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Author Topic: Unreal Championship 2 [impressions]  (Read 3386 times)
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Driver
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« on: April 16, 2005, 06:27:49 PM »

Since I liked the first Unreal Championship, but liked the demo for the second one even more, I've got this one on pre-order.  The game releases on Wednesday.

Is anyone else picking it up?  I'll finally have time to play on Live again starting next week and it would be great to get some action together on this or another title.

Will add impressions when the game rolls around.
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Dimmona
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2005, 08:20:39 PM »

After reading the IGN review, my curiousity has been piqued a couple of notches.  Forty maps is quite a bit, and if the online play is as good as the review says it is than I might be sold on it.

Anybody know if they support the multiple voice channel thing like the first UC did?  That was one of the coolest Live features I've seen in a game, yet I haven't seen it in any other games.
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2005, 09:24:49 PM »

I will most definately rent it, but I cannot say I will buy it unless I really love it. UT on PC takes enough time.
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dandylife
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2005, 12:18:11 AM »

Based on my experience with the demo, I think the game'll be good; it won't be great.  The main problem is that, somewhat like God of War (but actually much worse), the melee combat just isn't satisfying.  It feels very floaty and imprecise.  The main melee attacks have your character just spinning in circles and hitting anything around him or her.  Some of the attacks target single characters, but they still don't feel right.  Melee is definetly hard to do in a game, and it doesn't seem like UC2 does it any better than alot of other games.  The grahpics are nice, though, and the weapons feel solid and beefy, for the most part.  We'll soon see how it turned out.
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2005, 12:31:47 PM »

Quote from: "dandylife"
The main melee attacks have your character just spinning in circles and hitting anything around him or her.  


When I started playing the demo I felt that way. By my sixth match though, I prefer the melee combat. There is the right time and wrong time to switch to melee. It's not mortal kombat, don't mash buttons. smile
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dandylife
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2005, 12:26:24 AM »

Gamespot's review:

http://www.gamespot.com/xbox/action/unrealchampionship2theliandriconflict/review.html

See for yourself!  I am shocked, and quite curious to see the words behind the score.
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2005, 04:12:56 PM »

Last night I had a phone call from the Gamestop Robot telling me that Unreal... Champ..ion...ship....2... will...be...available...Tues...day...after...noon.  That is the geekiest phone call, or the call that most reveals me as a geek, I've ever received.

Anyway, should have the game later today.  Unless the robot lied.

I did play the demo last night to decide if I really wanted this game.  With any Live game, I run into a lot of frustration with a) geeks who do nothing else but master their online game (or master how to cheat), b) getting the boot because I do well in a match, c) getting the boot because I do poorly in a match, c) listening to 13-year-olds who don't know how to STFU.

Voice communicator: the best and worst innovation to come to online games.  I could live without it, quite honestly.

I found a happy medium in the demo that Gamespot says has carried into the full game: adding one bot to the 4-player match.  That means only 3 people, it seemed to prevent anyone "owning" the match, and it let's non-obsessive players a target to get some kills on.  The ability to mix bots with geeks is a great idea, and I think that'll save this game from being a complete dork fest.  When in doubt: add bot-age.
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2005, 05:05:30 PM »

Quote from: "Driver"
c) listening to 13-year-olds who don't know how to STFU.


Yessir, before hopping on Live! for the first time at the end of last summer, I thought I was going to find a more mature gaming audience.  I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

I'll be without broadband for the summer, but hopefully next fall the price will have dropped a little and interest will still be high for this one biggrin  Can't wait to hear impressions.
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Driver
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2005, 03:22:45 AM »

About two hours playing in and, you know, wow!

There are a lot of nice graphical touches -- the small bots that fly around the robot when he repairs; how when the robot's health is low the screen goes to a static-y black and white screen of the action.  The robots can't jump as well as the humans, and I haven't tried other characters yet -- you have about seven to start with.

The levels -- the four or so out of 40 I've played on -- are outstanding.  The bots are different characters than the ones you can play, which I think shows the time that went into this thing.  

There are a lot of mods that I haven't yet messed with.  Many are unlockables.  

The two Instant Action Deathmatches I played (Experienced level) were 1-1: I won by a single kill in the first, and I lost by four in the second.  So the challenge is there, and considering I'd only played the demo before I think that's about right.

I spent the second hour on the story mode -- there are a lot of cutscenes, and each level (including the tutorials) allows you to set a record time, which gives them replay.

Next up on the story is an InstaGib match -- my favorite mode.  I'll let you know if they have a set-up for Last Man Standing.

This game is ridiculously poilished.  Everything is done well -- the cutscenes are little too rock video for me, but the animations are cool, and the whole story line anyway is like a bonus feature.

It took me a little bit to get used to the controls  - the weapons are probably mellowed a bit for the melee, but the special powers are great (6 per character), and there are enough that you want to play with them each a bit to get the hang of them.  Melee is nice b/c you can reflect the weapons fire back -- I think the game may favor melee slightly, but the more I use, say, the rocket laucher, the more I get it:  hold L to load three, and if you want, pull R just before they fire to spay their radius.  It's wild to watch.

Which is what I like most abou tthe game: there's a lot of depth to it -- not combos, really, but just refinements and little nudges that show off a lot of thought.  The one thing I'm not good at are coup de grace, and those are combo kills, only the other player can unfreeze themselves before the kill if you aren't quick.

I haven't really messed with the menus or been online, but I might try a match online just to check it out.

Worth $50?  I'd say if you're a UT or UC fan, definitely yes.  The game is gorgeous, the characters are very well designed, and I love the gameplay.  I have to remeber to blink. slywink

Let me know if I can answer any questions.

MORE:

I played about thirty minutes online.  There was some lag in open areas with all four players on screen at once, which was rare, but the most noticable lag -- which is in single player as well -- is the jump from the game to the focus on the winning player.  You can tell the game is over because of that little pause before the final screen.

Not a lot of talking online -- but that may be b/c I hosted, and I wasn't on  the mic.

Last thing,  the idea of adding bots to an online match not only fills your empty slots, but you can start playing on your own before any other human players join.  That's an awesome feature, I think.  So no more waiting around for a bunch of dumbasses to join in on your lobby and then hop back out -- you want to play online, just fill the game with a few bots and launch it. Human players fill empty slots first, then new joiners will kick out the bots.  Again, because bot models are different than player models,  you can tell them apart.  Really an outstanding feature.
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Dimmona
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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2005, 04:07:13 AM »

Good impressions!!
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Driver
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2005, 01:17:33 PM »

Thanks!  I hope other folks around here pick it up.
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dandylife
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2005, 04:29:14 AM »

Driver, has the 3rd person camera been tightened up since the UC2 demo?  The 3rd person camera in the demo is absolutely attrocious in enclosed or tight spaces.  I lose constantly to the AI in melee matches in the small 1v1 level Praxis because the camera is just horrific.  It goes insane the instant I get into a corner, hallway, or smaller part of the level, and it just gets worse and worse as the bot jumps around.  This camera just doesn't cut muster.  Sometimes I can't get out of the corner because the camera is going nuts, so I die.  Extremely frustrating.  I hope this is better in the release, or you haven't had problems with it, or something, 'cause this just about kills the melee in certain levels for me.

Edit: Also, how do you pull off those finish moves, whatever they're called (coup de tat, maybe?)?  I have freezed my opponents many times (not sure how), but then I don't know what to do.  I've learned that attacking them while they're frozen is a bad idea though; I just open my self right up for the counter attack, and, with Lauren, often death.  Fucking Szaler.
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dandylife
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« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2005, 04:29:31 AM »

repeat.  damn forum lag.
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« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2005, 05:59:04 AM »

hey danadylife,

The coup de grace moves are tough -- after you freeze someone you lock on them by clicking the right stick.  You're right that if you attack it breaks the ice, but what will happen once you've locked on is that a combo appears.  If you complete the combo before they break out of the ice, you get the coup de grace.

To be honest, I never really try to do them.  It takes too much time, so I break the ice and try to get 'em after.  Sometimes it works. slywink

If it helps any, locking on the other characters in regular combat might help you find your bearings.

As far as the camera goes, I haven't had a problem with it -- I just keep moving around or jumping.  You can set it up so that you use 1st person for weapons, but I just stay in the 3rd-person mode most of the time.  (There is a mod that lets you play "classic UT":  first person, no adrenaline, no locking on to enemies.)  If you don't like the camera in the demo, I'm not going to say it gets any better in the full game.  Maybe it just takes time to get used to.

I'm totally surprised by the lack of interest here and at OO in this game.  There are a lot of new titles out, sure, but the conversation has been awful quiet.  I dig it -- played a ridiculous amount of time today while home sick -- and I'm geting used to the new moves and weapons.  It's not for everyone, but for those that like it there are some neat things to unlock and a lot of depth in single and multiplayer modes.

Hope that's helpful, dl.
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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2005, 09:52:44 AM »

I'm just cautious being cautious, that's all.  Plus, I have no money at all.  I'd have to get this one via trade-in or something - I am a UT fanboy and its hard to see so many good things written about it, though.  Just some questions:

1.) Lots of people playing?  Like, do a zillion servers pop up when you search for a game online?

2.) One thing I noticed about the demo...the framerate was relatively high, but at points, it would kind of slow down just slightly.  This actually reminded me a lot of the original UC - do you feel this is a problem/see it happening very much?

3.) Does it have a DM map called Albatross??

4.) The servers that are online, do they usually have autoaim on?  Because I've played on about 5 different servers (5 games total) of Unreal Championship, and they all had autoaim on, which pretty much made the game nearly pointless.

5.) And just for confirmation, 4 is the max number of players online, correct?
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« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2005, 02:45:56 PM »

1.) Lots of people playing? Like, do a zillion servers pop up when you search for a game online?

Well, I don't know about a zillion.  It's 9:30 a.m. on a Friday in Indiana and there are 25 matches online right now.  I didn't have any trouble finding any yesterday, and I like to create my own matches too, but the game is pretty new, too.  You can set up your box as "dedicated", though, which I think is like running a server on Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

2.) One thing I noticed about the demo...the framerate was relatively high, but at points, it would kind of slow down just slightly. This actually reminded me a lot of the original UC - do you feel this is a problem/see it happening very much?

I don't think it's as bad as in the first UC.  I notice it a lot, as I mented before, at the end of the match.  There's a pause while it loads that final screen.  There's lag when you get a new player (you enter a match at any time),  and the framerate in the level preview screen (where you can zoom around and check out the map) drops while the round is loading.  I played one game, also mentioned before, where it was either confusing on screen or a little stuttery b/c of all the people being onscreen at once.

3.) Does it have a DM map called Albatross??

No.

4.) The servers that are online, do they usually have autoaim on? Because I've played on about 5 different servers (5 games total) of Unreal Championship, and they all had autoaim on, which pretty much made the game nearly pointless.

I agree.  But there's no auto aim this time around -- the lock on feature replaces that, and it's manually done.  There is also 'homing' as one of the adrenaline powers available to some characters,  and as a charge on one of the guns.  You can turn off lock-on using a mutator.

5.) And just for confirmation, 4 is the max number of players online, correct?

Nope, it's eight.
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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2005, 06:16:52 PM »

From what I have noticed so far, just finished the first instagib in story mode, the framerate even in the offline storymode is bad.  It seems like when ever there are multiple people on the screen or whenever you are running through water or anything like that, there is a drop.  It doesnt take too much away, but is noticeable and pretty annoying.
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« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2005, 10:10:03 PM »

Is it just me or is wall-jumping (or, really, chimney-jumping) insanely hard?
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« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2005, 12:17:30 AM »

Yeah, I had to get the hang of the wall jumping.  I use the A button instead of clicking the L-stick -- it's made it much easier, IMO.
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« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2005, 01:24:50 AM »

How exactly do you do the jumps up the chimneys and all that kinda stuff?  Do you actually have to move the left analog stick in the direction of each jump as you press 'A'?  If so, that's incredibly insane.  It would take hours upon hours of practice to time A button pressing and analog stick movement properly at a sufficient speed to ascend some of the jumps I see the bots doing with the greatest of ease in the demo levels (specifically the 4 player indoor level, whatever it's called).
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« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2005, 02:37:40 AM »

I've been playing lots of 2 and 4 player melee matches in the demo lately.  Things I've learned:

1) Heavy characters seem to be way better than light and mediums.  Szalor, the heavy, consistently wins all matches.  Consistently.  And he's the hardest to beat.  His hits do shitloads of damage, yet he swings just about as fast as Lauren, the light, and doesn't seem to be any slower in the character movement speed department, at least not when he's close enough to make it count with a melee hit.  

2) Locking on is usually a bad idea.  It fubars the camera to death to lock on to an enemy and then have that enemy start jumping around all over the place as you try to track them (which is something the AI loves to do).  Your characters orientation to the level around you changes so fast when this happens that you can barely keep up, which means backing into a corner/wall and being trapped instantly.  This is a recipe for instant death.  I've had much more success not locking on a whole lot.  Use it judiciously

3) Wall/chimney jumping is way too hard to do, and very sloppy.  I just can't seem to pull it off, no matter what I try.

4) 3rd person camera is pretty lously when in enclosed spaces.  Especially hallways and little rooms.  Camera just can't handle 'em.

I really like parts of this game, but I'm holding off purchasing until I feel more confident about it.  May not happen, these things I mention are real problems to me.
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« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2005, 04:11:59 AM »

Quote
Do you actually have to move the left analog stick in the direction of each jump as you press 'A'? If so, that's incredibly insane.


If I understand it correctly, it's even more insane than that, as you have to move the left stick AWAY from the wall you're jumping to and hit the A button BEFORE you hit the wall.  It's very counter-intuitive, but you know those damn 13 year olds who don't know how to STFU have been doing nothing else but jumping up chimneys for days.  And they'll call you gay when you can't do it.
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« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2005, 04:48:54 AM »

I hereby call for a mass genocide of all 13 - 15 year old Xbox Live players.  God knows the world'll be better off without them.
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« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2005, 01:27:03 PM »

I had some fun matches last night: two team deathmatch session, and some good regular DM games.  I think switching your choice of characters around helps -- some click with your style better than others.  I got wiped out in one game with a fast/weak character, but came back and lost by one with a one of the slower robots.  Offline I've been learning the maps for Overdose, which is a little like the ball run games from the first UC, mixed with DM, so I'll probably try that online next.

There's a learning curve, that's for sure, but I didn't even play the first UC this much, this often.  I'm hooked.

I still get a kick our of deflecting ammo back at the shooter, and you can even deflect locked in jump attacks (for which the attacker hears the pleasantly humiliating  'Smackdown!' announcement from the UC voice.)
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« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2005, 12:29:50 AM »

For a game I really like, I sure have alot of complaints.  One of the big ones, 5 or so matches into a tournament match with that light class female human whats-her-name, is that the AI is set on "aimbot".  I fucking hate it when games do this.  UT 2k4 had the same problem.  I'm playing on Experienced difficulty level (it's the second hardest, and there are 5 of them), and the AI consistently hits me with the weps when I'm 20 ft or closer.  I'm using a console gamepad to aim!  Of course I'm not going to be able to hit them as often!  This is fucking stupid.  What a tarnish on a great game.
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« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2005, 02:05:22 AM »

Although I like the game and enjoy offline mode, I am having a hell of a time with it online.  In a bad way.

I get a lot of studder movement when lots of people join a game.  I have tried to join dedicated servers, but that does not seem to matter.  Also it seems ridiculously easy to get "gliched".  Once this happens you get one of several possibilities.  Such as spawning and not being able to move.  Spawning and moving but you can not pick up items or your shots do no damage (until you get killed where you spawned since you are still standing there to others).  Continuous turning effect which stays with you through spawns (ie you slowly spin to the left when standing still or moving, die, and still slowly spin to the left like your controler needs to be calibrated).  And even out and out crashing.

Usually reports of this follow speculation about connection.  Besides the usual responses of "all other games work fine,"  I have tested it at several locations with several connections.  Also, reading forums, it is fairly common.  Not everyone has it, and everyone who does not sure seems convinced that the game is fine.  Right now there are theories going around about everything from bugs, to routers and NATs, to improper hosts.  No common denominator has been found, other than the symptoms.

It is a good game, sort of.  I just wished it worked.
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« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2005, 02:56:00 PM »

I've encountered all the glitches you mention, too, but I figure they'll patch it.  I've still played a lot of online stuff where nothing weird happens, though.  SOunds like a good time to try some CG/OO deathmatches! smile


Edit:  actually, this seems to occur when people try to host the maximum number of players when their connection can't handle it.
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« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2005, 03:30:54 PM »

The Anubis Tournament has a great modified game set-up that I played online last night.  Enable these mutators:

DeathMatch: 25 frags
Speed Match - adrenalized speed always on
Weapons Master - only one random weapon available; it switches after one player gains five kills and becomes "Weapons Master."
Retribution - This is what makes the match fun, and evens the field.  When you're fragged, you get 30 seconds to gain Retribution on your slayer, and that player is hislighted wherever they are on the map so you can go right to them.  Retribution frags get three points, so you have to be especially godd to get too far ahead -- it keeps the game at a great pace.
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« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2005, 03:27:38 AM »

New content coming:

"We are indeed hard at work on our first upgrade to the game. For starters, that means new content! We'll be posting two new maps, one CTF and one DM. We'll also be posting playable versions of a handful of bot characters in the game. I'll just say, "Nice dog" and leave it at that. ;-) "

From TeamXbox
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« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2005, 10:37:30 PM »

Quote from: "Driver"
Thanks!  I hope other folks around here pick it up.


Still can't believe I'm the only one around here playing this.  :shock:
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