Unreal Championship was right there alongside the original MechAssault when Xbox Live was launched. Now, a few years later, Unreal Championship 2 is here and has been given significant upgrades just like MechAssault 2 that turn a decent showcase title for Xbox Live into something really special. UC2 makes a few changes to the classic Unreal gameplay and the results are good enough that this game might actually dethrone Halo 2 as the Xbox multiplayer game of choice. Yeah, its that good.
What sets Unreal Championship 2 apart from other Xbox shooters is that it seamlessly combines first and third-person gameplay for the ultimate deathmatch experience. In first-person mode UC2 is a very solid first-person-shooter with tight controls and everything just feels right. When you want to use a melee weapon, the game switches to a third-person perspective that is behind and above your character. This gives you a great view of the action and allows you to keep track of your opponents easier. You can also lock onto your opponents which will always keep them on your screen. It is also possible to use the guns in the third-person view, and surprisingly enough, the shooting is just as smooth and fun this way. Switching weapons and camera angles and everything else is remarkably intuitive and youll be swapping back and forth with ease within minutes of picking up the controller.
UC2 is different from your standard shooter in a few other important ways. First of all, your character is much more mobile than your typical FPS space marine. You can flip and spin and do all sorts of nifty tricks as well as jump off of walls to reach high areas. Another big difference in UC2 is the use of adrenaline and special powers. You earn adrenaline by killing opponents or picking up power ups and it allows you to use one of six special powers. Characters have abilities that are exclusive to them such as a blinding flash bomb or ice attack, but you can also use heal or nimble to jump higher and float. Unreal Championship 2 tinkers with the shooter formula once again by only giving you a handful of weapons and you have to select them at the start of each game. Each character has a melee weapon and gun that are exclusive to them, but you also have to choose an explosive weapon and energy weapon to use. Only having four weapons available to you seems like a step back from other shooters, but the weapons are balanced in such a way that you are a formidable force no matter what weapon you choose.
A Different Experience Every Time
All of this translates into a game that is incredibly fast paced and fun to play but also provides a lot of variety. Character selection plays an important role because youll have different weapons and abilities to use and you also can choose from different weapon loadouts before each match. This means that every match you play is going to be different from the one before it which is always a good thing.
UC2 also uses the traditional Unreal mutators which changes the game up even more. You can disable adrenaline for a more normal match or you can double it to have even more special moves. You can also choose to play melee only or gun only if you want. The choice of how to play is always up to you and there are a ton of options that allow you to customize the experience any way you want.
UC2 ups the ante even more by giving you a full 50 maps to choose from. The game supports up to eight players (including bots) and there are a lot of maps that are perfectly sized for that many but there are also a number of maps that are more suited for one-on-one battles. All of the maps are well designed and fun to play in and there are a ton of them so youll always have something new to try out in UC2.
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