Developer: Legend Entertainment Publisher: Atari/Infogrames
|Unreal II® - The Awakening is the sequel to the original Unreal and takes place in the same fictional universe - but the main player character and the locations are different than those found in the first game.
As the player, you are the lone representative of the Law in a distant sector of space. You patrol your beat in the creaky but serviceable starship Atlantis, a former military escort vessel that was decommissioned and retrofitted for civil government service long ago. You are accompanied by a support crew of three: Ne'Ban is your trusty alien pilot, Isaak is an engineer who keeps the ship running, and Aida acts as your Intelligence officer - she monitors the situation in the sector, keeps you up to date, and briefs you before you leave the Atlantis to go on a planetary mission.
Things are quiet... until the sector erupts in a full-scale interstellar war. Battles rage on and around more than ten vastly different worlds as several alien races, multiple mercenary armies, and the infamous Terran Military engage in fierce combat. You are caught in the middle of the fighting, and must balance your responsibility to protect the colonists, archaeologists, miners, and other civilians in your sector... with the duty to discover the source of the conflict and put an end to the war.
Unreal II - The Awakening takes the form of a series of missions linked by the narrative framework of the game's story. Missions may take place in the dense jungle of a tropical planet, in the ancient ruins of an alien city, deep underground in a warren of tunnels, on the molten surface of a hellish volcanic world, in the bowels of an alien industrial facility, in the endless oceans of a water-bound world, or on board an enemy starship. There are more than ten unique settings, each with its own distinct look and production design.
Key new technology features include a tenfold boost in character poly counts and a hundredfold increase for environments, realistic outdoor scenery generated by a new large scale terrain system, procedural character animations and blending using a new skeletal animation system with component level controllers, and a particle system that allows the Unreal II project team to realistically model fire, smoke, cloth, hair, weather effects, and breaking glass.
Other technical improvements include upgraded NPC AI, a real-time dialog system for communicating with NPCs, texture compression, alpha blending, distance fog, a new version of the Unreal level editor, advanced particle physics with forces and particle collisions, and per-poly collision detection for characters.