Love it, hate it, or fear it, you can’t avoid it. The Playstation 2 has finally
spilled onto American shores today and contaminated them with wonderful, precious
gaming filth. While our social ecosystem will certainly be devastated, most
gamers consider this to be an easy trade. And here you are, eager gamers, to
witness my first, genu-ine, boni-fide, full American Playstation 2 game review.
course, the first thing that occurred to me upon grabbing the game was, “Why
Unreal Tournament?” For those console gamers who have not dabbled
with the PC addiction, Unreal
Tournament is one of those games most despised by mothers and seemingly
earnest politicians: the violent first-person shooter.
The odd thing is that Unreal is the
single player version of the game, and Unreal Tournament is the online
multiplayer variant. However, since the PS2 has no modem, I cannot figure out
why they chose to convert the mostly online-multiplayer game and left out the
single player one. Even so…
In a dark future left mostly undescribed by this plot-less game, you must compete
in the Unreal Tournament. This basically involves using massive weapons
of destruction to blow the crap out of your opponents. Sometimes you even have
Like the PC version, single player modes are mostly training for multiplayer.
With no explanation, you are thrown into a series of large arenas with ‘bots’
(computer controlled opponents) where you must compete in various games. Deathmatch
is the simplest, just rack up the most kills to win. Conquest forces
you to control a series of checkpoints with your team. Capture the Flag
(CTF) is like a bloody, violent version of the kid’s game. And Assault
assigns your team a series of objectives, while the opposing team will try to
The biggest difference between the PS2 version and the PC version (other than
the multiplayer) is in the character selection. While the PC offers you a simple
series of ‘skins’ from which to choose your character’s appearance, the PS2
gives you a wider and more varied range. It works exactly like choosing characters
in a fighting game such as Tekken. As
you progress, you can open up new challenges and characters, also just like
than that, the single player experience is pretty much identical to the PC.
Same maps, same challenges, same music, same everything. Even the graphics are
pretty much the same, looking exactly like Unreal Tournament running
on an average PC gaming rig with an average 3D card, playing on a large but
fuzzy monitor (your TV). Solid, but not cutting edge. While I’m certainly not
complaining about the nice graphics, I kept getting the impression that the
PS2 is capable of more. I think the future is rosy.
The control initially seems different…and difficult. But you’ll rapidly
get used to moving around with the PS2 controller. Plus, the auto-aiming assistance
(not available for the PC) makes the game almost too easy. Switching over to
a keyboard and mouse is a snap, as any USB mouse and keyboard will work perfectly
just by plugging them in. The auto aiming will disappear, and then the game
really feels exactly like the PC.
However, the single player game is still just a series of training matches
for multiplayer, and this is where the PS2 version suffers. Sure, you can do
2 and 4 person multiplayer (you need the multi-tap for 4 players) with a split-screen,
but the sad truth is that split-screen competition is just never as good as
Theoretically, you can play true multiplayer using the ‘link cable.’ But let’s
be honest – if you have two Playstation 2s, two televisions, two copies of Unreal
Tournament, and the mysterious link cable, you are obviously one
of the developers of the game and you should just skip to the bottom of the
review and see what grade you got.
Think of Unreal Tournament as the multiplayer part of Goldeneye
or Turok, but without the rest of the game.
It’s a good game and a good PC conversion, but without true multiplayer and
no real one-player quest, it’s an appetizer and not quite a meal. For dessert,
I think I’ll try Tekken Tag Tournament.