Unreal Tournament 2004
|Unreal Tournament 2004|
|Publisher(s)||Atari, Inc. (Linux/Windows)
|Engine||Unreal Engine 2.5|
|Distribution||Optical disc, Download|
Unreal Tournament 2004, also known as UT2K4 and UT2004, is a futuristic first-person shooter computer game developed by Epic Games and Digital Extremes. It is part of the Unreal series of games, particularly the subseries started by the original Unreal Tournament, and is a sequel/expansion to 2002's Unreal Tournament 2003.
The game features most of the content of its predecessor, replacing it on the shop shelves. Unreal Tournament 2004 boxes sold in the United States include a $10 mail-in rebate requiring that a short form be completed and sent to the publisher along with a copy of the manual cover for Unreal Tournament 2003. Versions sold in the United Kingdom had a similar offer, but required sending in the play CD for Unreal Tournament 2003 instead.
Among significant changes to gameplay mechanics and visual presentation, one of the major additions introduced by Unreal Tournament 2004 is the inclusion of vehicles and the Onslaught game type, allowing for large-scale battles.
There are many vehicles available in Unreal Tournament 2004. Most of them make an appearance in the Onslaught game type, while a few feature in Assault. The full set consist of aircraft types and vehicles. There are also two spacecraft which only officially feature in one Assault map, and different types of gun turrets which players can take control of.
The game includes extensive modification support which allows users to easily create maps, models, gamemodes as well as various other additions to the game. The game features a flexible modification system which seamlessly blends custom content with the original, as well as allowing for easy tweaking of the game with the "mutator" system.
In 2004 Epic games held the "Make Something Unreal" contest, which rewarded the creators of the best submitted modifications with prizes in cash, computer hardware, and, ultimately, a license for commercial use of Unreal Engine 2 and 3. Red Orchestra, a total conversion modification based on the Eastern Front of World War II and focused on realism-oriented gameplay, was the winner of the contest and is currently available as a retail title on Steam.
Alien Swarm was the winner of Phase 4 of the Make Something Unreal Contest for best non-FPS modification. In 2010, the game was released as a standalone game for free, based on the Source engine instead of the Unreal engine.
UT2004 was built with Unreal Engine 2.5 and the content of its predecessor, UT2003.
The game was developed by multiple studios, with Epic Games leading the project. Lead programmer Steve Polge described the role of each company involved:
- Epic Games
- Enhancements to the Unreal Tournament 2003 game types, the new UI, Voice over IP and bot voice command support, engine enhancements and optimizations. They also made an improved single player game, and improved community and demo recording support, in addition to thirty-one new playable characters. A Sniper Rifle similar to the one included in the original Unreal Tournament was added. They created one Onslaught map, and developed AI support for Onslaught. 16 new DM maps, 5 new CTF Maps, 2 new Double Domination maps and 1 new Bombing Run map were added. The Assault gametype design and implementation were also reintroduced from the original Unreal Tournament.
- Digital Extremes
- 3 new DM maps, 6 new CTF maps, 2 new Bombing Run maps, and 3 new Double Domination maps, 2 new playable characters, the new HUD design; new weapon models for the Assault Rifle, Shock Rifle, and Link Gun.
- The Onslaught gametype design and implementation, with 6 new vehicles, 4 new weapons (Grenade Launcher, Spider Mine Layer, Anti-Vehicular Rocket Launcher (AVRiL), and the Phoenix target painter), and the Energy Turret. They also created seven Onslaught maps, and collaborated with Streamline Studios on the popular map ONS-Torlan. Finally, they made the new model for the Translocator.
- Streamline Studios
- The single player introduction movie and ONS-Torlan in collaboration with Psyonix. Streamline Studios created the Assault map AS-Confexia as a test for ONS-Torlan, which they released for free.
On February 11, 2004, a playable demo was released for multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux on x86-32 (February 13, 2004) and Linux on x86-64 (February 15, 2004). An updated demo version, including all the bugfixes from official patches and some original content, was released on September 23, 2004.
Unreal Tournament 2004 was released on March 16, 2004 for the PC (Linux x86-32/x86-64 and Windows), the Mac OS X version (DVD only) followed on March 31, 2004. The version for Windows x86-64 was released as a downloadable patch on October 1, 2005. At release consumers could purchase the game on CD, or a limited-time special edition DVD version that came with a Logitech microphone-headset and a second DVD filled with video-tutorials on how to use the included UnrealEd. A single DVD version with neither microphone nor tutorials was also released in Europe. The CD version of the game came on six discs. On April 13, 2004, Unreal Tournament 2004 was re-released as a special edition DVD.
In summer 2004, Epic and Atari, in collaboration, released an XP Levels downloadable mappack, which included two new Onslaught maps, ONS-Ascendancy and ONS-Aridoom. The pack is free for download and use on any system capable of running the game.
On September 21, 2004, Atari released in stores the "Editor's Choice Edition" of Unreal Tournament 2004 which adds 3 vehicles, 4 Onslaught maps, and 6 character skins to the original game, and also contains several mods developed by the community as selected by Epic Games. This extension (excluding mods) was released as a Bonus Pack by Atari on September 23, 2004, and is available for free download.
In December 2005, the Mega Bonus Pack was released online by Epic games, which included several new maps, along with the latest patch and the Editor's Choice Edition content.
In November 2006, Unreal Anthology was released which bundles Unreal Gold, Unreal II: The Awakening, Unreal Tournament (Game of the Year edition), and Unreal Tournament 2004. On March 17, 2008 the game was released standalone and as part of the Unreal Deal Pack on Valve's digital distribution service Steam, followed later in the year by the 'Editors Choice Edition' on GOG.com
Unreal Tournament 2004 was met with overwhelming critical acclaim and community reaction, with critics praising the unique, fast-paced, fun and challenging nature of the game as its main selling points, while fans touted the post-release support and extensive modding capabilities.
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- Unreal Tournament 2004 at GOG.com
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- UT2004 Stats – Official gameplay stats tracking
- Unreal Tournament 2004 guide at StrategyWiki