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Apocalypse Then – Unreal II: The Awakening


Even though I did an article on this last year, I only found this out later, so I decided to still along and post this, seeing as it’s better.

On this day, the 3rd of February 2003, Unreal II: The Awakening was released.

The game was developed by the now defunct Legend Entertainment, not Epic, and published by Atari and used the Unreal Engine 2.0. The game saw a release on PC, and the Xbox a year later.

Unreal II, for short, is a FPS title loosely based on the Unreal series. The game bears no real relation to Unreal besides the Skaarj – the iconic enemies from the first game. They are bladed brutes which are reputed to stand eight foot tall, and unlike the first game, some wear armour and come in different colours, but are encountered only occasionally.

Besides this, it’s said that the ending bears some resemblance to the first game. And the company name “Liandri” crops up as well, and there is a glimpse near the beginning of the game which shows you how the Unreal Tournament was formed.

Unlike UT, Unreal II was initially singleplayer only until Unreal II: eXpanded MultiPlayer was released.

In the game you take the part of John Dalton, a former marine and now Marshal with the TCA (Terran Colonial Authority). Basically he’s like a police officer instead of a soldier, and in the game you go from planet to planet to retrieve pieces of an artefact. And along the way he fights different enemies, but also including others, mainly mercenaries or aliens of some sort. You even get to team with others against enemies at some points in the game.

AIDA aida2

                   Aida: the first officer and prime piece of ass on the ship

But to me the among some of the most interesting parts of the game were aboard the ship, the “Atlantis”, with the other characters, Ne’ban, Isaak, and Aida – the eye candy in the game. You could chat to them, and find out their insecurities as well as information on the game’s locations and weapons that you might not have otherwise have known. You find out that Aida has a strong dislike for Isaak because of a past incident that took place.

[spoiler alert] In fact, I was quite devastated at the end, after becoming attached to these characters, and having to watch them die. [spoiler alert]

Apart from all this, I imagine that the graphics in the game were a major selling point. It might not have been as highly regarded as its predecessor or the Unreal Tournament spin-off series, but it was still quite enjoyable to play, although quite short, linear, and little in the way or replayability, even though I did play it through two or three times years ago.

It wasn’t a bad game, but just kind of unrelated and disconnected in a way, because of its story. It’s still something that hasn’t been rectified to this day seeing as there’s been no Unreal 3 released, since Epic went on to focus on Unreal Tournament and Gears of War titles.

You can pick up Unreal II: The Awakening here if you want to play a classic.



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