"With Unreal Tournament 2004, Epic, Atari, Digital Extremes and Co. have done more than return the series to its former glory -- they've unleashed a monster that could dominate multiplayer gaming for the rest of 2004," according to GameSpy.com's review. IGN.com agreed, saying "Unreal Tournament 2004 is set to make a thunderous impact as big as (or bigger) than the one caused by the original Unreal Tournament."
Unreal Tournament 2004 was developed by Epic Games in conjunction with Digital Extremes. The game builds on the success of past installments, taking the franchise to the next level with the introduction of the hyper-charged Onslaught mode, the return of the fan-favorite Assault mode, which last appeared in the original Unreal Tournament, and the introduction of land-, air- and space-based vehicles.
Gamers worldwide made the free, downloadable demo of Unreal Tournament 2004 one of the most popular game demo downloads of all time, with more than 1.5 million downloads in the first week of availability. The official demo first hit the Internet on Wednesday, February 11, and was distributed on a worldwide scale.
In Unreal Tournament 2004, players suit up as the ultimate techno-gladiator of the future, taking their fates into their own hands as they battle up to 32 other players in action-packed, frag-filled arenas. Unreal Tournament 2004 contains new maps for all established game modes, including Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Bombing Run and Double Domination, as well as all new arenas for the two additional styles of play - Onslaught and Assault. In addition, Unreal Tournament 2004 contains all of the maps, mutators and game types -- such as Mutant, Last Man Standing and Invasion -- from Unreal Tournament 2003 and the free downloadable bonus packs for that game.
Features in Unreal Tournament 2004 include:
- Onslaught Mode: Onslaught is an epic-in-scope team-based challenge that pits two teams in bitter warfare across massive terrain maps in a frag-filled battle to destroy, capture and hold key power nodes. Vehicles play a major role as war-hardened flying and driving machines transport combatants to the "front" and serve as mobile platforms to launch devastating attacks on the enemy.
- Assault Mode: In the completely redesigned Assault mode, gamers are challenged to complete a variety of mission objectives to attack or defend bases in a bigger and badder version of the Unreal Tournament classic; many Assault maps require the use of vehicles as a critical gameplay element.
- Vehicles: Unreal Tournament 2004 features a variety of land-, space- and air-based vehicles, including buggies, tanks, hovercraft, aircraft and more.
- Voice Technology: Integrated voice communications, including voice-over-IP technology to allow real-time chat with teammates and opponents during gameplay; voice recognition, allowing players to issue orders to computer controlled bots; and, text-to-voice conversion of typed chat. Voice chat includes 3D audio on supported sound cards, so players can sense where voices emanate from.
- New and Revised Weapons: The devastating arsenal of bone-crunching weaponry that Unreal has become famous for returns, with several enhancements, including model and texture updates as well as sound improvements. The game also includes all new weaponry for the massive Onslaught and Assault battles, including the armor-shredding AVRiL (Anti-Vehicle Rocket Launcher) to take down incoming vehicles, the Grenade Launcher, which discharges sticky explosives on enemy emplacements, vehicles and personnel, the Spider Mines, which are brutal arachnid bombs that scuttle the landscape searching for unsuspecting adversaries, and a completely redesigned and reintroduced Sniper Rifle, not seen since the original Unreal Tournament.
Characters: New and classic fan-favorite Unreal characters join The Tournament to challenge players, including the vicious Skaarj and the infamous Xan Kriegor.
- New Maps: More than 100 levels are included in the game for all new and existing gametypes, featuring tons of new textures, static meshes and music. In total, Unreal Tournament 2004 ships with more never-before-seen maps than the entire number of maps that shipped with Unreal Tournament 2003!
- UnrealTV: A match broadcast system that allows for hundreds of people to view an Unreal Tournament 2004 match with minimal performance impact on a game server, creating a television sports like viewing environment for fans to watch professional and other matches.
- Voting: Complete end-user voting system allows users to choose game type, maps, mutators, rules and settings and enables players to remove troublesome competitors from the game. Custom clan-match voting system allows clans to negotiate acceptable game settings prior to a competitive match.
- New User Interface: A completely redesigned user interface (UI) is easier to navigate and supports context-sensitive menus, an in-game login menu (to improve team balancing) and an improved server browser with enhanced server filtering options. The underlying user interface system has been reengineered to be easier for Mod authors to build menus and implement their own UI designs.
- Other Improvements: Tons of cool gameplay tweaks and refinements including unique crosshairs for each weapon, the ability to carry dual Assault Rifles, improved computer-controlled "Bot" team coordination and movement, network bandwidth usage optimizations and more!
- Unreal Editor: Unreal Tournament 2004 will ship with the most powerful game creation toolsets ever released to the public - the same software the developers used to make the game. Amateur level designers and mod makers can use the Unreal Editor, including the Unreal Editor's "Matinee" tool, to make their own maps, new game modes and animated movies using the Unreal Technology.
Unreal Tournament 2004 is available worldwide this week, in both a standard and a "Special Edition" format. Unreal Tournament 2004 DVD Special Edition is a double-DVD set - disk one includes all of the game content while disk two includes hours of Video Training Modules (VTMs) from 3D Buzz that teach fans and amateur mod makers how to use the Unreal Editor to create custom game content. Unreal Tournament 2004 DVD Special Edition comes in a limited edition metal box and contains a Logitech Internet Chat Headset for use with the game's exclusive voice-over-IP (voice chat) technology.
For more information on Unreal Tournament 2004 or to download the free demo, please visit the game's official Web site at www.unrealtournament.com.
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