Unreal Tournament 2004 is a multiplayer-based First-Person Shooter videogame co-developed by Epic Games, Digital Extremes, Streamline Studios and Psyonix and released in 2004 for the PC. It's the sixth entry in the Unreal series, succeeding Unreal Tournament 2003.
Like in the prior game, you must build a team and destroy all opposing teams in order to beat the Final Boss and their team at the end of the Tournament in order to crown yourself champion. However, there were many changes introduced: for starters, Gorge (one of the many player characters of 2003), leading his team Juggernauts, dethroned previous champion Malcolm in the past Tournament by beating him in the finals. This led to a public confrontation between Malcolm and his teammates, Brock and Lauren, who split up and reformed their previous team, Iron Guard. Malcolm, on the other hand, reformed Thunder Crash with most of the original lineup plus some new faces. The Skaarj, this time full-blooded ones, are also participating with an own team in the Tournament, led by the ClanLord. And last, but definitely not least, Xan Kriegor, the former reigning champion and Final Boss of Unreal Tournament, is back, and has reformed his team, The Corrupt, in order to take the championship back.
The game is considered by the development team as the "full" version of 2003, containing all the content of Unreal Tournament 2003 and its two Bonus Packs, plus five new weapons (the Mine Layer, the Grenade Launcher, the Anti-Vehicle Rocket Launcher or AVRiL, a new version of the Sniper Rifle and the Target Painter) for an impressive 17-weapon count, four new gamemodes, 35 new characters (with six more added by way of the ECE Bonus Pack) and four new teams, and at least 54 new maps, with 15 more maps being added via Bonus Packs. The campaign also saw quite the refit, with money being added to it allowing you to change the next combat arena as well as betting on one-on-one matches and hiring newer and better teammates.
The game has the same gametype lineup as 2003 plus four new modes, marked with (*):
- Deathmatch pits a bunch of players against each other until there's one winner: the player with the highest amount of frags.
- Team Deathmatch is the team-based version of Deathmatch. Unlike the original UT, at maximum only two teams are competing.
- Capture the Flag pits two teams, each with their own base and flag, and the objective is to capture the enemy flag while preventing your team's from being captured.
- Bombing Run is the game's version of Association Football: two teams, each with a base and a goal on it. There's also a ball which the teams must bring to the enemy base, scoring points for shooting the ball through the goal or jumping through it themselves.
- Double Domination is a limited version of UT's Domination. It has two teams competing for the control of two areas of the map, a team scoring a point if they manage to hold onto both points at the same time for ten seconds.
- Invasion has all players forming a single team and resisting wave after wave of classic Unreal monsters until one of the factions (either the players or the monsters) is eradicated.
- Mutant is a free-for-all mode where the first to frag becomes a mutant, gaining all of the Adrenaline abilities (sans Regeneration/Booster) and the fully loaded set of default weapons (sans the superweapons), plus gains extra points for frags. The other players must frag this mutant, the one who does this becomes the next mutant and so on.
- Last Man Standing is brought back from Unreal Tournament. It's a free-for-all game where each player has a set of lives and must deplete the other players' lives in order to win.
- Assault(*) is brought back from Unreal Tournament, after its unfortunate removal from 2003. It pits two teams in a two-round match. For the first round, the Red team attacks and must complete the objectives within a set time limit, while the Blue team must defend the objectives. After the first round ends, the teams are switched, Blue attacking and Red defending; Blue's goal in this round is to either complete the objectives faster than Red did, or to simply complete more than Red managed.
- Onslaught(*) pits two teams in massive battlefields with vehicles. Each team has a base, and within the base there is a Power Core. The Power Cores are connected to each other by way of a network of Power Nodes, which can be built (and destroyed) only when linked to the friendly Core, either directly or through other Nodes earlier in the link. The objective of the game, thus, is to connect their Power Core to the enemy one by taking control of these nodes, and destroying it. Power Cores can only be damaged and not repaired, but Power Nodes can be built, destroyed and repaired.
- Vehicle CTF(*) is a semi-hidden game mode: it's available in the game from the beginning, but it has no official maps released, thus is not played in the singleplayer Tournament and can only be played in instant action or multiplayer if you have custom maps for it. It plays identically to regular Capture the Flag with one exception: vehicles. Only ground-based vehicles can carry the flag.
- Instagib CTF(*) was released with later patches and it's basically Capture the Flag with no weapons or items save for Instagib rifles.
The game saw far greater acceptance than UT2003 and is mostly thought of as a very worthy successor to the original UT.
Notable UT2004 mods with their own page are:
The match is about to begin... 3... 2... 1... Play!note
- Abandoned Area: Plenty of them; some examples include:
- DM-Corrugation takes place in a burned facility of sorts.
- ONS-Urban takes place in a devastated city.
- A.I. Breaker: Many maps have one or two tricks which can do the trick against the bots in Single Player or Instant Action matches:
- AS-Junkyard features two routes: the normal one and a shortcut. Both routes start with the attacking team retrieving the engine for the vehicle and passing the bridge. But from this point onwards, the team may choose to go through the marked route, open the gates to escape from the Junkyard, and go with the vehicle through these gates... or to take a shortcut which involves a giant magnet conducting your vehicle in a more exposed route, but with the HUGE advantage of having three accomplished objectives at once, thus gaining a big amount of time. The AI will NEVER use the magnet.
- Ancient Egypt: The Anubans (team Sun Blade) are styled after the popular depiction of the egyptians. The arenas BR-Anubis, BR/CTF-Twin Tombs, CTF-1on1-Joust, CTF-Avaris, CTF-Face3, DM-1on1-Serpentine, DM-DE-Osiris2, DOM-Aswan and DOM-SunTemple take place in the Anubis Moon, their home place.
- Announcer Chatter: The game includes all four announcers from UT2003 - its default hamtastic sports commentator, the more subdued male voice, the similarly-subdued female voice who's the new default, and the "sexy" female voice - while also adding a fifth option in the original UT99 announcer with appropriate updates.
- Armor Points: Armor in the game is displayed as an icon-number combination on the HUD, above the health, at the bottom-left corner, whenever the player has any armor. If the player doesn't have armor, it's not displayed.
- Arrow Cam:
- The Redeemer's secondary fire allows you to take control of the missile, and guide it around until it explodes. You are left vulnerable, since you can't see what's happening around you in this mode, though.
- There's also the SPMA vehicle, short for Self Propelled Mobile Artillery, only available in the ECE Edition and through the Bonus Pack 2. The secondary fire of the main seat lets you take control of a small missile which acts as both a satellite-like cam (where you choose where to shoot your next swarm of missiles) and a projectile. While it's shooting, you can follow said projectile's trajectory. It has the same drawback as the Redeemer, though.
- Ascended Fanfic: Many official mutators and some gametypes are inspired from several user-made content, thanks to the ease of modding Unreal Tournament. For example:
- Six out of nine maps from the Bonus Pack 2 are third-party maps. Four of the five new Assault maps were winners or runner-ups of the Phase IV Best Assault Map of the "Make Something Unreal" Contest.
- In addition, a few total conversion mods have become full titles of their own, such as Air Buccaneers, Red Orchestra and Killing Floor. Alien Swarm was also made into a freeware, standalone game, albeit converted to Half-Life 2's Source engine rather than staying with Unreal.
- Ascended Glitch:
- The Lift Jump. After the first Tournament game, many maps feature areas with movable platforms where you're required to do this in order to gain an advantage, such as a shortcut to another area or an entrance to a secret area with an otherwise unobtainable item. It's still used in later installments.
- Team boosting, also from the first UT, was made into an option for Instagib matches.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: After you draft a team before exiting the preliminaries, the final qualifying match before the Team Qualification round is a massive free-for-all against your new teammates, for you to prove yourself worthy to lead them.
- A-Team Firing: Low-level bots behave like this. Don't try it, or you'll get murdered.
- Atomic F-Bomb: If any player gets an eight-kill streak, the Large-Ham Announcer will cut loose with a very loud "Holy shit!"
- Awesome, but Impractical:
- The AVRiL Launcher. Its purpose is to destroy vehicles and turrets, and it does an excellent job at it (a single shot is normally enough to take down a Manta or Raptor). The downside is that it's only effective against vehicles, and it has a long reload time.
- The Redeemer IS an extremely damaging weapon, but you should be careful while firing it or you might end up killed as well.
- The Ion Painter calls a Kill Sat, and said Sat is an awesome way to take down a power core or power node in Onslaught or destroy objectives in Assault with the lack of a Redeemer. The downside is that, despite the chance of high damage, it's very difficult to score. And if that wasn't enough, you can only use them on open maps.
- The Target Painter also has the same drawbacks as the Ion Painter, with the added drawback that the Phoenix can be shot down before delivering its payload, and that the bombs can be dodged or shot down unlike the Ion Painter.
- Battleship Raid: AS-Mothership involves an invasion to the eponymous Skaarj Mothership and blow a pair of controls in its core to make it implode.
- Beam Spam: The Shock Rifle, either the normal or Instagib version.
- Bee-Bee Gun: The Mine Layer launches tiny, robotic, explosive spiders.
- The Redeemer launches a huge missile which causes a huge explosion.
- The Ion and Target Painters are double subversions: the weapons per se don't inflict damage, but they call either a satellite strike or a bomber to do the powerful damage.
- AS-RobotFactory has a variation, the Ion Cannon, a stationary BFG turret.
- Blatant Item Placement: As expected for an arena shooter: piles of ammo near their associated weapons, weapons themselves in unlikely places, including more powerful ones (typically rocket launchers) in zones with some risk involved in grabbing them.
- Blood Sport: Continuing the basic premise of Unreal Tournament, the eponymous Liandri Grand Tournament has warriors from all kinds of factions and walks of life fighting for their lives either on their own or as a team.
- Body Armor as Hit Points: The game has a weird zig-zagging instance. Regular shields provide 50 points of 50% protection, while a super shield provides 100 points (up to 150) of 75% protection. Despite looking similar and being abstracted together as one counter on the HUD, they stack separately, with the super shield protecting you first and the regular shield kicking in later, blocking off or even overwriting the last 50 points of the super shield's stack. The upshot is if you have one of both, you get a full 100% damage protection befitting this trope so long as your armor points are above 100.
- Bond One-Liner: Taunts in general, as the Quotes page shows.
- Border Patrol:
- Anyone who gets far from the islands in ONS-IslandHop is roasted by Ion Cannons after a countdown.
- Trying to escape from the exit in the center of CTF-GrassyKnoll makes mines go BOOM!
- Bragging Rights Reward:
- Capture the Flag: Now in two flavors, the classic on-foot variation and one with vehicles! Unfortunately, the latter's mechanics were finished, but never had any official maps, so it requires third-party maps and can't be played in the singleplayer Tournament.
- Car Fu: In the Onslaught, Assault, and VCTF gamemodes, vehicles kill dismounted enemies, regardless of how much health they have. And you have nine (twelve with the ECE or Mega Pack) of them to control. The Scorpion embraces this with its secondary weapon, a pair of large shears that fold out to the sides to slice up any dismounted enemies in your path (though they can be broken off if you hit anything else with them).
- Charged Attack: All of them of the Hold variety:
- Among the weapons, the Shield Gun's primary fire (extra damage and push), the Assault Rifle's grenades (can be thrown further), the BioRifle's secondary fire (bigger glob), the Grenade Launcher (can be further thrown), the Rocket Launcher's multirockets (up to 3 in either a horizontal line or as a spiral), and the Ion/Target Painter (a requirement for the satellite/bomber in an open field).
- Among the vehicles, the Scorpion's primary fire (more bolas), the Hellbender's third seat's primary fire (more damage), and the Cicada's first seat's secondary fire (more rockets).
- The deployed Leviathan's first seat's primary fire and the Ion Tank's first seat's primary fire are subversions. They only require a single click, though they have a significant delay between the press action and the fire action, which could have been used as a charged attack.
- Competitive Balance: Each character falls under one of seven racesnote , each with their own set of attributes which determine how fast they can travel and swim, how far they can jump, etc. via the Species Statistics mutator.
- Competitive Multiplayer: Well, it is a continuation of a game series that really popularized competitive FPS multiplayer! The game also allows you to track your stats.
- Condemned Contestant: Around half of the competitors. Everyone else just likes murder (and taking advantage of the fact that "consensual murder" is legal in these games).
- Continuity Nod:
- The Assault level AS-MotherShip is a literal Battleship Raid on the Skaarj Mothership, which is a Shout Out to the first Unreal game.
- Many maps are inspired by previous UT map DM-Morpheus, such as DM-Plunge, BR-SkyLine and ONS-Icarus. The map itself appeared in this game.
- Invasion mode uses some of the classic Unreal enemies, and plenty of game mods restore the rest, as well as add more from the sequel.
- DM-Rrajigar is based on the Rrajigar mines of the first Unreal game.
- Convection, Schmonvection: Watch out when touching said lava, but standing directly to the side of it grants no damage.
- CTF-Magma takes place in a volcanic island where the surroundings are... lava.
- DM-Inferno takes place in a Fire and Brimstone Hell.
- DOM-ScorchedEarth takes place in a sinister looking structure. Falling to the area below (which is non-molten lava) is never a good idea.
- Cool Mask: Romulus and Remus wear matching half-face masks, Remus combining his with some kickin' shades. Barktooth and Karag get full-face variations.
- Crapsack World: Several of the planets, ranging from the blood-stained former mine Alleria to the corporate-controlled hellhouses.
- Creator Cameo: One of the teams in the "Other matches" post-match tab is called "Epic Games Inc".
- Dare to Be Badass: In some maps such as DM-Deck17, some computers can be found scrolling the following message:"There is no reality. There is only this.
This time. This place. This Contest.
Be the best. Unleash your power.
Lead your team in a battle of the mind.
Win the Tournament. If you can't,
step aside for someone who will.
Keep your eyes on the prize,
and your fingers on the trigger."
- Deadly Rotary Fan: In the center of DM-Insidious there's one. Being pushed onto it nets you death.
- Death from Above:
- The Ion Painter calls a Kill Sat.
- The Target Painter calls in a bomber plane dropping bombs which detonate with the force of a Redeemer.
- For vehicles, there's the Raptor and the Cicada, air vehicles which attack with respectively lasers (and a single air-to-air missile) and swarms of smaller missiles.
- There's also the chance of Goomba Stomping an unlucky opponent with any vehicle (especially the Manta) which gives the killer the "Pancake" award.
- Discontinuity Nod: There are still mentions of the Overseer invasion in this game, and it takes the events of 2003 as canon, even with 2003's exile from continuity.
- Doomed Hometown: Many cities have suffered this fate after the war against the Skaarj such as the city featured in AS-FallenCity.
- Double Entendre: There are a few, such as when someone gets killed from an explosion from his own rocket launcher, "X fired his rocket prematurely".
- Double Jump: Players can jump at the height of the first jump for an extra boost. The Quad Jump mutator allows them to do so two more times.
- Down in the Dumps: The Assault, Deathmatch, and Domination versions of Junkyard and DM-Rustatorium take place in, well... junkyards.
- Downloadable Content: The game had three post-release bonus packs:
- The "XP Bonus Maps", two Onslaught maps (ONS-Aridoom and ONS-Ascendancy) later available for everyone.
- The "ECEnote Bonus Pack": four Onslaught maps, six new characters (Metal Guards Barktooth and Karag; Mecha Skaarj Mekkor and Skrilax; and Necris Kragoth and Thannis) and three new vehicles (the Cicada, the SPMA and the Paladin).
- The "Bonus Pack 2", nine canonized Make Something Unreal Contest winners: five maps for Assault, two for Capture the Flag and two for Deathmatch-based modes.
- In addition, Streamline Studios released a free map called AS-Confexia, and Epic Games's own David Spalinski allied with a community member in order to deliver DM-Forbidden.
- Dual Mode Unit: The Leviathan; the primary seat has a mobile mode which fires homing swarm missiles, and a stationary mode which fires a powerful Wave-Motion Gun.
- Dynamic Difficulty: Just like the predecessor, it adjusts difficulty towards a 1:1 kill ratio, and can get thrown off with things like choke points in team matches. One change is that it's enabled in the final tournament boss fight.
- Easter Egg: Several:
- Hellions team members Outlaw and Garrett have smilies on their player models.
- Two Dummied Out taunts are present in the male voicepack: "You're as good as CliffyB" and "You're worse than Mark Rein".
- Mandible, from the Blood Fist team, has an ejection seat sticker.
- Back in 2003, clicking upon any of the characters that come with the game would prompt the announcer to say their names. This feature hasn't carried on to this game, except for a character: Mr. Crow.
- Some weapons have inscriptions, such as the Redeemer's "Swallow This!" and the Rocket Launcher's warning sticker.
- There's a trapped Gorge fan at the bottom of the pit in the map Gael.
- In vehicle maps, by inputting a cheat code, it's possible to summon a wheeled toilet.
- If a player names themselves "CliffyB", the bots will change their names to fit either the nicknames or first names of the developers of the game.
- There's a hidden picture of lead designer Cliff Bleszinski hidden in the Deathmatch map Asbestos.
- The Junkyard maps have several eggs related to shock sites and Toilet Humor.
- Several of the maps have hidden notes which can only be seen in the editor or with a package tool analyzer. Some of those notes are just "special thanks" notes, while other contain bits of trivia (such as the mapper and his hatred of crunch in ONS-Adara) and funny bits (ONS-Frostbite: "To Ben from the future: Shutup!").
- The submarine from the December and January Capture the Flag maps appears in the Assault level Robot Factory.
- Media players can be seen on character models (Gorge) and weapons (the Bio Rifle).
- A secret loading screen featuring Xan Kriegor can be unlocked in the game files.
- Emergency Weapon: The Shield Gun is the fallback weapon when even the Assault Rifle has no ammo, combining the Impact Hammer's melee-only desperation weapon with a impenetrable shield.
- The Empire: The Skaarj Empire which backs the Iron Skull Skaarj team.
- Enemy Civil War: Monsters in the Invasion gametype can fight among themselves.
- Energy Weapon:
- The Lightning Gun is the games' primary Sniper Rifle.
- The stationary energy turrets.
- And of course there's the Instagib mode where everyone spawns with a OHKO Super Shock Rifle.
- Exploding Barrels: Expect to find several of them in some Assault levels, such as AS-FallenCity. Smart players need to know how to use these to add another chunk of damage to the Hellbender in AS-Junkyard.
- Flawless Victory:
- Finish a match without getting fragged or with your team with perfect score, and the announcer will say this. In the Single Player campaign it's even an achievement.
- On the receiving end, there's "Humiliating Defeat", which is also the case if an Invasion match ends with zero beaten waves.
- Floating Continent: Multiple floating islands which you actually get to fight on:
- CTF-Face3 and CTF-FaceClassic, like their predecessor, take place in floating asteroids with towers at each side.
- AS-RobotFactory takes place in a robot-occupied mining asteroid whose AI went rogue.
- Game Mod: The main bread and butter of the game to the point that the game seems to be only a framework to load a lots of mods with. Mods ranging from custom characters, custom maps, custom mutator script (that is so powerful that it can even load completely new weapons, vehicles, and gameplay mechanics such as TD Warfare Vehicle pack and Ballistic Weapons), and even whole new games such as Frag Ops and Unwheel (which isn't even an FPS), alongside many which later became standalone, including Red Orchestra, Killing Floor (published by the same guys behind RO), and Alien Swarm (converted to the Source engine), all of which have since seen sequels.
- Gateless Ghetto: Many of the city maps, such as AS-FallenCity, take place in either walled or obstacle-obstructed areas where escaping is not an option.
- Gatling Good:
- The minigun.
- The Minigun Turret in the Assault maps.
- Both the Goliath and the Ion Plasma Tank have a secondary seat with a Minigun Turret.
- Ghibli Hills: Arborea (house of CTF-LostFaith, DM-Antalus, DM-TokaraForest, DOM-Renascent and DOM-SeppukuGorge among other maps, and the home planet of the Gen Mo'Kai, including the Fire Storm team) is an entire planet made up of this sort of scenery.(DOM-SeppukuGorge's description) "Ah, nature. The earthy browns and lush greens of the jungle. The quiet hum of animal and insect life going about its business. The piercing battle cry of a gene boosted harpy bounding across the forest floor in her power armor.
It's times like these that I miss the city."
- Gone Horribly Right: Brutalis, who was the result of a project intended to create a highly intelligent and skilled killer. He would be the only one made and the project would be immediately scrapped due to succeeding too well.
- The Government: The New Earth Government.
- Grand Theft Prototype: In AS-Glacier, the attacking team needs to destroy a facility while stealing a prototype Ion Plasma Tank. This tank has a powerful main gun, with a fast firing rate and large insta-kill radius similar to other superweapons. The defenders can destroy the tank, but it respawns for the attackers.
- Green Rocks: Blue glowing crystals (tarydium) that pretty much everyone uses as a power source. Similar to Real Life nuclear power, in that it produces dangerous waste material when used for such a purpose. Unlike nuclear power, said waste is then used as ammo for the Bio Rifle.
- Have a Nice Death: "X was X'd by X." "X cratered", often seen in maps where you can fall into space... or lava.
- Hazardous Water:
- AS-Glacier (except the first area) takes place in a facility set atop of a dam.
- BR-Canyon specifically states the water to be unsafe for swimming.
- CTF-DoubleDammage (only the part without any buildings) takes place in a dam whose non-building area is a hazard.
- DM-IceTomb features highly cold water unsafe for swimming.
- High-Altitude Battle: Aside from the space platform maps, we have:
- BR/CTF-DE-ElecFields and DOM-OutRigger (atop of a power facility and an oil rig respectively).
- BR/CTF-TwinTombs (atop of two pharaohs' tombs).
- BR-SkyLine, DM-Morpheus3 and DM-Plunge (taking place atop three skyscrapers whose layout vary per map).
- CTF-Citadel (taking place in a nightmarish world atop three mountains).
- ONS-Icarus (taking place atop a series of skyscrapers).
- Hold the Line:
- The return of the Assault gametype, where the defenders are the ones "holding" the onslaught of the attackers, except in maps such as AS-BP2-Acatana/AS-BP2-JumpShip/AS-BP2-SubRosa/AS-Convoy/AS-Glacier (retrieval/invasion-type operations) and AS-Junkyard (an escape operation).
- The Invasion mode puts all the players in a map in a single team defending themselves against waves of monsters from the first Unreal game. As you may notice, the monsters grow more difficult every time: near the fifth wave there are Skaarjs, and in the wave 11, there are Warlords. The last wave is a Warlord-only wave.
- Home Stage:
- DM-Hyperblast 2 takes place in Xan Kriegor's ship, and is the final level of the game. You also have a 33% chance of fighting him, provided The Corrupt is the best placed Godlike team, though all three unlockable players follow the same method, with their respective teams: Malcolm's Thunder Crash and ClanLord's Iron Skull Skaarj.
- The Assault levels are reenactments of past events, and some of the teams that fought in those events have a 33% chance of being fought in these levelsnote :
- AS-Convoy is a Strong-tier "N.E.G. vs. Hellions" match, and there's a chance the player can fight against the Strong-tier Hellions team.
- AS-Glacier is a subversion: it's an "Axon vs. Izanagi" match, with the Izanagi side being represented by the Thunder Crash team, usually affiliated with the N.E.G. However, the match belongs to the Strong tier, a tier below Thunder Crash's Godlike tier, and while Axon has representation in the Tournament via the Weak-tier Goliath and Strong-tier Juggernauts teams, the player cannot play with any of these teams unless they have a full Juggernaut roster and the player chose a Juggernaut character, and even then it's impossible to recreate any of these teams.
- AS-Mothership is a "Humans vs. Skaarj" match, belongs to the Godlike tier, and there's a chance the player can fight against the Godlike-tier Iron Skull Skaarj team.
- AS-RobotFactory is another subversion: it's a "Liandri vs. The Corrupt" match, however it takes place in the Tough tier, two tiers below The Corrupt's Godlike tier, not to mention... the Liandri Corporation itself is backing the The Corrupt team.
- Human Resources: In the description for the map CTF-Geothermal:"Thanks to the Tournament we've been able to add protein bales to our list of exports. Don't worry though, it's no one you know."
- Ice Palace: DM-IceTomb takes place in a gelid structure with cold waters in the entire area.
- Idiosyncratic Combo Levels:"Double Kill!"
- Implausible Fencing Powers: The Shield Gun (and vehicles and turrets which use shields) can deflect energy weapons like shock cores and link pulses. Encouraged in CTF-1on1-Joust... that is, if you're not using regular weapons there.
- In-Vehicle Invulnerability: The Leviathan, Goliath, Hellbender and Raptor will protect your health from enemy fire no matter what, and, in Assault, you get ejected from ground vehicles when it's destroyed rather than going up with it. Airborne vehicles still see you dying in a shower of gore.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: The map CTF-DoubleDammage takes place... in a dam. note
- Instant-Win Condition: The Assault gamemode consists of two phases: in the first round, the Red team assumes the attacking role, and the Blue team the defending role. After the first phase ends (either by objective completion or time running out), both teams switch roles, with the Blue team attacking and the Red team defending. In this round, the Blue team wins if they complete more objectives than the Red team did in the first phase, in case the first phase ended with the Red team not managing to complete every objective, regardless of time left for the objectives to be completed.
- Interface Screw: Being hit with one or more mines from an enemy Grenade Launcher or the Scorpion's bola net has said mine(s)/bola obstructing your vision until they expire.
- Invisible Wall: You'll find these pretty much in any open level that doesn't go for Border Patrol.
- Joke Item: The TC-1200, a toilet on wheels, with all the armaments, defenses and maneuverability that implies (that is, next to none).
- Joke Level: AS-BP2-Outback. The plot: pissed off redneck Australians get annoyed at the new non-alcoholic city beer and go to destroy the factory that's making it, protected by the city slickers and hipsters that prefer the watered down beer.
- Kill Sat: The Ion Painter is used to call up to three beams from the sky in open maps.
- Kill Streak:X is on a killing spree.
X is on a rampage!
X is dominating!
X is UNSTOPPABLE!!
X is GODLIKE!!
X is WICKED SICK!!!
- Land Down Under: AS-BP2-Outback takes place in Australia, complete with Kangaroos everywhere and hilarious Australian accents.
- Land Mine Goes "Click!": The Mine Layer is capable of releasing up to eight spider mines. With the secondary button you can guide them via laser. They explode in contact with an enemy.
- Large Ham:
- The UT2003 hammy announcer, who sounds like an excited game show host who SHOUTS EVERYTHING.
- The "Sexy" female announcer moans and screams with excitement at damn near anything.
- ONS-Tricky's description comes to you by way of an overexcited county fair announcer who WANTS YOU TO WITNESS THE AWESOME OBSTACLE COURSES IN ALL CAPS, complete with multiple exclamation marks.
- Lethal Lava Land:
- CTF-Magma takes place in a volcanic island where the surroundings are... lava.
- DM-Deck17 is more of a lava refinery rather than a lava land, but it still counts.
- DM-Inferno and DOM-ScorchedEarth are set in a Fire and Brimstone Hell.
- Level-Map Display: The game has minimaps for the Onslaught mode, where the player, every Power Core and every Power Node are displayed, with red, blue or neutral coloring in order to display which items are owned by the red or blue team. The map itself is also displayed in the in-game options menu.
- Lightning Gun: Two flavors - the Link Gun's secondary fire, which locks on to enemies and delivers constant DPS until it leaves the enemy a charred skeleton, and the Lightning Gun (duh), which is a more damaging version of the default Sniper Rifle, at the cost of announcing your sniping position to everyone who can see the lightning bolt.
- Limit Break: The Adrenaline system. By collecting Adrenaline pills scattered through the maps, completing objectives (scoring in Bombing Run, capturing flags in Capture The Flag or Double Domination points) or outright fragging, you fill the Adrenaline meter. Once it reaches 100 and the Announcer exclaims "Adrenaline Full", you need to introduce a sequence in order to gain an advantage, which can be either a boost on damage, rate of fire or speed, or health regeneration. This lasts until the meter is down to 0, though you can still do the required stuff to make this mode last a second more. Also, Adrenaline drains faster if you carry a flag, the Ball or another objective.
- Loading Screen: It offers useful in-game tips while loading matches.
- Macross Missile Massacre: The Cicada's secondary Charged Attack paints a target location with a laser and starts loading ordinance. When the button is released or 16 missiles are ready, the Cicada fires them all in quick succession, all of them Roboteching to the painted location, regardless how much the Cicada moved during the loading sequence.
- Made of Iron: The Leviathan. Even the armor on the Goliath and the Paladin are paper compared it.
- Marked Bullet:
- Flak shells have a smile face painted on the front, but require a high texture resolution to see.
- The Redeemer gets "ADIOS!" written on the side.
- The Maze: DM-1on1-Serpentine seems to be a flat level, but a pair of ramps lead to an underground level (visible from the immediately upper level) shaped as a maze of sorts.
- Mecha-Mooks: In-lore, the defending team in AS-RobotFactory is The Corrupt after their AI went rogue and started cleansing up anything non-robot in the area, and the attackers must destroy the AI.
- Mega-Corp: Liandri (main organizer of the Tournament and backer of The Corrupt), Axon (backer of the Goliath and Juggernaut teams) and Izanagi (owner of some facilities such as Lamdon 3).
- Mineral MacGuffin: Common in the Assault gametype, especially in the maps with an objective to be captured or a blueprint to be delivered.
- AS-BP2-Acatana is about a Skaarj raid on a research facility within an asteroid belt in order to steal blueprints.
- AS-BP2-SubRosa is about an N.E.G. raid on the Liandri headquarters in order to retrieve confidential data.
- AS-Convoy has the attackers recovering two prototype Nexus missiles from a cargo vehicle.
- AS-Glacier is about storming an Axon facility and stealing the experimental Ion Tank contained within.
- This is also the reason of why some Onslaught maps are being fought, and why some arenas are mining caves or spots.
- Mission-Pack Sequel: An intentional example; the intention behind 2004 is to replace 2003, so far as to include a rebate for those who sent back copies of 2003 to the publisher. This was part of a very short-lived attempt to do yearly releases of the series a la Madden NFL, echoing the games' status as a futuristic and much more sadistic equivalent to the NFL. It worked, as 2004 not only became one of the best-selling Unreal Tournament games so far but also became the base of the vast majority of mutators, mods, and total conversion released afterwards. 2003 custom maps still work for the game. 2003 was even skipped outright when it came time to rerelease the series digitally at the other end of the decade, since 2004 includes all of the content from 2003 as well as gameplay options to make it look and play almost identically for those who preferred it 2003.
- More Dakka: The minigun's primary fire.
- The Mothership: AS-MotherShip, which takes place in the Skaarj Mothership.
- Multi-Mook Melee: The Invasion gametype pits you and your Enemy Mine teammates against hordes of enemies ranking from loads of Pupae to tougher Warlords.
- New Work, Recycled Graphics: The game is basically Unreal Tournament 2003 with a new coat of paint and bits of Unreal Championship thrown in for good measure. After Unreal Tournament and Epic/DE's decision to focus on the multiplayer part after the failure of Unreal II: The Awakening, both teams decided to focus on a particular game: Epic focused on 2003 while DE focused on Championship. The lukewarm reception of both games led both companies to join forces once more and just develop 2004 with 2003 and its Downloadable Content as a base, plus extra content such as new teams, gamemodes (including the return of Assault and the introduction of Onslaught) and arenas. Needless to say, 2004 was better received than the previous games it used as a base.
- No Ontological Inertia: Subverted. Some weapons fire their charged shots when you release the trigger, or when you die.
- Nostalgia Level: CTF-FaceClassic and DM-Morpheus3 are updated versions of Unreal Tournament's CTF-Face and DM-Morpheus, and more faithful to the originals than the egyptian-themed CTF-Face3 and the neon-themed DM-Plunge.
- No OSHA Compliance: Lampshaded in a lot of the stages: it's stated Liandri confiscated or shut down the facilities involved due to unsafe working conditions, and then repurposed the facilities into arenas for the tournament, with all the horrifically-unsafe parts left as an extra challenge.
- One-Hit Kill: No matter how much health, armor, or shield you have, get run down by a vehicle, shot by a fully charged Bio goop, a well-placed Shock Combo with Double Damage, or the Redeemer and you're done. As in the last game, there's also the optional Instagib Shock Rifle that kills everything it shoots in one hit.
- Player Elimination: Last Man Standing, a single-round mode where all players get a life and they battle to be the last one on foot.
- Playlist Soundtrack: You could play any Vorbis sound file as music for the map or level you were on, including files you converted, meaning you could make your own playlist of music for the game if you wanted.
- Plot Hole: The excision of Unreal Championship and Unreal Tournament 2003 from the timeline left several things unexplained:
- Quad Damage: The Damage Amplifier. Doubles the effect if it's used with the Berserk adrenaline combo.
- Ragdoll Physics: Introduced to the series here. A mutator allows you to make this more apparent by slowing corpses down, floating through the air to be pushed around by weapons fire as their killer pleases.
- Remixed Level: In addition to all the previous remixes introduced in 2003, this game introduces:
- Two versions of this game's BridgeOfFate map, one for Capture the Flag and another for Bombing Run.
- Two versions of this game's Colossus map, also for CTF and BR.
- A Capture the Flag version of BR-TwinTombs from 2003.
- A Capture the Flag version of DM-DE-GrendelKeep from 2003.
- Another variation of Unreal Tournament's CTF-November as CTF-January.
- An updated version of Unreal Championship's CTF-Smote.
- An updated version of the recurrent Curse map as DM-Curse4, replacing the previous game's DM-Curse3.
- A version of the recurring map Deck16 as DM-Deck17, this time taking place in a magma refinery rather than a slime refinery.
- An updated version of Unreal Tournament's DM-HyperBlast as DM-HyperBlast2.
- A Deathmatch version of 2003's DOM-Junkyard.
- The Cicada's dumb-fire missiles do this merely because it looks cool.
- AVRiLs locked onto a target automatically adjust their flight trajectory to lead the target and score a mid-air interception instead of simply chasing it like ordinary homing weaponry in the game. To this end, they are highly maneuverable; dodging a locked AVRiL requires a Wronski Feint, a Cicada's flare or breaking the lock somehownote . Anything else and you run the risk of the missile pulling a quick 180° turn and coming back for another pass.
- Scenery Porn: The games have many gorgeously looking maps which take advantage of many of the Unreal Engine 2's features.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: The Liandri Mining Corporation. Just look at any description on any game starting with Unreal Tournament which mentions them. Hell, they even were one of the main forces behind the Tournament itself!
- Sex Is Violence: The female sexy announcer (yes, she's actually called that) really enjoys the combos.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: As the description for AS-MotherShip implies, despite the losses incurred on the planet Na Pali, the Skaarj were still strong enough to not only wage war against humanity, but push them back to Earth and nearly win the war, within a single year."(...) Within a year the Skaarj had pushed humanity back to the brink of destruction. (...) A Skaarj Mothership orbited the Earth, and rained death upon the planet in preparation for the final landing. (...)"
- Shoot Out the Lock: In the map AS-BP2-Outback, from the Bonus Pack 2, there's a mission that involves shooting out three locks in order to enter into the brewery.
- Shout-Out: Check the page.
- Single-Biome Planet:
- Spikes of Villainy: While Tournament teams are neutral by default, every Nightmare (team Nightmare Black Legion) and Hellion (team Hellions) member, sans for Abaddon and Ophelia, are this. The former are abominations created by the Overseer Empire, which got retconned out of the series, while the latter are space pirates turned mercenaries who fight in the Tournament in order to seek prospectors.
- Standard FPS Guns: Largely averted. Most of the weaponry has a different feel to it, and one of UT's selling points is that its weapons invariably have some function attached to the alt-fire button. How weapons differ:
- The Shield Gun is the melee weapon, replacing the Impact Hammer. Unlike other FPS where melee usually consists of a punching or stabbing motion, this item uses a Charged Attack as it's primary fire. It also has the namesake shield, which can deflect energy projectiles and lasers.
- The Assault Rifle replaces the Enforcers. The Alt-fire is a grenade launcher. Also can be dual-wielded.
- The Bio-Rifle remains unchanged. The primary fire shoots slime goops which can adhere to a wall. The secondary fire is a Charged Attack.
The Mine Layer replaces the Bio-Rifle in Onslaught maps or with the "Onslaught Weapons" mutator. The primary fire dispenses up to eight spider mines. Altfire produces a painting laser which all your spider mines will chase.
- The Shock Rifle remains unchanged. The primary fire is a laser, while the secondary fire is an Energy Ball; as in the previous game, the secondary fire can be shot with primary to release a massive explosion that's all but guaranteed death to anyone caught within it.
- The Link Gun replaces the Pulse Rifle as the game's assault rifle analogue. Primary fire remains the same, but its altfire beam can repair allied vehicles and control points, and supercharge an ally's Link Gun efforts (good luck getting non-clan players to do this, though).
- The Minigun has both of its attacks switched. This is, both attacks are those of a typical Chaingun, but the primary fire is less accurate but noticeably faster, while the second fires more slowly but is more accurate and deals twice the damage per bullet.
- The Flak Cannon remains unchanged. The primary fire shoots shards which bounce on walls and lasts a few seconds, while the secondary is a projectile which explodes upon impact.
The Grenade Launcher replaces the Flak Cannon in Onslaught maps or with the "Onslaught Weapons" mutator. The primary fire dispenses up to eight grenades; the secondary fire detonates them. These grenades will stick to players, objectives and vehicles.
- The Rocket Launcher can fire one (primary) or up to three (secondary, which is a Charged Attack) rockets in a horizontal line, a tight corkscrew, or locked on to an enemy player in any of the previous modes if you give the gun a second to acquire them.
The AVRiL (Anti-Vehicle Rocket Launcher) replaces the Rocket Launcher in Onslaught maps or with the "Onslaught Weapons" mutator. It's only effective against vehicles; it doesn't do much damage to players on foot. Its altfire locks the weapon onto an enemy vehicle, which the AVRiL's rocket will then home in on.
- The Lightning Gun is a sniper rifle which uses lightning instead of bullets. The primary fire shoots a lightning thunderbolt, while the secondary fire uses a Zoom function.
The Sniper Rifle remains mostly unchanged from Unreal Tournament, and can be found on some maps or by using the "Sniper Rifle" mutator. It shoots bullets as the primary fire, while the secondary uses the Zoom function.
- The Redeemer remains unchanged. The primary fire shoots a mini-nuke missile. The secondary lets the player take control of the nuke.
The Ion Painter, a laser which designates the strike zone for a Kill Sat. Primary fire produces the laser, altfire zooms for precision targeting.
The Target Painter calls for a bombing run instead. The Phoenix bomber can be shot down, and will crash with a Redeemer-sized explosion.
- Storming the Castle: Due to the nature of the gametype, almost all of the Assault levels require you to infiltrate a base either to render it inop and/or steal an artifact of some kind. The only exception is AS-Junkyard, where the objective is basically to escape the eponymous junkyard.
- Strategic Asset Capture Mechanic:
- The Double Domination gamemode works similar to Unreal Tournament's Domination gamemode in that two teams battle to control specific locations in a map, except that this time there are only two points, Alpha and Bravo, which both teams battle to control and hold for a determined amount of seconds (usually 10). Once a team successfully captures and holds both points, that team earns a point, and a new round starts.
- The Onslaught mode has the Power Nodes, structures located across the map that must be captured in order to create a link between the own base and the enemy base so the enemy Power Core can be attacked. Most Power Nodes grant players access to vehicles/turrets (or both) and new spawn points, closer to the enemy base, plus the ability to quickly teleport to any owned location. Others just grant new spawn points.
- Teleporter Accident/Teleportation Sickness: The In-Universe explanation for the charge limits on the Translocator (namely, a slowly-recharging number of times you can teleport to the disc after placing it)."The technology has saved countless lives, but not without cost. Rapid deresolution and reconstitution of the subject organism can have several unwelcome effects, including increases in aggression and paranoia, as well as increased probabilities of respiratory and cardiac arrest. Artifacts of synaptic disruption accumulate in the biological snapshot of the individual, leading to Teleportation Related Dementia (TReDs), an incurable disease that has stricken some of our greatest champions."
- There Can Be Only One: In the Last Man Standing mode every player starts with a set number of lives. Every time a player loses all of its lives, they are eliminated and become a spectator. The objective is to be the last player with lives left in the game.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The Redeemer, the Ion Painter, and the Target Painter. The Leviathan is the vehicle equivalent to them.
- Train Job: AS-Convoy is an inversion: the Hellions stole a cache of missiles from the N.E.G. and it's up to an N.E.G. team (the attackers) to retrieve them. The Hellions are carrying these missiles in a series of convoys.
- Turned Against Their Masters: The story behind AS-RobotFactory:"This scenario is a recreation of the Liandri robot uprising on the mechanical asteroid of LBX-7683 and the subsequent quelling of this rebellion by human forces. LBX-7683 was an outpost for research and development of the next generation of Liandri robots. Liandri's best scientists were able to introduce increasingly sophisticated artificial intelligence into the machines that they designed. Eventually, they rebelled against the humans and took the asteroid as their own, brutally disposing of their creators and mining the rich materials embedded within the rock for their own gain. Liandri's commanders devised a plan to strike directly at the production facility manufacturing the robots. During an all-out assault on the world, a small team was inserted with the sole goal of destroying the AI generators, thereby destroying the ability of the machines to reproduce themselves and ending this uprising."
- Underground Level: DM-Rrajigar, based on the Rrajigar mines of the first Unreal game, takes place in an underground mine.
- Vanity License Plate: Whenever a player enters into a Hellbender, its license plate is changed in order to reflect its username.
- Wall Jump: Players can jump to a wall and dodge away from them in order to reach new places. Can be combined with the dodge-jump or dpuble-jump to get horizontal or vertical extra boosts. The Quad Jump mutator also allows players to quad wall jump.
- Wave-Motion Gun: The Leviathan's ion cannon. It has to stop moving to use it, has a slight delay setting it up, and has a slow rate of fire, but a shot that will instantly destroy anything except a core node or another Leviathan, and it has a HUGE blast radius.
- What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: The description for ONS-Icarus, which takes place atop a series of big, abandoned skyscrapers:"Soaring 3 miles above Earth's surface, Icarus Plaza was designed to be the ultimate residential precinct. But like its namesake, ambition for the project exceeded caution. Even before the project was completed, significant structural flaws were detected and the buildings were abandoned."
- A Winner Is You: The Single Player Tournament mode ends with the shot of the trophy room and a booming voice that proclaim you as the champion, while Awesome Music plays that continues on to the main menu until you start another game.
- Who Shot JFK?: CTF-GrassyKnoll pokes fun at this."There's no magic bullets here, no conspiracy, just a gauntlet of enemies to overcome and finally bring the flag home."
- Writers Cannot Do Math: The reason why the description for CTF-January had to be patched. Previously, it stated that the previous repair attempt before Liandri ordered the last one took place in 2358 and that it lasted three years, meaning that it would end in 2361. The game takes place in 2303. The patched description deletes the year and assures that the facility was finished two years beforehand.
- Zerg Rush: In the Invasion mode, the weaker units such as the Pupae, Fly or Manta are a cake on their own. However they become a nightmare in big numbers, especially when you also have to face Skaarjs and Warlords.
- "You have WON the match!"