Video Game / Unreal II: The Awakening
"As earth expands in this sector of space, different corporations are establishing colonies on uninhabited planets. They do everything from creating vacation resorts, to mining exotic ores, to terraforming. We in the Terran Colonial Authority patrol between the planets to keep the peace. The corporations try to get away with a lot out here, and they hire mercenary forces to help them get their way. We often find ourselves fighting the mercs to defend civilians who work for their own corporation. If we run into something we can't take on alone, we call in the marines."
The first Unreal
was well received, but it was Unreal Tournament
the game which made the franchise famous all around the world. Epic Games
decided that the next step should be taken by another company, and thus, Legend Entertainment made the next game of the franchise.
This game was Unreal 2: The Awakening
, released for PC and Xbox in 2002.
In the game, the player takes the role of John Dalton, an ex-marine "space marshall" on a ship maintained by a small crew
: Aida, his stripperiffic
first officer; Isaak, his gruff weapons expert/engineer
; and Ne-Ban, his Alien pilot
. He's sent on a mission to find various ancient artifacts of extreme power
which are also being hunted by various other factions and races.
The game focused on more story-driven set-piece
laden linear levels and lots of character interaction, as well as pitting you against Humans for the majority of the game, with the only link to the original being a few cameos and battles against the Skaarj and armored versions of them, called Mecha-Skaarj. Its place in the Unreal timeline is set between the first Tournament game and Return To Na Pali
The game was not well received, due to these changes and being regarded as an average and somewhat derivative FPS
. Perhaps, in part, to this, the SP side of the Unreal world has not been explored since then, although Epic Games
have dropped some hints they may be willing to work on a sequel in the future.
Recurring tropes for the series include:
- Abnormal Ammo: Many of the game's weapons feature.
- Artificial Limbs: Isaak.
- Blatant Item Placement: The game mostly keeps stuff in their logical places such as armories, but some items are placed in unlikely places.
- Body Armor as Hit Points: Averted, unlike the previous games, there's no Shield Belt nor similar item here. The level of your shields affected their effectiveness. At full shields they'd absorb 100% of any damage you took, but below 90% or so you started taking partial damage to your health with the shields only absorbing a percentage of total damage, which got lower and lower as your shields dropped (i.e. at 50% shield strength your shields would absorb less than half of the damage of a hit). It's not uncommon to die with with your shields still at 33% or more.
- Continuity Nod: The assault rifle and rocket launcher are based off of the same weapons found in Return to Na Pali, though with radically different designs.
- Convection Schmonvection: Some levels feature lava, and it doesn't hurt you unless you fall in.
- Crapsack World: Many of the planets visited by Dalton are overrun by Skaarj or elite forces from any of the companies.
- Difficult, but Awesome: The Rocket Launcher after Isaak upgrades it. Hitting four enemies with it is hard.
- Emergency Weapon/Charged Attack: The Popgun energy pistol behaves more or less the same as it did in the first Unreal. You always have it as an emergency weapon, it recharges energy infinitely but has a lower-than-average rate of fire and relatively slow projectiles, and you can perform a charged shot with it (which, unfortunately, still isn't powerful enough to kill most enemies). The one key difference is that the Popgun doesn't have upgrades like the Dispersion Pistol, so it remains permanently in the Ranged Emergency Weapon function.
- Energy Ball: The Shock Lance's secondary fire, an EMP blast that travels forward in ball form.
- Hitscan: All kinetic weapons: the assault rifle, the "widowmaker" rifle and the magnum. The one exception is the cluster of bullets the assault rifle shoots on Secondary Fire.
- Mega Corp.: The main companies from the Tournament/Championship games (except Phayder) are involved in the game's conflict.
- Painfully Slow Projectile: The Shock Lance's secondary fire, to the point that it's extremely hard to hit it with the primary fire.
- Powered Armor: Mostly everyone has it, and it isn't exactly top-notch protection.
- Scenery Porn: In spite of its many engine problems, the game still features awesome landscapes, especially now that Dalton visits many planets.
- Secondary Fire: All weapons have it, like in the first Unreal.
Tropes exclusive to U2 include:
- Amazon Brigade: The Liandri Angels.
- Stripperiffic: Some of them appear to be completely naked under armor that includes a transparent bubble canopy.
- Arm Cannon: The singularity cannon was part of the arm of the Tosc, until you sever the first one and surprisingly be able to use it.
- A Space Marine Is You: The entire game, with the sole exception of the characterization of the main characters. It's somewhat of a running gag of Dalton complaning about how he should have been one.
Marine: Hell Dalton. You should have been a Marine.
Dalton: Don't get me started.
- Bee Bee Gun: The biomass ejaculator, a gun that shoots spiders. And yes, it's officially called an ejaculator tube.
- Big Dam Plot: The Severnaya-mission, with the twist that you are the one who has to destroy the dam, rather than prevent someone from destroying it.
- BFG: The Tosc Singularity Cannon. Anything in it's path is warped into the micro-black hole. In fact, if you use it while the console is up, it claims the target has been sent "to a dimension beyond".
- Blade on a Stick: The Izarians use a variation.
- Creator Cameo: Many of the non player characters names are references to Legend Entertainment's programmers and artists.
- Crosshair Aware: The Drakk robots will track the player with a laser, and then zap whatever is painted by it.
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004, although still Lighter and Softer than the first Unreal given you interact with various personalities throughout the game.
- Dialogue Tree: Whenever Dalton rans into someone who isn't about to die or trying to kill him.
- Dismantled MacGuffin: Dalton spend most of the game travelling from planet to planet picking up pieces of an ancient artifact. When the artifact is finally assembled and used, See Eldritch Abomination below.
- Downer Ending: The last we see is Dalton drifting into space in an escape pod, all alone, watching the final words of his late crew recorded in the burst transmission. It's also left unclear if all the Kais in the universe are turned into the Tosc, not just the one in the Dorian Gray spaceship that was just destroyed. However as the game somewhat still counts as canon, it seems like the Kais didn't appear anymore.
- Dummied Out: The presence of simple point based deathmatch during the tutorials and death messages on console indicate that this game should feature multiplayer. It didn't exist in the first release, but later added in as the XMP free expansion that was further enhanced by mods.
- Electric Boogaloo: Unreal II: The Awakening.
- Eldritch Abomination: The artifact you collected, after assembled, turns a silent, voiceless, servant race called Kai into a hulking four legged mass with arm that shoots black holes called the Tosc. After you managed to sever the arm of the first Tosc and eliminate the Tosc with the Singularity cannon, it turns out that all the Kais are turning into Tosc.
- Eleventh Hour Super Power: The Singularity Cannon dropped from the Tosc, (and capable of killing one instantly) although every Tosc has one too.
- Escort Mission: One guy forces you to do so since he's Genre Savvy and he won't give you the item until he's safe.
"Here you go. Just kidding. The second I give you it you're going to leave me here to die. So you get me safe and I'll give you it."
- Everything's Better with Spinning: The MechaSkaarj, who also have the ability to deflect bullets with their claws, reducing the vulnerability to rapid-fire weapons they displayed in the original Unreal.
- Evolving Weapon: Many weapons, after Isaak tweaks them.
- Faceless Goons: The UMS space marines and the Izanagi mercs.
- Genius Loci: One of the planets, Acheron, is practically a sentient entity.
- Giant Mook/Heavily Armored Mook: Heavy Soldiers. Used by all human factions as well as the Skaarj, they wear a 7-foot tall suit of Powered Armor, have strong shields and armor, and are armed with rocket launchers and flamethrowers. The Skaarj version also fires explosive, heat-seeking energy balls. The flip side is they're quite slow.
- Hive Queen: The Araknid Queen, and the Drakk Caretaker. (The last real boss you fight, although there are a couple levels after it)
- Kill 'em All: Only Dalton survived.
- MacGuffin Delivery Service: Aida lampshades that, if the Dismantled MacGuffin forms a dangerous galaxy-threatening superweapon, why the heck is he collecting all of it's pieces instead of just taking the 3 or 4 pieces he has already and dropping them down a black hole? Sadly, Dalton is a military man through and through, and replies that orders are orders.
- Make My Monster Grow: In Hell: Disclosure, when reaching the biological laboratory, you find out the large spiders you encountered so far used to be the smaller spiders, but some yellow energybeam allows them to grow supersized. Some other animals caged up in the lab will also walk through the beam and become gigantic if you set them free.
- Mecha-Mooks: The Drakk.
- Number of the Beast: The Black Hole Gun starts with 666 ammo.
- One-Winged Angel: See Eldritch Abomination above.
- People Jars: The Drakk's specialty, with a healthy side of Nausea Fuel due to bizarre, nonsensical experimentation.
- Plot Coupon: The pieces of the Artifact of Doom.
- See You in Hell: Literally. Ne'Ban, who doesn't speak English very well, tells you he is on a course for Hell, because your mission officer told him to go there. Then you go and talk to the mission officer, who casually tells you that your next mission is on a frozen moon called "Hell".
- Shoot the Medic First: The best tactic against the Drakk.
- Space Police: The Terran Colonial Authority.
- Standard FPS Guns: Defied, with many of the later guns are unorthodox (such as deployable force fields, Spider Gun that shoots colonies of spiders, and Drakk Takkra that can turn into insectoid drone or spherical attack drone) and even early guns have secondary function.
- Swiss Army Weapon: The Hydra Grenade Launcher, capable of launching six different types of grenades and capable of employing timed or impact fuses.
- What Does This Button Do?: Asked almost literally word for word by Ne-Ban when he tries to help fixing the Atlantis on Kalydon.
- Unorthodox Reload: The Drakk Laser.
- Unwanted Assistance: During the Kalydon mission, Ne-Ban keeps trying to help Isaak fix the Atlantis, but only ends up making things worse.