Unreal Tournament was an instant success with PC gamers, and recent months have seen the release of Unreal Championship on the Xbox, Unreal Tournament 2003, and the sequel to the original Unreal II: The Awakening.
Where Unreal II does differ from the original is the fact that it's now got a storyline based gameplay, which allows for conversation and interaction with computer control characters, and offering gameplay which has strong parallels with RPG style games.
There's little else new to the gameplay of Unreal II, and much of it follows on from the original, but where there have been major improvements are with the graphics engine, which now offers vastly improved textures, along with a huge number of visual treats ranging from the impressive smoke effects to the jet of flaming gas from the UA69 Flamethrower.
Unfortunately there's a fair amount of slowdown caused by graphically intensive sections of the game. Even when using a machine with much more power than the recommended specs Unreal II seemed to suffer from juddery action at times.
Other technical improvements include the EAX sound which is used throughout and makes for an immersive experience, with sounds of passing objects moving around and past you such as explosions and gunfire coming from the correct direction based on where you're standing in the game.
Artificial Intelligence of the enemy players is also greatly improved, and they now work together as an effective team providing more of a challenge, but despite this the game seems easy to complete and not enough of a challenge for gamers who know first person shooters inside out.
Unreal II is an enjoyable first person shooter, although the occasional slowdown caused by the intensive graphics and action (even on a high-spec machine) does lower the enjoyment value that can be had from an otherwise good game.Overall score: 7 out of 10
Publisher: Infogrames Atari
Recommended Price: £29.99
Available: NowBuy Unreal II for the PC from Amazon