Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
Buy On
  1. 100
    It speaks like no other game in the genre, loud and with feeling, and tells a story worth telling among all the explosions.
  2. Game Informer
    95
    Never before have I seen this level of detail in a PC game. Unreal II blows the lid off the graphical standards we as PC gamers have set, and elevates the playing field to an unprecedented level. [Mar 2003, p.90]
  3. A 3-D shooter that pays as much attention to a compelling single-player storyline as it does blasting enemies with futuristic weaponry.
  4. Only the lack of a rich multi-player section and some odd design decisions keep Unreal 2 from being one of the best FPS’s in recent memory.
  5. It's so predictable that a player will find himself quickly out-thinking the designers. [PC Gamer UK]
  6. Amazingly beautiful, yet totally vacant in practically every other respect. It is certainly something fun to behold, but its lackluster showing in many other ways makes it tedious.
  7. 82
    While the title does make some significant breakthroughs these are largely confined to a technical realm and offer little in the way of new gameplay.
  8. For anyone who is looking for an old-school action FPS experience with solid production values and lots of explosions, this is your game.
  9. The first Unreal made its name on, well, its unreal visuals, but we had no idea how saucy a first-person shooter could look until we tried the sequel.
  10. Computer Gaming World
    80
    While the game starts off strong, its personality steadily dribbles away, leaving you feeling you've played enough of it and never need to play it again. [Apr 2003, p.102]
  11. GMR Magazine
    80
    Definitely delivers cool effects and dishes up some really amazing moments, but technical issues, a cornball story, and weak voice acting add up to a slight disappointment overall. [Apr 2003, p.66]
  12. It is impressive. Since the five-year hiatus, however, there have been others that were more so than it.
  13. Long enough to last you a few intense game sessions, and you'll easily polish it off over the weekend.
  14. 76
    Sorry, it's been an epic wait for the tech upgrade... It's a good game, but too often resorts to recycling a number of first-person shooter clichés instead of breaking new ground.
  15. To sum up, Unreal II is disappointing, not so much in terms of what it is as in terms of what we expected, what it hints at, and what it might have been.
  16. The stupid and uninspiring storyline, coupled with some EAX related problems never got me hooked on this one. Unreal 2 is still an entertaining game, but it's way too simplistic and "old school" to live up to today's single player FPS standards.
  17. It has the look and polish of a great shooter, but the gameplay of a merely good one. It's also a fairly short game with no multiplayer support to speak of.
  18. PC Gamer
    72
    Introduces so many cool new weapons - like the blistering flamethrower, an incendiary alt-fire on the shotgun, and seeker orbs - that you feel cheated not getting to play with them against others online. [Apr 2003, p.112]
  19. A generic, rest on your laurels title from developer Epic that, while beautiful to look at, is a bloated (3GB mandatory install), largely plotless shooter that is disappointing given the pleasant surprise that the original "Unreal" was.
  20. Forward-looking tech, backwards-looking gaming.
  21. If you’ve got a new graphics card and want something to show it off, Unreal II: The Awakening is the perfect solution, but don’t go expecting a true next-generation experience; our advise would be to rent it as you’ll likely complete it in no time at all.
  22. A flawed masterpiece. There's so much that's done well but so much which counters it to its doom - like the weapons. At about 15 in total there are simply too many, and they claw to convention like a headcrab.
  23. Cheat Code Central
    70
    Just about everything is good quality in this game but make sure you're computer is loaded or you're going to be playing a slideshow.
  24. It looks good, it sounds good, yet, while it has a few interesting moments, it doesn’t impress or break new ground the way the original did.
  25. Entertainment Weekly
    67
    Unreal II, for all its technical pizzazz, lacks a similar let's-pile-on-the-scares inventiveness... Awakening, we have to say, is anything but. [28 Feb 2003, p.86]
  26. 60
    Doesn't fail to impress us with its high-quality, inventive visuals, but the gameplay is no match for its presentation.
  27. Computer Games Magazine
    60
    The AI in the aging "Half-Life" was better; the sond in "Medal of Honor" blows this away; and the cut scenes and exposition in the "No One Lives Forever" series leave this in the dust. [Apr 2003, p.68]
  28. 60
    Roughly a third the size of its predecessor, meaning that you'll be able to go from eagerly installing the game to disappointingly removing it from your hard drive for good in just two or three nights.
  29. GameNow
    58
    A solid shooter with a slick look that offers little new to the genre. [Apr 2003, p.44]
  30. The bottom line is that Unreal 2 is saddled with unmemorable weapons and enemies, disappointing AI, a dull lead character, underdone level design, and a lack of technical polish, all wrapped around the same old stuff you’ve seen in so many first person shooters, most of which are better than this game.
User Score
6.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 106 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 35
  2. Negative: 18 out of 35
  1. Apr 18, 2012
    0
    This isn't Unreal, Epic just didn't give a crap when they gave the IP to some B-team: without the budget.

    What you can expect: - Loads of
    This isn't Unreal, Epic just didn't give a crap when they gave the IP to some B-team: without the budget.

    What you can expect:
    - Loads of blabla with ashaming animations and visuals.
    - Real slow gameplay.
    - No Unreal. + Makes Quake1 look highquality again.
    + Good nightrest. (you can sleep and play at the same time)
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 24, 2015
    2
    Wow. This was bad. It's one of the few games I left unfinished - and it happened at the beginning, no less!
    Ok, I loved Unreal (the first), I
    Wow. This was bad. It's one of the few games I left unfinished - and it happened at the beginning, no less!
    Ok, I loved Unreal (the first), I even liked the "Return to Na Pali" expansion (although way less good than Unreal), so maybe I had high expectations, but IMHO this is just plain awful: boring, uninspired, repetitive, soulless. I played user created maps/levels that were way more fun and entertaining than this.
    There's no "awakening" here, the game is fast asleep, and most likely so will be you ;-)
    In the few hours I spent playing it, I had no fun at all: and for a game, that's the death knell.
    Full Review »
  3. May 17, 2014
    6
    Decided to replay this game since it was released on gog and I don't know somehow its not as good as I remembered hahahaha. Its an ok game,Decided to replay this game since it was released on gog and I don't know somehow its not as good as I remembered hahahaha. Its an ok game, plenty of weapons, levels are interesting but empty, your crew always have something to say, graphics is of course outdated (I mean the game came out in 2003). Full Review »