Unreal 2: The Awakening

3.2 out of 5 stars 147 customer reviews
Rated: Mature
Metascore: 75 / 100
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Product Description

Product Description

You'll need all the skill and courage you can muster as you engage in firefights, hostage rescue, enemy assault, stealth infiltration, search-and-destroy sorties and much more.


Unreal II: The Awakening returns to the fascinating futuristic setting of Unreal, first visited in 1998. Since then we've had to content ourselves with the excellent Unreal Tournament multiplayer combat series. For this first true sequel Epic Games hired Legend Entertainment, who made a name for themselves with the Unreal: Return to Na Pali expansion pack and the woefully underrated Wheel of Time game (based on the books by Robert Jordan). The result is fun and frantic, if a bit too short-lived.

Unreal II's best feature is its lush graphics engine. It's state of the art. All the locations, which range from bizarre alien worlds to those based on the film Alien, exude dynamic realism. Human and alien characters are well-animated and rendered, but have a cartoonish exaggeration that clashes with the realism of the architecture. The designers were undoubtedly shooting for a comic-book look, which explains why the women look like blow-up dolls with bare midriffs and the men have hulking muscles. The monsters, too, ripple with strength and menace. This style will please some, but is less effective than the more realistic styles employed by similar titles--although at least the art direction is consistent throughout the game.

Unreal cast you as a prisoner who--through both good and bad luck--was freed from confinement, but marooned on an alien world. He goes on to become a sort of messiah figure to the four-armed natives, while other, scarier, natives want to kill him. It ends with a cliffhanger that this game does nothing to resolve. Now, you play as a new character who works for the Terran Colonial Authority. You're a space marshal on the ship Atlantis. You and your buxom partner, who looks more like an exotic dancer than a police woman, have to solve problems in a game only tenuously connected with the original Unreal.

Core gameplay and mission design are good, but uninspired. Legend has taken a conservative, almost minimalist approach. They've made a solid shooter that takes full advantage of Epic's state-of-the-art graphics engine, but did nothing to set the shooter apart from the crowd. One hopes that Unreal II: The Awakening awakens Epic to the fact that Unreal is a genuinely interesting franchise that deserves more. --Andrew S. Bub


  • Gorgeous graphics
  • Decent gameplay


  • Amateurish if consistent art design
  • Too short

Product Information

ASIN B00005Y4Q1
Release date February 4, 2003
Customer Reviews
3.2 out of 5 stars 147 customer reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #58,151 in videogames
#10,607 in Video Games > PC Games > PC Games
Pricing The strikethrough price is the List Price. Savings represents a discount off the List Price.
Product Dimensions 7.5 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches
Media: Video Game
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Okay, first of all, I've got to say that I love the graphics in the game, but that is probably its only redeeming quality as far as I'm concerned. I have listed my multiple beefs with Unreal II as follows...
1.) Storyline has nothing to do with the end of the first Unreal.
2.) John Dalton (your character) moves waayyyy too slow. It's almost like he tiptoes his way into battle.
3.) There are only about 8 or 9 levels altogether. The first Unreal had 39 levels (not including the intro and ending sequences).
4.) What happened to the rest of the enemies of Unreal 1? Most of the enemies in Unreal II are human (boring). I want my Krall, my Titan, my SkaarjGunner, my Brute, my Gasbag, my Devilfish, my SkaarjGunner, My SkaarjBerserker, my SkaarjWarrior, my Skaarj....
5.) TOO MUCH BABYSITTING - I hate waiting for other characters in a game while they sit around doing their thing.
6.) There was no "Boss" which took about 70 or 80 rockets to kill, like in the first Unreal. Where's the sense of accomplishment?
7.) Where are my powerups? Why is that such a bad thing?
8.) Why did they even use the name, "Unreal" with this game? So there were a couple of Skaarj from the first game and the dispersion pistol (which cannot be upgraded - bummer) was available. Big deal. There is little resemblance to the original game. I know that the makers of the game wanted Unreal to "evolve" and to give it a different storyline, but they didn't have to ruin the game like this.
9.) You cannot skip the cinematics. Why can't you just hit the mouse button if you don't want to wait for people to finish talking? And why do you have to wait for Aida to take her sweet time to waltz from one computer to another? Why can't you just skip the debriefings altogether?
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as expected, Unreal 2 has some pretty nice graphics and environs. each world is nicely done and filled with ambient wildlife, great lighting, colors, textures, all that stuff.
unfortunately, Unreal 2 is anything but. gameplay is very uninspired and trite. it's more of the same: move linearly from point to point, blow up a few baddies, press a switch, go to another point, get blocked from main route, find some alternate route, kick more butt, ad infinitum. occasionally, you'll need to protect a scientist or fight with a couple of marines, but those moments are rare. the only refreshing feature is the use of turrets and laser shields. a few times, you will need to strategically place them to defend your position from overwhelming enemies. unfortunately, their usefulness is limited and you will find yourself out on the field doing much of the work.
one of the things i enjoyed about this game is weapon selection. sound effects are nicely done and you can feel a noticeable punch when you fire. there's no useless weapons--each weapon is ideal for a given situation and there are two firing modes. you've got a gun that shoots spiders(?); sniper gun with a scope that really zooms up close; grenade launcher with several different types of grenades; powerful shotgun that has an alternate firing mode that blasts your enemies on fire; and finally, my favorite, the ultimate weapon that fires mini-blackholes and sucks in your opponents.
you are taken from mission to mission on different planets in your small space cruiser. this could have been a nice touch, but it's poorly implemented. the ship is merely used as a device for useless briefings and conversations with your three crewpeople that move the story along.
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Unreal II: the awakening
Spiders! It's full of spiders!
There's a rule about spiders in games: They are the designer's way of saying: "I give up. I have run out of ideas." Strangely, that feeling permeates all of Unreal II: The Awakening, a game so eagerly anticipated that even the editors at Maximum PC were quivering like hummingbirds as they waited to lay their mitts on a copy. Sadly, now, after having actually played the game, their hummingbird wings have slowed to a dead stop. "We waited for this?" is the question on everyone's lips.
Unreal II has an amazing degree of polish. It's slick, it's gorgeous, and it has one or two breakout moments. But our sustained impression over the course of a meager 12-odd hours of gameplay is one of profound familiarity and undeniable disappointment. Unreal II is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a bad game. It is, however, a crushingly dissatisfying one.
So how can a "not bad game" warrant a mere 6 verdict? The problem lies in a burden of expectations, and while Epic/Legend may cry foul, this burden is the inevitable byproduct of five-odd years of unrelenting hype. The first Unreal was a watershed title. When gamers emerged into that open space, with the waterfall in the distance and the critters hopping about, they entered a new era in gaming. That the rest of Unreal never quite lived up to the first scene's promise-that it resorted to standard run-n-gun clichés-was never that big a problem. It was good, old-school action gaming. It pulled the plow.
Unreal II is sort of like the first game, but without the shock value of the waterfall. We already know how good games can look.
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