Atari plans Unreal II special edition
With long overdue multiplayer element.
Atari has announced plans to re-release Unreal II: The Awakening as a Special Edition package in the USA in time for Christmas.
Developed by Legend Entertainment, Unreal II is the successor to Epic Games' revered single-player first-person shooter, and the Special Edition release will not only include the single-player aspect released in February but a vaunted new multiplayer mode dubbed "XMP".
Although Unreal II had a nice game engine and some decent enough level design towards the end, it was generally held as something of a disappointment on its release in February 2003 - as a rather empty, soulless science fiction experience that missed the point of the first game. However with the Special Edition expected to launch at a lower price ($29.95 in the US), it takes on something of a different air, as most "budget" releases do really.
As for XMP, it's meant to be considerably more than just deathmatch. It's described as a team and class-based multiplayer game with vehicles set on large-scale maps as players fight to control energy sources for their war machines, deployment points to get to the front lines quickly, and four artefacts that are required to win each match. Atari is quick to add that the XMP element will also be available to download for people who bought the original release - with a demo of the XMP due out sometime today.
XMP is also expected to ship with the Xbox version of Unreal II, which recently slipped from its original target date of December 5th to February 6th, 2004. It's not currently clear when Unreal II: The Awakening - Special Edition will ship in Europe.