Thursday, September 30, 2004

UT2004 2: Electric Boogaloo

Well, it's clear that my copy of UT2004 isn't going to be wearing out it's welcome anytime soon. Whatever small bits of my gaming-related time that Monster Hunter hasn't gobbled up have been spent either playing around with the new Frag Ops I mentioned a few weeks ago, or the recently released ECE Bonus Pack.

The bonus pack is more or less(or exactly) like an upgrade to the enhanced retail version UT2004: Director's Cut, minus the mods that are included. Of course, since all the mods are freely downloadable anyway, that's no big deal. What is a big deal is the new vehicles in the bonus pack, they're cool. Damn cool. My current favorite, who's name I can't currently remember, is the mobile artillery type of vehicle - basically a cannon that moves quickly. There are also a few new characters and maps included although, much to my chagrin, the only new maps are Onslaught maps. Sure, it's a highly enjoyable gametype; it may even be my favorite, but I can't help but wonder why there weren't any CTF, Assault, Bombing Run or Double Domination(a highly underrated gametype) maps included. Of course, there are plenty of CTF(and just as many Onslaught) maps in the completely awesome Community Bonus Pack, but even there you'll only find one Assault map, and two each for Double Domination and Bombing Run. I know that when it comes to Assault, those maps take a lot of both time and talent, but anyone who can make a kick-ass Deathmatch map should be able to have a pretty easy time at a DOM or BR map.

Anyway, on to the Frag Ops 2.0 beta. What they've done here, and it's really quite clever, is taken everything that made the earlier releases of Frag Ops cool, kept that, and then(and I'm not sure if this was done on purpose or not) took everything that makes Domain 2049 cool, improved on it, added a pinch of RTS and made a big old stew full of gaming goodness. The Mission game type, which was the meat of Frag Ops for a long time, plays a lot like a better Counter Strike - that's all well and good. What really kicks it up a notch(Bam!) is the new War gametype. Like Domain 2049's gameplay, this mode is reminiscent of Assault mode, what with the respawns and everything, except once you have the resources, you can build structures RTS-style. Beyond that, it's an experience that really needs to be seen and heard - not read about. So, go check it out.

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