was issued.

Occasionally, hearing the voice chat got distracting, especially if the folks doing all the talking have an exceptionally annoying voice or a limited one-syllable four-letter vocabulary.

Unfortunately, my USB microphone died a horrible death early in the review, and I did not have a chance to contribute much to voice chat.

Unreal Tournament 2004 is far beyond being a simple upgrade to 2003. For those who want a serious first person shooter with elements beyond the simple "run and gun" - the new ladder and team management system is definitely for you. I found single-player to be immensely satisfying, and multiplayer is going to vary in terms of gameplay depending on who you play online.

Replay value is very high - as those earning higher budgets can pay to change maps, afford to make more challenges, and rebuild their teams from scratch. Overall, Unreal Tournament 2004 is a very worthy new addition to the list of Unreal titles.

•New team management makes UT2K4 feel like a sports game
•Stunningly good graphics over 95 total maps (45 new maps)
•High replay value

•Vehicle control is difficult and unintuitive
•Steep system requirements

Unreal Tournament 2004
Developer: Digital Extremes
Mac Version: Epic Games
Publisher: MacSoft
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