Stellar graphics rocket an interstellar quest into its own galaxyGamers, enter the world of Marshal John Dalton, a former Marine working for an interstellar police force called the Terran Colonial Authority. As Dalton, you’re patrolling the quiet backwaters of the galaxy with your crew aboard the cruiser Atlantis, when you’re suddenly pulled into a war over seven alien artifacts.
After every mission in this first-person shooter game you return to your ship, where you interact with your crew. Aida, your sardonic second-in-command, sports a ponytail and cleavage that would make Lara Croft blush. Isaak, your “bionic” tech expert, is constantly fiddling with your gear. Ne’Ban, an alien, is your pilot. With dynamic endings, what you say to your crew can drastically affect events.
The most astonishing elements in “Unreal 2” are the breathtaking graphics. When people type, they actually press the appropriate keys. When they speak, their mouths (or the species-appropriate equivalent) move accordingly. Holograms flicker. Grass blows in the wind. Snow looks like snow. At one point, Dalton fights through a very realistic-looking living, breathing planet.
Enemies ranging from bioengineered spiders to grunting amphibious aliens assault you with varying degrees of intelligence. Human mercenaries are the most challenging to battle, while the ubiquitous aqua-freaks are mere target practice.
The verdict: Hours of shoot-em-up distractions, al-though once the initial impact of the over-the-top eye candy fades, the game drags a bit until the final two missions. Also, the specs that the game requires, if you actually want to enjoy the graphics, are ridiculously advanced. None-theless, first-person shooter fans should find “Unreal 2” more than satisfactory. It’s a great game by any standard, and one of the best shooter games released in the last few years.
by Phil Chang