Brings Unreal Back To The Throne
Make no mistake: Unreal Tournament 2004 is still, like any other UT game, all multiplayer. There's some fun to be had in the single player if it's anything like 2K3, but if you don't have a good Internet connection, don't bother.
Now that's out of the way, I'm gonna break the gameplay down by the PRIMARY modes.
DEATHMATCH AND TEAM DEATHMATCH: Classic kill-or-be-killed. It's simple, but it works perfectly. There's nothing like hearing RAMPAGE, DOMINATING, and GODLIKE when you're on a killing streak. Maps make things interesting, as 2K4's level design is, like any other UT game, perfect.
If you enjoy being part of a team, but still like it simple, Team Deathmatch is a great alternate.
CAPTURE THE FLAG: Again, nothing has changed; it's still perfect. Navigation tools are still handy to keep you in the action.
BOMBING RUN: This is one of the most underrated modes in the UT series. Think of it as football with guns (yeah, it's as cool as it sounds). You must get the "ball" to the other team's "hoop" and either jump through it or "shoot" the ball through it to score 7 and 3 points respectively (sounding like football?) You can "pass" the ball to another teammate by shooting it at them, but other than a bad pass, the only way to get the ball back is kill the poor sap who has it. Once again, navigation is a snap.
ASSAULT: YES! Assault returns! This time, it's better than ever, especially since navigation to the map's objectives is INFINITELY easier. I've heard that vehicles also make an appearance in certain Assault maps. It's addictive, but is still slightly behind...
ONSLAUGHT: This mode is basically BF1942 with better on-foot combat. If you haven't played the demo, you must capture "nodes" and destroy the enemy power core. The catch is that the nodes must "link" to the power core before you can attack it. It's basically "connecting the dots" from your power core to the enemy's. It sounds complicated, but it's not. Vehicles are just as, if not more, awesome than 1942. The "Hellbender" truck actually has a horn if you're in the driver's seat! A HORN!!! How cool is that?!
Weapons are the same fun, delightfully destructive bunch from 2K3, with the return of the infamous sniper rifle from the original UT. In addition to the 5 demo maps, there's 95 more! Yes, 95, for a total of 100! While some are recycled from previous games (I heard somewhere they remade a few favorite maps from the original), you gotta give Epic credit for including that much stuff. Mutators, such as Instagib, where everyone gets a one-shot-kill rifle, and the crazy Low Gravity, just to name a few, are back and better than ever.
GRAPHICS: Purty. You will, however, need a powerful machine to run it. It runs well on my 2 Ghz Pentium 4, with 256 RAM and a GeForce 5600, but I had to turn the resolution down to get good speed to the game. Still, if you have the power, it's a beauty.
SOUND: A warning: IF YOU VALUE YOUR SANITY, DON'T USE THE MALE ANNOUNCER! He is THE most annoying person you will EVER hear. The female announcer, however, is much more cool and pleasant. The way she says "missiles" in AS-CONVOY with an accent on the "I" is cool, and even sexy (yes, I know, I have a sad life). Sound effects are good, but turn the taunts off also so you don't have to constantly hear "Die ****
CLOSING COMMENTS: This game has legs that'll keep kicking for a long, long time. Add mods and new user-created maps, and you've got a recipe for great fun for a LOOOONG time.