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REVIEW : Unreal Tournament
By: Marty Dodge

Prejudices aside, I was really looking forward to this game. Fortunately, as a game reviewer I was able to secure a copy of a late Beta of the game, as well as a copy of the Demo as it was being released. UT was one of the few betas I have ever gotten that I played regularly, even better having the copy of the Beta did not spoil me for the full release. UT is about as much fun as you can have on a computer. Although I was disappointed at first by the lack of solo play (read plot), I was soon convinced that this was not necessary. Because the net code is so good, it is necessary to practice against the bots to have a prayer when playing against human opponents online. Somewhere online I heard that UT could be played with a 28.8 modem, I am proof that this is true. The ample playing arenas and choices make sure you will be playing this game for a long time to come. In UT your basic choices are DM, CTF, Domination and Assault, add to this Tournament mode and the career menu and you will spending your life with this game. If that were not enough the game comes with a whole bunch of modifications for the game, there are more online and being made as we speak.

The ultimate Mod being Infiltration 2.7, a mod which changes almost all the aspects of the game to include "real world" weapons and "real world" damage for brutal gameplay. All the maps and methods of play (DM/CTF/Dom/Assault: solo/multi) that are available in Infiltration. This mod simply takes an already amazing game to the next level of play. Considering how short a time the game has been out, even more PC, the fact that a mod like Infiltration exists bodes well for future total conversion mods. All the mods and new maps are available from www.planetunreal.com Graphically UT is very impressive, maps are gorgeous and the environments are intricate and immersive. The maps are much larger in UT than in Q3A, some of which are so large that players simply get lost. If you have the machine to run the game, you will be richly rewarded, even those who need to run the game in software mode are treated to stunning detail. The only drawback to all this is that the game takes quite a while to load, there are several hacks that allow you to bypass the opening movie and speed things up a bit. As with most games it helps a great deal to do the full install on your hard-drive, unfortunately for those wishing optimum speed the CD is required in the drive to run the game. Presumably this means for every machine on a LAN a copy of the game is required, a foolish maneuver, but security issues must have won out over home LANs.

The weapons in UT are well balanced and none is game killing. The Redeemer is the nuke in a rocket weapon but it does not appear on all maps and is very limited in supply when it is. None of the weapons are that different from weapons in Unreal. Not one of your favorites are missing, and all the secondary firing is there. This is not a shock as UT is more a stand alone multi-player add-on for Unreal than a totally new game. Unreal II is the real sequel to Unreal. One caveat is that in order to play UT at your best you need at least a 2 button mouse for Primary and Secondary firing. For those who need that extra edge a four button mouse is best. Secondary is especially useful for all the guns with a sniper mode. In many cases weapons secondary fire is more useful than primary, the Enforcer pistol is much more accurate and deadly when fired sideways, if you have two, nothing beats it for close combat.

Now we get to what you want to know, online gaming, the real reason for this release. As far as I can tell, Epic/MacSoft got the net code damn near perfect with this one. Gone is the ability to whack yourself in the back of the head with a rocket because of lag. As I said earlier I am on a really rubbish rural line which gets 28.8 when a good stiff wind is blowing. You have several options for connecting to a game online, either by Scott Kevill's Gameranger (www.gameranger.com) or the in game browser. I recommend using Gameranger when you are a newbie and then graduating to cross platform world of the in game browser. It is much easier to find a low ping game via the in-game browser or the server tags in GR. The nice thing about going through the game is the fact that you don't have to waste any much needed RAM running GR.

The browser contains tabs with all the possible versions of the online game. This manner can be slow but a few seconds waiting for it load is well worth it, if you can save 100 ping here or there. LANers need to open TCP/IP, create a new configuration and then change the setting to Ethernet, and set it to configure manually. Set the IP address to 192.168.0.x, where x is 1, 2, or 3-unique to each machine. Set the sub-net mask at Be sure to save this configuration. Obviously you will have switch back and forth in order to use either your LAN or your ISP access. (Information on LANing UT was culled from several posts on the mac.games newsgroup.) If you like your FPS multi-play with a bit of variety and subtlety then UT is for you. If you only need DM got with Q3A, well and if you have broadband access. There is no game out there that has better net code that UT right now. Any game that can be played competitively on a 28.8 connection has got my vote. Epic has buried all the criticism they got for Unreal's performance, once and for all. Get both UT and Q3A, but if you can only get one, UT is the one!

More shots:
Who made this stuff?
Ain't going to well, is it?
Connecting to servers..
Just browsing about
Teamplay, the net just won't stop!

Test ComputerRequirements
  • B&W 400 mhz
  • OS 8.6
  • 128 RAM (total 150)
  • Power PC 603e 200mhz
  • 120 Megs of Free HD space
  • OS 7.6
  • CD-Rom
  • 64 Megs of RAM
Retail PriceDemo
  • Around $39.95 (online)
Related LinksRating
    (1-5 where 5 is the best)

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