I have been trying to play more older games. Some that I have beaten in the past , but mostly ones that I have had for years and never completed. The latest was Unreal 2: Awakening. I have had this game nearly since the day it came out, but for some reason I have only ever finished 2 or 3 missions and not continuing.
I'm not sure what the reasoning would be, maybe I found it boring, maybe too hard, or like some games that I gave up on, having to keep restarting because of losing save files.
Either way, I grabbed this game from my moms house to bring to my place and finally play through it. I beat the game last night. Luckily this game installed and ran on Windows 10 with no issue. The game did crash to the desktop a handful off times, but otherwise it ran perfectly fine.
When I first started the game, I was impressed by the visuals. It looked good for a game of its age, but if I was playing it back when it came out I would definitely have been impressed with the graphics.
I remembered the intro and the first section of the game from when you get your orders, to when you first see your ship and crew members. Aida being the most memorable, mainly for how she looked. Ill post a screen shot below to see for yourself.
There are two other crew members. One is a pilot who is a slow speaking, blob in a mechanical body which reminds me of a mix of two aliens from Mass Effect, A volus and some other big alien that speaks similarly to the pilot. Also there is the mechanic who also gets you new weapons and tells you how to use them between missions.
During the first actual mission something felt off. The game felt slow. Holding the shift key made me walk even slower. I had hoped it would make me speed up. I checked the control options a few times for a run button, but nope, this is as fast as it goes. Which felt like walking compared to most games.
After getting used to the slower pace, the missions were ok. The enemies were bullet sponges who could do lots of damage to you with just a few good shots. The Skaarj enemies were push overs, but the human enemies with weapons and some enemies later in the game were dangerous to deal with.
The levels weren't very big or very interesting. I found early on that you have to save often, first because you could get hit with a lucky shot and die and have a lot of ground to cover again, and secondly because you can randomly fall through the map at any moment. This happened at least 2 or 3 times to me.
This game, the levels, the enemies, the graphics, did not give me the same feeling of awe and wonder and immersion that the first Unreal gave me right from the start. I remember you were a prisoner on a prison ship that crashed on a planet and you escape the ship and are on your own to try to survive. That alone made you want to explore and learn about whats going on.
In Unreal 2, the story is about finding some artifacts (seven of them) that when combined can create a powerful weapon. There is some obvious double cross element that your crew tries to warn you about but you dont listen, eventually that ignorant mentality gets your whole crew killed, and leaves you the lone survivor listening to a recording they made for you before they died.... It was a push to make the story emotional , but it fell flat as you the player would not have been so blind as the character you play. Probably anyway.
Some of the levels were interesting in how you progressed. The later levels against some mechanical enemies has you knock down a bigger enemy and then you have to kill the smaller repair bots before they repair the enemy or youd have to fight it again. Killing it for good opens up the doors it was protecting.
There is also a neat boss fight at the end of this stage. The game has a few boss fights. None are very hard, but most are pretty fun.
Some stages had sections where you have to set up some barriers and turrets and protect an area while someone else gets data from a control panel …. I didnt care for these sections, they felt like filler. I think there were 3 of them in the game, maybe 4.
The weapon selection was pretty good. There is a good amount and you get more as you play through the game. Some I didnt find useful and never used, like the starting pistol, the gun that shoots spiders and the magnum. The most used were the flamethrower, which I think is the most effective and fun to use flamethrower in any game ive played, the shotgun, the assault rifle, the sniper rifle, the rocket launcher and the grenade launcher.
Overall, the game was just OK. Im glad I finally finished it , but its not a memorable game or one id want to revisit at any point. Id only recommend the game to anyone who loves older games and likes Unreal and wants to see what the sequel was about. I think there is good reason I never got far in this game when it was new. It doesnt have the appeal that the original game had.