Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict is a first-person/third-person Hero Shooter, the seventh game in the Unreal seriesnote , and the second console-exclusive game of the Unreal series, also for Xbox, after the original Unreal Championship. Released in 2005, it was developed by Epic Games, and was also the first Unreal game published by Midway Games, otherwise known for the Mortal Kombat series.
The game is notorious in the series for its departure from the First-Person Shooter formula. Its combat system has a strong emphasis on melee combat and mobility, to the point of having a wider moveset and more adrenaline abilities than those of Unreal Tournament 2004, with the player being able to alternate first-person (non-melee mode) and third-person (melee mode) views. Each melee weapon has an alternate fire which can stun the opponent, a requirement to do the Coup De Grace. And, unlike other instances of the Unreal franchise, each character is radically different, with weight classes (light-medium-heavy), starting meleé and ranged weapons, different adrenaline abilities and a custom Coup De Grace.
Basically, Unreal Championship 2 can be described as cross between an FPS and a Fighting Game. In fact, the character roster includes a Guest Fighter in the form of Mortal Kombat's own Raiden, alongside Shao Kahn as an announcer.
The story focuses on the Nakhti empire, an Egyptian-based civilization whose Ascension Rites' Tournament decided who was the one who would rule the Empire. It has the player taking the role of Anubis, a member of the Imperial Legion, while he tries to stop Selket from becoming the Emperor. He's one of the first people to be aware that she's a puppet of the Liandri Corporation, who wants to control the Nakhti people. So, Anubis and his friend Sobek sign up for the Tournament in order to stop her.
Check the game's character sheet for character specific tropes.
Followed chronologically by Unreal Tournament III.
Playable character roster
- From Unreal Tournament: Malcolm, Brock, Lauren.
- From Unreal Tournament 2003: Arclite, Gorge, Sapphire, Jackhammer (DLC), Lilith (DLC), Syzygy (DLC), Corrosion (Bot), Hyena (Bot), Memphis (Bot), Nephthys (Bot).
- From Unreal Tournament 2004: Kraag (DLC).
- New to this game: Anubis, Selket, Sobek, Szalor, Torgr, Raptor, Devastation, Apophis (DLC), Calypso (DLC), Garek (DLC), Merc Anubis (DLC), Necris Selket (DLC), Darius (Bot), Mirage (Bot), Ra (Bot).
- Guest Fighter from Mortal Kombat: Raiden.
Gamemodes featured include
- Deathmatch and the team-based variant Team Deathmatch.
- Capture the Flag.
- Overdose, a mix of UT200X's Bombing Run and Mutant. It's a free-for-all match where all the players battle for the control of a ball, which gives its holder several Adrenaline abilities at the same time. The ballkeeper must carry the ball to the objective in order to score points while everyone else must prevent this.
- Nali Slaughter, the game's version of UT200X's "Invasion" gametype. The differences are that the game is free-for-all (meaning players can frag other players for points), melee-only and that instead of monsters players must destroy Nali.
- Survival is the same as in the first Championship: players battle in 1on1 matches in a "winner stays, loser goes spectator" fashion. Each match won scores a point to the winner, and the objective is to reach the point limit.
This game shows examples of:
- Action Girl: All of them.
- A Day in the Limelight: 14 of the characters have their own ladders. These expand their backstories, and the backstory of the series a bit, though they tend to contradict with each other every now and then.
- Announcer Chatter: Par for the course for the series. Even Shao Kahn joins as one.
- Another Side, Another Story: The game has the individual ladders, half of which are unlocked by beating either the game's main story mode (the Ascension Rites), the Challenges or other character's ladder, the only exception being Malcolmnote :
- Anubis: Beating the Ascension Rites. His ladder takes place after the Rites.
- Brock: Beating Lauren's ladder. His ladder takes place after the Rites.
- Devastation: Beating her in Ascension Rites rung 14. Her ladder takes place at the same time than the Rites.
- Gorge: Beating Malcolm's ladder. It's unknown at which part of the Rites his ladder takes place.
- Raiden: Beating the Challenges. Non-canon.
- Selket: Beating the Ascension Rites. Takes place at the same time than the Rites right to the final rung.
- Torgr: Beating Szalor's ladder. Takes place at the same time as both the Rites and Szalor's ladder; their final rung is even the same match.
- Applied Phlebotinum: The Necrification process, which uses Nanoblack as its technology.
- Ascended Extra: Due to the way the fighting system works, several characters from both Unreal Tournament and Unreal Tournament 2004 get the ascension to playable characters. Also, some of them have (although slight) relevance to the history of the game and/or the entire series.
- Malcolm's, Brock's and Lauren's case follows the evolution from simple selectable skins in UT to full-fledged characters in 2003/2004 to main story characters in UC2.
- Sapphire, Gorge and Arclite were just selectable skins with something of a backstory in 200X. In UC2, they're ascended to full-fledged characters, with their own ladders, and their significance to the story.
- Regarding DLC, there're also Kraagesh, Syzygy and Lilith, who were ascended from just selectable skins with a barebones backstory 2004 to full-fledged characters as DLC, with a short name change in Kraag's case, in UC2. Jackhammer's case goes even further than that, as he was just an AI bot, using Cannonball's bio and model.
- Ascended Fanfic: The Bio Rifle's new "sapient" bio blobs are the game's own take on the Proxies (Proximity Mines) from the "Chaos: UT" mods for Unreal Tournament and Unreal Tournament 2004.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: The Nahkti ascension rites, where the winner is crowned emperor.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Anubis in his ladder proceeds to dish out enormous damage to enemies and rival teams. There's a reason, after all of why he was offered a spot in Thunder Crash by way of Malcolm himself.
- Badass Family: Judging by Malcolm's words, Anubis's family has a history with the Rites. This is true as well for any family in the Nakhti Empire, which may be the reason why Liandri is sponsoring the Rites.Malcolm: This competition may be small, but it won't leave you disappointed. Ancient traditions, a final match to the death, and all the carnage you expect from a sanctioned Liandri tournament. Heh... I can't wait.
Robot commentator: Malcolm, are you surprised to see Anubis in the semi-finals?
Malcolm: Nah! He has fighting in his blood - from his grandmother, the late Empress Seshafi.
- Bittersweet Ending: In the aftermath of the Rites' finals, Anubis is in mourning after killing Selket. Then, a Liandri Officer approaches, and gives him the choice of bringing her back to life as a Necris, betraying everything he held dear, or leave her dead. Needless to say, he chooses the first option.
- Blatant Item Placement: Not so much this time, as the players get to choose their arsenal before the game begins. The ammo packs, health items and powerups are still there, though.
- Blood Sport: And in ancient rite form, no less.
- Bond One-Liner: The victory taunts.
- The Cameo:
- Shao Kahn as an announcer.
- Malcolm has no playable appearances in the Ascension Rites while almost every other character (sans Gorge, Brock and Raiden) does.
- Boss Tease: The game has Apophis and Selket appearing throughout the entirety of the Ascension Rites (though only in cutscenes), only to be fought at the semifinals and finals respectively.
- Captain Obvious: While some of the individual ladder challenges have creative names, others are limited to "<gametype> In <map name>", for example "Deathmatch In AcidRain". The most unfortunate case is "Overdose In Cancer" for every Overdose match played in the map OD-Cancer. Another example is "Vampiric Overdose" (an Overdose match played with the Vampire mutator) in Raiden's ladder.
- Composite Character:
- Necris Selket's moveset is a mix of her Nakhti self (a light character which uses Flash) with Necris movements (her race-specific abilities).
- Raiden brings his own moves (Stun Trap and Teleport) to the Nakhti moveset (Heal and Warrior Spirit).
- Continuity Nod:
- Gorge was the winner of the 2302 tournament (UT2003).
- Lilith's biography is the same, but with a tiny change, than the one of her namesake from 200X. The differences are that 2004!Lilith is a "Nightmare" character and had her memory deleted by the Purgatory, while UC2!Lilith is a Necris character and had her memory deleted by the Phayder corporation, the one which created the Necris.
- After a brief absence, the Phayder corporation is back and revived many of the dead warriors, including Brock, Lauren, Calypso, Lilith and Selket.
- CTF-Emperor wasn't the only sacred building taken by the Liandri. There was also DM-Peak.
- Szalor's ladder has a match referencing the Skaarj Queen.
- Brock's new, full-Necris team, is called The Black Legion, and it's also backed by the Phayder Corporation.
- Korig and Kraag are mentioned as part of the Iron Skull team.
- Devastation's ladder mentions that she's the first Liandri-built competitor since Xan Kriegor. Furthermore, the Liandri robots borrow Xan Kriegor's "Witness my perfection" and "I am the alpha and omega" taunts.
- Once again, Thunder Crash is a team composed of the best warriors of the Tournament.
- Continuity Snarl: The game is unclear about which events take place in 2304 (after the events of 2004 and/or the then-to-be-developed III) and which of them take place in 2315 (the Ascension Rites).
- Cursed with Awesome: Holding the ball in Overdose makes you glow brightly, making you an obvious target. Survive with it long enough, however, and upon delivering it to the enemy base you will sufficiently rewarded.
- Death Is Not Permanent: The Respawner technology, mentioned in the final match, where it's deactivated.
- Defeat Means Playable: Several playable and AI characters, unlocked in each of the three Single-Player modes.
- Demoted to Extra: Corrosion, Hyena, and Memphis went from selectable characters in 2004 to AI bots in this game.
- Double Jump
- Downloadable Content: The game had a Bonus Pack in the form of 4 maps, 13 new playable characters, and the ability to play Overdose in Deathmatch maps.
- Electric Boogaloo: The Liandri Conflict.
- Elite Mooks: The level "A Moment's Reprieve" features Liandri V2 Robots. Not only are they stronger and faster than the V1 models, but they have the exact same appearance and weapons as the character Raptor.
- The Empire: The Nakhti.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Nakhti towards the Egyptians.
- Finishing Move: The "Coup De Grace" moves.
- Anubis's second match in the Tournament is against Sapphire and Hyena. Before the match, Sapphire tells Hyena that "[Liandri doesn't accept cheating] unless it's their idea." Later in the game, Liandri fixes the semifinals match so Anubis is paired with Apophis, Selket's boyfriend.
- Malcolm mentions before the Overdose match that the Liandri corporation paid "a king's ransom" to the Phayder Corporation in order to bring Lauren Back from the Dead. A Liandri officer ends up offering Anubis the chance to restore Selket if he surrenders everything he held dear to Liandri.
- After the three-rounded match against a Skaarj, Anubis meets Malcolm in the Imperial Halls, where he's offered the chance to be part of Thunder Crash. Anubis rejects the offer, claiming that, once the Rites end, every one of his ties to the Tournament will be finished as well. If his Ladder (which takes place after the Ascension Rites' events) is anything to go by, he ends up accepting the offer.
- After the quarterfinals.Robot commentator: What an incredible match. Fine performances by all, but three competitors will go back home empty-handed. Malcolm, are you surprised to see Anubis in the semi-finals?
Malcolm: Nah. He has fighting in his blood, from his grandmother, the late Empress Seshati.
Robot commentator: But he turned his back on his family's fighting tradition, not to mention his arranged marriage with Selket, eight years ago.
Malcolm: Skipping the tourney was one thing, but passing off a chick like Selket was suicidal. I bet she's dying to meet him on the Arena.
- Green Rocks: Tarydium is used for all the energy weapons.
- Grimy Water: Some stages have pools with different water colors.
- Have a Nice Death: Par for the course for Unreal games, the death messages are pretty... creative, to say the least.
- Hero Shooter: The game is an early example which features both Deathmatch and Team-based gametypes. Each character has an unique melee weapon and a weak ranged weapon, plus two unique Adrenaline abilities. Characters are also divided by race (Humans-Necris-Robots-Nakhti-"Special") and weight (Light-Medium-Heavy), with each of these divisions also granting different Adrenaline abilities to the characters. Finally, characters can choose an energy weapon and a projectile weapon, as weaponry has no spawn points in the game.
- Idiosyncratic Combo Levels:"Double kill!"
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Every character can deflect bullets with their melee weapon. Killing a character with a bounced shot even grants an award.
- Interface Spoiler: One of the DLC characters is Necris Selket, which is a huge spoiler for those who haven't finished the Ascension Rites before even heading to the DLC section.
- Kick the Dog: The Nali Slaughter gametype. Brought by the Skaarj, this melee gametype consists of killing poor Nali (and, of course, your rivals) with your own hands. In the story mode, you have to fight in this stage against a Skaarj.Malcolm: Some would say it's unwise to meet a Skaarj warrior in a game they invented.
Szalor: It is always unwise to fight a Skaarj warrior.
- Like Cannot Cut Like:
- Mega-Corp: Liandri. Axon and Izanagi are also mentioned in several map descriptions.
- Moveset Clone: Each of the playable and unplayable characters have a set of six abilities: Nimble, Speed, three race-specific abilities, and one personal ability. Some characters, however, have shared personal abilities:
- Anubis (both forms) and Mirage share Energy Burst.
- Sobek and Apophis share EMP.
- Hyena and Memphis share Discharge.
- Darius and Nepthys share Energy Shield.
- Selket and Ra share Flash.
- Brock and Calypso share Fear.
- Lauren and Lilith share Siphon. This is lampshaded in one of Lauren's individual ladder rungs.
- Raptor and Syzygy share Self-Destruct.
- Garek and Korig share Poison Cloud.
- Szalor and Kraag share Blade Burst.
- Nano Machines: The nanoblack used to create Necris.
- Nostalgia Level: The Gauntlet, Morbias and Tempest, from the original Tournament. Also, DM-Apex, DM-Fury and DM-Legacy, which are also present in the Classic maplist, are remakes of console-exclusive UT arenas DM-BlockParty, DM-Sector9, and DM-Pyramid.
- One-Hit Kill: The Instagib Rifle, as usual, deals an instant frag upon activation. Some abilities, such as the Juggernauts' "Unstoppable", counter it, though.
- Parrying Bullets: You can deflect and even reflect projectiles with melee weapons. However, it's based on player input, not automatic—among other things, this makes it ineffective against high-rate-of-fire weapons.
- Playable Epilogue: Once the Ascension Rites, the main story mode, is completed, the player unlocks Anubis as a playable character, and his own ladder. The ladder is set after the Rites themselves and includes Anubis joining Thunder Crash, which he rejected during the Ascension Rites themselves. The ladder concludes with that year's Tournament finals, a three-way between him and previous champions Gorge and Brock.
- Quad Damage: The UDamage, as usual, increases the damage of the weapons.
- Ragdoll Physics: Courtesy of the Unreal Engine 2X.
- Revive Kills Zombie: Inverted with the Necris abilities Siphon and Vampire Cloud, which drain the life of any character who isn't from the Necris race. But with the Necris race itself? It heals them, regardless if they're teammates or enemies.
- The Runner-Up Takes It All: In the quarterfinals match you're required to end in the top-3 in order to advance to the finals. Depending on your luck, Apophis is one of the bots that will take one of the top-3, if not end at 1st. place. Then you fight against him in the semifinals.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: The Liandri can intentionally overlook the progress of a fight if it's part of a plan of theirs, as explained by Sapphire in the Ascension Rites.
- Slashed Throat: The Ripjack works best when the sawblades hit the target's neck.
- Standard FPS Guns: As an Unreal game, every weapon has it's secondary mode fire, so, many weapons will usually fit two of these classes. That said:
- Knives: Anubis's Nakhti Staff, Sobek's Legion Sword, Selket's Dual Nakhti Swords, Apophis's Nakhti Axe, Calypso, Lauren and Lilith's Necris Swords, Devastation's Molten Kama, Sapphire's Cryo Swords, and the Skaarj Blades.
- Pistols: Nakhti Scorpions, and the Enforcers.
- Shotgun: Flak Cannon's primary mode.
- Auto-weapons: Liandri Rivet Guns and the Stinger.
- Explosive: The Grenade Launcher's alternative fire. (Mines)
- Marksman Gun: The Shock Rifle.
- Sniper Rifle
- Rocket Launcher
- Grenade Launchers: The Grenade Launcher and Flak Cannon's and Rocket Launcher's alternate fire mode.
- Energy Guns: Several, including Skaarj Bolts and Raiden's Lightning Bolt.
- Gimmicky Weapon: The Bio Rifle and Ripjack.
- Super Mode: Some of the Adrenaline combos.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
- The "Skaarj vs. Nakhti" challenge has a double case with Anubis and Sobek siding with Selket, against the Skaarj Szalor and Torgr.
- Szalor's and Torgr's ladders has them collaborating with other "inferior races" such as humans and Necris in order to get better at team games, supposedly the main reason why no Skaarj was champion of the Liandri Grand Tournament.
- The Ascension Rites has both Anubis and Sobek being in a team with a Liandri robot.
- Tennis Boss: You can reflect any weapons fire with your melee weapon, assuming you get the timing right. Rockets are fairly easy, unless you're too close, but sniper rounds are...difficult. If you get a kill by reflected shot, the announcer will say "Rejected", to make sure you know how badass you are.
- Tournament Arc: The Ascension Rites, an ages-old deathmatch tournament, are now treated as a qualifier to the main Unreal Tournament.
- Unlockable Content: Plenty of characters, mutators, bots, wait to be unlocked by playing each single-player mode, be it the Ascension Rites, the Individual Ladders or the Challenges.
- Unlockable characters: Brock, Devastation, Gorge, Raiden, Torgr.
- Unlockable bots: Calypso, Corrosion, Darrius, Hyena, Jackhammer, Judas, Korig, Kraag, Memphis, Mirage, Nepthys, Syzygy.
- Wall Jump: Continuing the trend from Unreal Tournament 2004.