Unreal II: The Awakening Xbox

  • Publisher: Atari
  • Release Date: Feb 10, 2004
  • Also On: PC

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 27
  2. Negative: 3 out of 27
Buy On
  1. The only thing unreal that awakened while playing this game was the uncontrollable urge to vomit. [May 2004, p.80]
  2. Unreal just doesn’t match the aura that "Unreal Championship" has.
  3. The game's first few hours are dreadfully boring, full of genre cliches and pointless firefights. [Apr 2004, p.84]
  4. Ugly, jerky, and all round poorly presented characters culminate in cut scenes that you’d wish you could just skip right on.
  5. The biggest issue I have with this title is that the weapon switching is pretty awful...Other than that small complaint, every facet of Unreal II is very solid. [Apr 2004, p.105]
  6. 80
    There are problems with speed and control, as well as graphic issues that I simply can’t explain, but I think the overall product is very well presented.
  7. 78
    So somewhere in the middle of the isosceles triangle created by "Halo," "Brute Force" and "Mace Griffin" lies Unreal II. If you’re a sci-fi shooter junkie then say hello to your next adventure, otherwise Xbox fans don’t need to jump all over this one.
  8. 75
    It's a shame that the really original firearms (including a cannon that shoots evil spiderlings) don't get introduced until the game's almost over, leaving you little time to enjoy them.
  9. The XMP modes are outstanding and the gameplay is fast and furious, but no less challenging or problematic when you take the twitchy controls into consideration.
  10. The XMP mode can be a ton of fun with at least 4-on-4, but with any less it seems rather slow and unsatisfying. The visuals are unimpressive, minus the nice weapon particle effects.
  11. It begins so poorly, in such spectacularly mediocre fashion, that were I not reviewing it, I'd have chucked it in a drawer until someone invented a way to retroactively make the first half interesting. [May 2004, p.98]
  12. Lets hope for the next game they incorporate the vehicles and more of the tactical play into the story.
  13. 64
    The essence of a good FPS is there it just doesn’t have that old Unreal or Half-life polish. Don’t get us wrong, it has its enjoyable moments, but it’s more than a little lacking in polish.
  14. Xbox owners will be underwhelmed with this version of Unreal II because it plays and feels like a watered-down port.
  15. 60
    In some ways, the problem with Unreal II is that it tries to wear too many helmets. It's a sequel to the original title, and has a healthy multiplayer mode intact because of Unreal's highly popular tournament editions. In the end, it does both without excelling at either.
  16. Speaking of pain, whoever wrote this script really needs to make a public apology. Cliché piled on cliché is the only way to describe this story. I’m not even sure why they even bothered with a story to begin with. I think everyone would have just accepted the words “Go Shoot Bad Guys” appearing at the beginning and that being the end of it.
  17. A nice-looking but otherwise average first-person shooter on the PC is now a blah-looking and forgettable first-person shooter on the Xbox.
  18. 60
    If you can play Unreal II on the PC, do. Otherwise, rent this for the Xbox only while you wait for the other first-person heavyweights to show up later in the year.
  19. Visually it fails to impress, and often it comes off as embarrassing, especially when it is being played on a console that we all know is capable of so much more. As I have said earlier, this game is dated, and it appears as if the developers have put little effort in giving this game the facelift it so sorely needs to stand toe to toe with the rest of today's Xbox offerings.
  20. As a single-player experience, Unreal 2 is undoubtedly one of the more forgettable shooters on the Xbox; joining the likes of "Jedi Academy" and "Soldier of Fortune 2" in that club of below par PC ports that have been unceremoniously dumped on owners of this capable machine.
  21. A large and varied weapons arsenal, as well as vehicular-based play, makes XMP fun to play; however, its apparent influence from other games limits its originality and future playability.
  22. A definite shoot first ask questions later exercise. Hell, you can't even shoot the good guys and they don't get pissed at you for trying so just shoot everything that moves.
  23. Cheat Code Central
    The bottom line is that the gameplay of this FPS is no different than what's gone before it. The new features are decent but if you don't feel like you're playing "Unreal Championship," then you've probably never played it before.
  24. Official Xbox Magazine
    Blame it on bad porting if you will, but "Unreal" has yet to make a name for itself on Xbox, except as a graphics engine. And sadly, Unreal II won't do much to change that. [Apr 2004, p.73]
  25. 60
    Unfortunately, the difficulty level and the enemy AI have been dumbed down, making the game feel even shorter on the Xbox than it did on the PC. With six hours of play for single players and iffy Xbox Live play, go buy "Rainbow Six 3" or wait for "Halo 2" to drop at the end of the year.
  26. Play Magazine
    Unreal II's biggest fault is the lifeless visual design: the use of color is ugly at times, the enemies aren't appealing and movie clunkily, exhibiting spotty AI to add to the flaws. [Apr 2004, p.64]

Awards & Rankings

#24 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2004
#56 Most Shared Xbox Game of 2004
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 16
  2. Negative: 8 out of 16
  1. Sep 11, 2014
    The game is really just generic and clichéd. That's all there is to it, really. There's nothing that makes it particularly stand out fromThe game is really just generic and clichéd. That's all there is to it, really. There's nothing that makes it particularly stand out from other shooters of the same time period; while it still has some fun run-and-gun gameplay, the storytelling and exposition are absolutely terrible. That combined with their very obvious attempt at trying to make likeable characters, but falling flat by making them all cliché, underused, and unlikeable, and you have just a generic mediocre game. However, it still had some gameplay sections that could have redeemed it.

    There's the problem though... that would be if we were talking on the PC. On PC, the graphics were actually laudable for the time, you could free roam the ship between missions, and there were few bugs. All of these are things the Xbox version failed at.
    In the Xbox version, you can't walk around your ship eternal missions: you're just ferried around on rails talking to the unlikeable characters as they tell you some random thing about your weapons or mission. The graphics on the Xbox are laughable, with some truly horrid modeling that was obviously condensed, as well as some textures lower res than the original DOOM, and basically an absence of ANY effective lighting or shading. Also, the game is ridiculously buggy. One instance that comes to mind is about the end of the game where the Skaarj are attacking this base (or at least I think that's what was happening; once again, poor exposition) and you have to get to the top of the base. When me and my dad played this coop, we realized all the ladders and the elevator were broken and would fling us off toward the ground and kill us if we tried to use them within 30 seconds of each other.
    In the end, there were only a few gameplay sections in this game that were at all fun (though annoying, there was a section where you have to escape a ship that's falling apart... it was alright). The best part of this game is grabbing someone to play coop with and having some good laughs at its expense.
    Full Review »
  2. Moe
    Oct 12, 2005
    The single player game is not bad, perhaps not as good as the original Unreal. They should have just followed the old game's story line The single player game is not bad, perhaps not as good as the original Unreal. They should have just followed the old game's story line with updated weaponry, but they decided to do a ground up makeover with mixed results. PC is much better than XBox for the FPS. However, the multiplayer mode, "XMP," is by far the best team game ever made. Period. It is so addicting. It is so realistic and if it seems slow its because of this very reason, you feel like you are really there. You actually hear every footstep and jump you make. The small but avid community that remains are still to this day discovering new tricks and techniques such as the Gunner's lateral conc. jump, that you just dont get in other games. Team members really depend on eachother for health, cover, energy, etc. and there are players who have developed amazing skills not available anywhere else such as wall jumping, midair sniping. Even Halo 2 can be considered an unworthy rival to Unreal's XMP. There are still plenty of dieharders playing every day and several servers running 24/7, we don't need a lot of noobs gumming up the works, nevertheless all are welcome. Full Review »
  3. KyleK.
    Aug 16, 2005
    This is the most pathetic game i have ever played. it is so boring with all the levels. most of the levels are 2 minutes long and only haveThis is the most pathetic game i have ever played. it is so boring with all the levels. most of the levels are 2 minutes long and only have four bad guys. Bad graphics and just dont play it. wouldnt spend 50 cents on it. Full Review »