Unreal Championship

Review

posted 11/21/2002 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: Xbox
Unreal Tournament is a game that received a whole lot of lovin’ from the guys around the Gaming Nexus offices. Featuring perhaps the most addicting gameplay of any First Person Shooter on the market, Epic had an amazing title on their hands that took the world by storm. Sure it never quite matched up the mighty Quake 3 juggernaut, but it lingered around long enough to garner a following. Epic and Infogrames, proving that their respective mothers didn’t raise no fools, were wise enough to milk their product for everything it was worth. Packaging it with high-profile sound cards, re-packaging the product in the “Game of the Year” format, and adding more subsequent upgrades. By the time that the company was finished with it, nearly everyone and their mother had come in contact with the game and from the looks of it, they liked what they saw.

After building up a solid fanbase, and hooking thousands on their proverbial crack, they were wise enough to produce a sequel for the game. Many were hasty to proclaim the title a one hit wonder, especially after the numerous delays that pushed back the title’s release date. In addition to the PC sequel, Epic also commissioned a console version of the game be made to accommodate the Xbox Live launch. Developed quite similarly, the games contain many of the same elements and in that sense, Unreal Championship is a worthy console title. Now the title is out on store shelves and if you’re a skeptic, you certainly won’t be one for much longer. This game is amazing and is a worthy successor to the original, the only thing keeping it from perfection are the horrible design choices that seriously dampen the experience.

UC isn’t a simulation by any sorts, you’ve got rockets, adrenalin moves and double jump maneuvers. In short, the United States army won’t soon be basing their training off of their experiences with this game any time soon. Don’t come here expecting one-hit kills and realistic action because you just won’t find it. What you’ll get is a game that relies on trash talking, fast reflexes and a whole lot of action. Someone looking at you wrong? Then send him a little greeting via strategically placed rocket to the kisser, it’s just that simple.

There’s a storyline thrown into the fray somewhere but it only really extends to the opening video. After that it’s basically you against a bunch of bots in a battle of single-player supremacy. This game is sort of like sex, it’s not much fun if you’re going at it alone. The single-player game is basically a ladder mode where you have to compete in a tournament. Interestingly enough, UC’s single-player mode is even shallower than that of UT2003’s. You’ll hire a team of bots to help accompany you but instead of trading and acquiring new talent as you move along, you’ll begin with a team and move on from there. If anything, the single-player mode is essentially a glorified tutorial that will introduce you to the various match types.

What is different about the console variant is that the different types of player models actually exhibit different characteristics. For instance, the larger ones are able to sustain more damage while moving slower and the smaller ones contain the opposite characteristics. This is pretty nice as you’ll soon discover that selecting the right model goes a long way in accommodating your method of play. I really liked this dynamic and I felt it fit in well with the overall game. The differences really stop there though, the majority of the game is just a port from the PC and while it brings with it the good, it also carries the bad.
Page 1 of 4