Unreal II
The Awakening

Format: Xbox

3 546430 108048
Age Restrictions: 16+
23 April 2004

Eight years after the Strider Wars ended, Earth resumed its expansion into space. The central government grew weak, and power passed to the major corporations funding the exploration and exploitation of new planets. Each of these corporations maintained a private force of mercenary soldiers to enforce its will...

In Unreal II: The Awakening you play the part of John Dalton, a Marshal in the Terran Colonial Authority (TCA). The TCA is an undermanned police force that patrols the outer reaches of space. Your job is similar to that of a Marshal in the Old West - you are the lone representative of governmental law and order, charged with keeping the peace in a vast and unruly territory.

Fans of the Unreal series on PC will be a little disappointed that this hasn't faired as well on its translation to the Xbox. That's not to say that this doesn't look impressive - it does. It's just that there are a few too many bugs that should have been ironed out.

Firstly, I'd love to know what the testers, whose job it is to play the game and report any faults back to the developers, where doing - obviously not their job. There are quite a lot of basic bugs in here, ones that should have been ironed out before launching the game on an unsuspecting public.

During the game I noticed that several times people answered questions that I was in the middle of asking. And in one instance, when I rescued a guy in the infirmary, his and my dialogue seriously overlapped making for a very jumbled conversation.

Also the weapons system is a little too clumsy. In the middle of a battle you are not going to find it easy changing to the firearm that is suitable for the job. Not only that, but you can't shoot your own men and when you attempt to they act like you haven't - no friendly fire issues in this game.

The storyline is fun, for the most part (if you skip the long, dull and going-nowhere cut sequences) and the developers have really managed to pack in a lot of suspense. Every time you wander into a deserted corridor, and a door shuts behind you, you will nervously progress until the inevitable barrage of aliens attack. Setting the game on numerous worlds also means you won't get bored of the same old nasties attempting to kill you.

But it is the 2-player game where the Xbox game comes into its own (this is a feature not available on the PC game) Or better still, the online version of the game where you can pit your wits against other players.

What could have been one hell of monster of a game sadly just ends up being very good. A little more thought, and this game could have been a must own.

Pete Boomer

Buy this item online
We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal!
Click on the logo of the desired store below.


£29.99 (

£37.99 (

£37.99 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.