Unreal II: The Awakening

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Hot damn, Aida
"As earth expands in this sector of space, different corporations are establishing colonies on uninhabited planets. They do everything from creating vacation resorts, to mining exotic ores, to terraforming. We in the Terran Colonial Authority patrol between the planets to keep the peace. The corporations try to get away with a lot out here, and they hire mercenary forces to help them get their way. We often find ourselves fighting the mercs to defend civilians who work for their own corporation. If we run into something we can't take on alone, we call in the marines."

The first Unreal was well received, but it was Unreal Tournament the game which made the franchise famous all around the world. Epic Games decided that the next step should be taken by another company, and thus, Legend Entertainment made the next game of the franchise.

This game was Unreal 2: The Awakening, released for PC and Xbox in 2002.

In the game, the player takes the role of John Dalton, an ex-marine "space marshall" on a ship maintained by a small crew: Aida, his Stripperiffic first officer; Isaak, his gruff weapons expert/engineer; and Ne-Ban, his Alien pilot. He's sent on a mission to find various ancient artifacts of extreme power which are also being hunted by various other factions and races.

The game focused on more story-driven set-piece laden linear levels and lots of character interaction, as well as pitting you against Humans for the majority of the game, with the only link to the original being a few cameos and battles against the Skaarj and armored versions of them, called Mecha-Skaarj. Its place in the Unreal timeline is set between the first Tournament game and Return to Na Pali.

The game was not well received, due to these changes and being regarded as an average and somewhat derivative FPS. Perhaps, in part, to this, the SP side of the Unreal world has not been explored since then, although Epic Games have dropped some hints they may be willing to work on a sequel in the future.

Tropes used in Unreal II: The Awakening include:
  • Alien Sky
  • Amazon Brigade: The Liandri Angels.
    • Stripperiffic: Some of them appear to be completely naked under armor that includes a transparent bubble canopy.
  • Bee-Bee Gun: The biomass ejaculator, a gun that shoots spiders. And yes, it's officially called an ejaculator tube.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Dalton manages to destroy the artifacts, but his crewmates died, and he's left alone in space listening to Aida's final message.
  • Blade on a Stick: The Izarians use a variation.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Averted: unlike the previous games, there's no Shield Belt nor similar item here. The level of your shields affected their effectiveness. At full shields they'd absorb 100% of any damage you took, but below 90% or so you started taking partial damage to your health with the shields only absorbing a percentage of total damage, which got lower and lower as your shields dropped (i.e. at 50% shield strength your shields would absorb less than half of the damage of a hit). It's not uncommon to die with with your shields still at 33% or more.
  • Crosshair Aware: The Drakk robots will track the player with a laser, and then zap whatever is painted by it.
  • Dialogue Tree: Whenever Dalton runs into someone who isn't about to die or trying to kill him.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: Dalton spend most of the game traveling from planet to planet picking up pieces of an ancient artifact. When the artifact is finally assembled and used, it turns the least powerful creatures on the ship where it's used into the most powerful creatures, complete with guns that shoot black holes. Suffice to say, the artifact doesn't last long.
  • Eleventh-Hour Superpower: The Singularity Cannon dropped from the Tosc, (and capable of killing one instantly) although every Tosc has one too.
  • Emergency Weapon/Charged Attack: The Popgun energy pistol behaves more or less the same as it did in the first Unreal. You always have it as an emergency weapon, it recharges energy infinitely but has a lower-than-average rate of fire and relatively slow projectiles, and you can perform a charged shot with it (which, unfortunately, still isn't powerful enough to kill most enemies). The one key difference is that the Popgun doesn't have upgrades like the Dispersion Pistol, so it remains permanently in the Ranged Emergency Weapon function.
  • Escort Mission: One guy forces you to do so since he's Genre Savvy and he won't give you the item until he's safe.

"Here you go. Just kidding. The second I give you it you're going to leave me here to die. So you get me safe and I'll give you it."

Marine: Hell Dalton. You should have been a Marine.
Dalton: Don't get me started.