- Genre: First person shooter
- Format: CD
Epic Games and
- Mac Port:
- Minimum Requirements: 200MHz PowerPC 603,
120MB hard disk space, 64MB RAM, CD-ROM, MacOS 7.6
- Network Feature: You better believe it!
- 3Dfx Support: Rave and Glide
- Retail Price: $44.89
- Availability: Out Now
This is a challenge
to anyone who ever
took a man down in a 3D shooter
and liked it.
This is your last chance
to prove that you are the best of the best.
This is the gladitorial arena of the future.
This is a single player trial by fire.
A heavyweight deathmatch
championship of the universe.
For those willing to build a mountain of bodies
and climb to the top.
In an environment that stuns.
Against an A.I. that kills.
For those willing to stake their lives
in the pursuit of victory...
we salute you.
Yep, that pretty much sums me up. Well, except for maybe
that whole mountain of bodies thing.
Okay, including the mountain of bodies.
The above statement comes from the prize that so many of
us Mac gamers have been seeking for the past couple of
months, the Unreal Tournament trophy. It's actually quite a
coincidence, because the exact same statement is etched into
the Most Improved Student Life Editor plaque I won at the
Herff Jones Yearbook
Camp in Gettysburg,
Pennsylvania back in 1987. What confused me more than
the somewhat violent proclamation was the fact that I'd
never before been a student life editor. From what had I
But hey, that was a long time ago. It was so long ago
that all I can really remember from the trip was eating veal
for the first (and last) time and going to see
Babysitting. I certainly don't remember building a
mountain of dead bodies, but I don't doubt having done it.
I'd've done anything to win that coveted Most Improved
Student Life Editor plaque.
why I was looking forward to Macsoft's Unreal
Tournament. I could now build that mountain of bodies
without having to first sit through seminars about copy
editing and leading. Although, with the number of mods
already available for Unreal Tournament, I doubt
the Herff Jones Leading Seminar Mod is too far behind.
But I'm getting ahead of the industry a bit, thinking a
little too far outside the box. Right now I'll just focus on
the game. Unreal Tournament is a variation of the
ground breaking and immensely popular first person shooter,
also published by Macsoft. In Unreal, you were a
prisoner aboard the Vortex Rikers, a space ship that crash
landed on a distant planet. Alone, cold and scared (well,
maybe not cold...I'm not really sure what the temperature
was), you were forced to fight off the skaarj, slith, kraal,
and other nasty creatures as you battled your way off the
planet. Yet despite all these wonderfully hideous creations,
gamers passionately preferred to kill a more heinous and
violent enemy...their buddies.
As with most first-person shooters, the real competition
lay in the multiplayer action, where the enemies were
smarter (usually), faster (sometimes), and more fun to taunt
(always). Thus, Unreal Tournament was born. It was
born kicking, screaming, clawing, and blasting its way into
the computer gaming world with the force of a volcanic
eruption. Unreal Tournament is not for the casual
gamer who likes a little action and some pretty graphics.
It's not for the Mac user looking to waste some time before
beginning that freelance project. Unreal Tournament
is for...well...go back to the beginning of this review if
you don't know for whom this game was made.
Unreal Tournament is easily the most
intense computer game I've ever played. There are precious few
moments to rest once the action begins, and even those are
tainted by the screams of your teammates as they fall in
combat, wondering why you weren't there to help them. If
you're not in the middle of the battle, you're collecting
weapons or setting up an ambush. As the instructions more or
less point out, if you want to live, you'll have to keep
There are many types of multiplayer games from which to
choose, and I won't go into detail on them as they're pretty
much standard across all multiplayer shooters; deathmatch,
capture the flag, assault...you know the routine. In some
you work alone, in others you're part of a team. And
although teamwork games are more difficult, they're also the
most fun, I think. Granted, pausing from the action to shout
orders to your teammates (done by hitting the V key and then
using the mouse to navigate your options like menus in
Windows 98) is annoying, but ultimately essential to win the
battle. After all, you can't very well assault the enemy
base if no one knows who has point, right? What I would like
to see is the option to assign verbal commands to the
keyboard, and the ability to program your own phrases into
the list of taunts. I'm sure it's possible, if not
practical, and it would certainly make me happy if I could
shout "Ride my majestic frigate!" after scoring an ultra
Yeah, like I've ever scored an ultra kill.
Commanding your computer controlled teammates is
especially important in the single player version of
Unreal Tournament (yes, there is one) as they tend
to be pretty stupid. It seemed that every time I got killed
assaulting an enemy base, my teammates would run back to the
beginning to meet me. That's an awfully sweet gesture, I
guess, as it's always good to be missed, but I would've
greatly preferred if they'd stayed up at the enemy base and
tried to do some damage until I returned.
As with Unreal, there's no shortage of weapon
types available to meet your fragging needs. Each has its
own strengths and weaknesses, of course, and it shouldn't
take long to find your favorite. My problem was learning to
use the right weapon at the right time, as opposed to using
the pulse blaster for everything. There are also various
protective devices and health power-ups to keep you in
shape, but it's best to not depend on them as you can never
tell when they'll reappear after being used by someone else.
Instead, take charge, be an internal locust of control type
of person, and learn to fight.
In Unreal, despite what other gamers suggested,
I made my way through using only the keyboard for
control...oh, and an invincibility cheat code. But In
Unreal Tournament, I decided to adopt the
keyboard/mouse combination. People, it makes a world of
difference. Now that I'm used to the accuracy of aiming with
the mouse, I'll never go back. Unreal Tournament
affords you the option to learn this technique in the single
player version, where each game type is introduced with a
tutorial level. There, you can run around and shoot walls
and stuff until your heart's content...or until the
"instructor" unleashes an enemy or two for you to practice
on. These tutorials also provide a better opportunity to
check out the scenery.
graphics in Unreal Tournament are of "Hey,
Playstation geek, look at what my Mac can do" caliber. The
scenarios are lavishly designed and are much more colorful
than any other 3D accelerated game I've played. Unreal
Tournament looked good enough on my fiancee's iMac to
make her father lament his recent purchase of a PC with no
3D acceleration (as if he shouldn't have already been
lamenting the PC itself), but it's on my G4 with the ATI
Rage128 that the graphics became art. I could talk of
textures and transparencies all night, but you by now know
what the Unreal games look like with proper 3D
acceleration. You can bet that when I get my hands on one of
those Voodoo5 cards this year, Unreal Tournament
will be the first game I boot up.
Speaking of booting up, Unreal Tournament takes
over fifty seconds to start on my 450MHz G4. What's up with
Honestly, I didn't expect to enjoy Unreal
Tournament as much as I did. After all, the
similarities between this game its predecessor pretty much
stop with the engine. Also, I'm a story guy, and I usually
can't really get into a game without proper motivation.
Well, Unreal Tournament, with no cut scenes or back
story other than the throw-away premise of a tournament
started to stop space miners from getting too rambunctious,
has practically no motivation whatsoever...until you're in
the game. Then your motivation is to not become a body in
another player's mound, and that, my friends, is motivation
So salute me, fellow gamers. For my life is going to be
staked quite a bit in the pursuit of the victory. I'm sure
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