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I've played a little bit of UT2004 recently in the form of MM invasion RPG. I've been an irregular on the server for a few years and it always feels kinda good to come back, even though you need to be like level 200 to be good. It's a shame the game is otherwise pretty abandoned. It was such a great game, the custom maps were the best. So many fun times racing to the goal on race maps and trying to blast the scorpion to the goal in grenade jump maps. Torlan Redeemer Paradise and TankFlight were the best ONS maps. The game was in its prime only like six years ago but it feels like such a long time.
Then I played UT3 a bit with bots. It's such a shame. Like half the game modes got cut and the rest got bowdlerized. No importing custom maps from UT03/04 and the default maps suck. Even Face didn't come until Titan Pack. Everything looks so... UE3. Brown and bloom everywhere. There are only like 15 characters to choose from. Big whoop, you can customize their armor, no matter what you do your guy ends up looking like a Gears of War reject. Also the UI sucks. UT04 had a perfect UI, why did thye have to fuck it up? Consoles? Possibly. Usually I just remember the good times and hope for the best in the future but the future is looking grim. Real brown military shooters with regenerating health. There's Quake Live but I've always liked Unreal more and it's so limited in maps and such so yeah. Maybe developers realized they can't top UT2004 and just gave up and went in a different direction. It's 4 AM again, why am I drowning my sorrows at Doomworld? Good night. Or morning.
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I remember when they said they were going to release one UT game a year, like sports games. I guess that was before they realized that there's actually a larger market in sports fans than there was in gamers.
That being said, UT2k4 is really fun. It's like they took everything that was good in UT, upped the graphics, then added more fun stuff.