I know, I know, the last thing the world needs is yet another review of Unreal. Too bad hahahaha.
I don't know about you but I've been following Unreal since word was first leaked out in late 94. Back then
all we knew was that Unreal was going to be a true 3D shooter with polygon characters and require a
Pentium and Win32. That seemed high back then because we were told by id that Quake was only going to
require a 486 66. As the years past, and release date after release date was missed, We've watched just
about every announced feature under the sun get added to Unreal. A week ago Unreal finally was released.
Was it worth the wait? Honestly, no. Not a hard "hell no' but just a soft no. Yes Unreal is better than any
other first person shooter out right now and probably for the rest of the year. What Unreal is not is four
years of hype better. I really expected to be blown away by Unreal but instead I was treated to a step in the
The solo game play is good. The story was interesting for the first two levels but then Unreal dissolves into
just another mindless shooter. There are great levels, but most are only average. The creature AI is better
than most games but it isn't what was hyped. The creatures just sit around until you find them. There is no
sense of expecting a creature to come walking on by. The ending is a let down. Not shabby but not what I
expected from the end all be all of first person shooters. No one has matched the endings of Castle
Wolfenstein or Doom. Unreal is not a short game. It's one of the longer first person shooters. Probably
taking around 30 hours of play time.
Unreal has great graphics. The lighting effects are amazing. Screen shots don't show how good they are.
Everywhere there are little details that make almost every scene interesting. Colors are used and used well.
I simply can not describe it. The only negative is that this detail needs a high frame rate. In 1996 a sub
20fps in Quake never bothered me but a similar frame rate today made me sick and gave me headaches in
Unreal. Once I bought a Voodoo2 card to replace my Voodoo1 card, I could play without any ill effects.
Unreal looks good in software mode too but has a lower frame rate. Some people don't have a problem.
Sound effects and Music in Unreal kick ass. The best I've heard in years. Computer generated music used
instead of CD audio. The mood is set in a nice way with the sci fi sound of computer generated music that
changes to fit what is going on in the game. CD music tracks in most games are way over done.
The biggest weakness of Unreal is the lack of a bond with your character. Yeah you're a prisoner. That's all
we know. I much prefer the characters of Duke Nukem 3D and Castle Wolfenstein. Another down note is I
really wish Unreal had an activate button instead of just running into things. Its annoying to accidentally
open a door just because you ran too close, unleashing a few attackers. Finally there is the whole "been
there, done that" feel of the game.
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