Not to be confused with the 1999 release Unreal Gold, this similarly-titled offering is a compilation of the two most recent Unreal games, Unreal II: The Awakening and Unreal Tournament 2003.
Unreal II: The Awakening
Set in the same universe as the 1998 original, but following a brand new story and with a new cast of characters, Unreal II casts the player 300 years into the future - to the origins of mankind's expansion into space.
Players take on the role of John Dalton - ex-Marine and Marshal of the Terran Colonial Authority - who discovers a chilling distress signal during one of his regular patrols. Upon investigating, Dalton is subsequently plunged into harsh combat with terrifying enemies, and into a conflict that will determine the fate of the galaxy. That's right folks - you are humanity's only hope for salvation.
As the game pans out, the story throws up an array of intense combat missions, which are linked in the usual way by various sections of scripted narrative. Each of the missions features a different tactical situation, such as a hostage rescue, a civilian escort and an assault on an enemy base, and each takes place across a variety of different environments. Locales such as the jungles of a tropical planet, the barren ice of a frozen moon, and the active, living tunnels of an underground world are just a few of the settings in which players fight for their lives.
As is compulsory with FPS games these days, a massive array of firepower is at the player's disposal, ranging from armour piercing handguns to weapons that tear apart the very fabric of space - pretty handy when the general mindset is 'shoot first, ask questions later'.
This is one explosive piece of gaming and deserves to be as widely received as was first anticipated. The only thing holding it back is that only PCs with some serious graphical 'oomph' are ever going to do the game any justice.
Unreal Tournament 2003
Developed by Digital Extremes, Unreal Tournament 2003 resurrects the mind-blowing addictive gameplay of the original and blends it with a whole bunch of new features.
There are a healthy variety of game modes in Unreal Tournament 2003, so here’s the rundown.
Death Match is that old favourite where players are pitted against each other in a free-for-all where anything goes. The player with the most kills, wins, it's that simple. There’s also a Team Death Match mode, where you can join up with others to create the supreme killing team. No room for weak links in this one.
Capture the Flag is where each level has two team flags. In order to score, one team must penetrate the other's defences, grab the flag, and put it with their own. If the flag carrier is killed, the flag drops to the ground and can be picked up by any player. If your team’s flag is taken away from its base, it must be returned before you can steal the opposition's flag.
Double Domination is new for UT2003. Each level has two domination points, and in order to score, you must 'capture' each point by running over it and keeping it in your possession for ten seconds. After those ten seconds have elapsed, the control points are reset to neutral and are once again available to dominate.
Also new for UT2003 is Bombing Run. There is a ball in the middle of the playing field. The objective is to pick up the ball, deliver it to the enemy's base and fire it through their goal. You must also defend your own goal to prevent the enemy from scoring. As in Capture the Flag, if your man is killed while in possession, the ball is dropped and available for anyone else to pick up.
There's a brand new engine powering UT2003 too, which, given that you have the card to handle it, will let you marvel at the enhanced movements and details in the visual department. Needless to say that what you see is matched by the audio. Turn it up loud!
Minimum system requirements:
- 733 MHz Processor
- Windows 98/2000/Me/XP
- 256MB RAM
- 3.0 GB Free Hard Disk Spacev
- 8 x CD-ROM
- 32MB Video Card
- Windows compatible sound card
- DirectX version 8.1 (included)
- Video Dimensions: 3D
- Publisher: Atari
- Point Of View: First-person