Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict
Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict is the successor to Unreal Championship, or what did you think? The biggest change in gameplay is the addition of melee weapons with which you need to get so close to your opponent that you can see his vains in the white of his eye.
The first episode of the series had only a limited success on XBox. Biggest reason for that was that the fast gameplay of Unreal wasn’t as easy to transfer to a console as was thought. Replacing keyboard and mouse by a controller is all but easy if you have to react faster than a speeding bullet. As smart developer you of course get it to work by promoting hand-to-hand combat and adapting your game to the hardware.
Unfortunately, this change doesn’t only bring good things. First and foremost, the addition of the melee parts isn’t always well-done. You need to put a buttload of button combination in your already overflowing head and when the intensity on the battlefield rises, you dare push the wrong button. At times the kills you can make are quite satisfying but in the end I kept having some problems with it: the entire setup of the known Unreal gameplay gets thrown overboard and I for one liked the old, simple, style more.
Probably to support the intense short range fights, a third person view was added. Luckily this can be changed at any time to first person. I hardly ever used it but it did come in handy to inspect the beautiful visuals of this game.
Unreal’s style was kept when it comes to graphics and although you can argue on its originality, you do have to give credits to the makers that they made a technically fantastic game. Robots, babes and the rest of the warriors are shown detailed and fluid and the lack of true originality is made up by the nice effects and fast images. Also the surroundings are nice with the usual factories, temples and other sci-fi settings.
The sound is less convincing but the effects are just good enough to not disturb. The weapons on the other hand could use some more punch and luckily the commentary is back to sheer us up or give us an update on how things are going.
Who craves for a story mode also gets his thing but don’t expect a deep scenario like in Halo of other single player shooters. The story mode here is a list of bot matches put together by cut-scenes that are nice on the graphics part but never really manage to create a gripping atmosphere.
Next to the many online options, with some new ones like “kill all defenseless Nali as fast as you can” there’s also a tournament mode. This offers you another way of playing: by each time playing with another character (most to be unlocked and each having their own speciality) in the tournaments. With in total 14 different men and women you’ll no doubt be happy for a couple of hours.
UC2:tLC has its problems but nonetheless also some qualities. On top of that, the devs deserve the credit for the renewing with the melee combat. This mayl scare off the fans of the first hour but those that are looking for a fast and varied shooter for XBox Live and are fed up with Halo2 will most certainly find their thing here. On top of that, the online system is well done, the graphics are nice and this game offers qualitative and deep gameplay. Definitely something for the fans of the genre.