Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict Xbox Review

May 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Retro Content, Retro Reviews, Xbox

Forget all you know about the classic Unreal series before playing Unreal Championship 2, as it will all be forgotten anyway upon playing the game. This is the rebirth of the Unreal series, and it’s no longer strictly First Person shooting, allowing you to switch between two perspectives and pull off some very smooth and satisfying moves.

Firstly it has to be said that Unreal Championship 2 looks nothing short of amazing. The characters and environments are solid and amongst the best that Xbox has to offer. The addition of a third person mode allows you to see your character in his/her full glory, and the animation is wonderfully fluid at all times.

Tradition has been ousted and in its place come many additional combat options. This has the potential to alienate fans of the franchise and scare away many other gamers, due to the often overwhelming nature. The Unreal universe has simply been tampered with; resulting in characters that can now put their big guns away and engage in close melee combat for once. It’s certainly a good idea on paper, but if truth was to be told the end product is a rather awkward and messy one.

Unreal Championship 2 is a title that is difficult to embrace for various reasons. The learning curve is equivalent to that of climbing a steep mountain, whilst we’re not talking Everest proportions, it sure can be a frustrating time trying to make head or tail of it all. Even when we did manage to gain a grasp of the game itself it didn’t eradicate the disorientation that we experienced in many of the situations.

When hoards of opponents are battling it out in a single space things become increasingly messy. Such a fast paced title leaves little room for thought in such a situation, but is fairly satisfying if you manage to escape from the chaos and confusion, and frag some opponents in the process or outfox another with a melee attack.

At least the game is highly customisable and we are able to play Unreal like it was supposed to be played (without the OTT melee combat), but it still promised so much, and mostly let us down.

The criminally short Story Mode does attempt to walk you through the controls, and provide you with knowledge of the different actions. This includes everything from the games adrenaline attacks (which are accessed via a menu and have various uses) to switching between gun and blade. As they say, it’s the practice that makes perfect though, and you will certainly need it here if you aim to gain a clear understanding of the ins and outs of the game.

Unreal Championship 2 was definitely designed with the multi-player in mind. There’s split screen options present, and if you have Xbox Live or can be bothered with System Link then options are almost eternally vast. Over Live the game remains silky smooth for the most part, and having the maximum of eight players in a match at any one time assures that things remain smooth and don’t become chaotic and confusing to the point of unplayable, although barely does it manage to do this.

Unreal Championship 2 is a decent enough first stab at mixing up melee combat and shooting, but we just can’t help feeling that it could have been executed with much more fluid flair. Satisfying at times, but quite messy on other occasions, which is a real shame. A disappointment.

6/10

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