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"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.
- 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."
- Everything's Better with Spinning: The MechaSkaarj, who also have the ability to deflect bullets with their claws, reducing the vulnerability to rapid-fire weapons they displayed in the original Unreal.
- Evolving Weapon: Many weapons, after Isaak tweaks them.
- Faceless Goons: The UMS space marines.
- Gotta Catch Em All
- Hive Queen: The Araknid Queen, and the Drakk Caretaker (the last real boss you fight, although there are a couple levels after it).
- Hurl It Into the Sun
- It Has Been an Honor: The final words of Aida to John, on behalf of the entire crew.
- Kill'Em All: Only Dalton survived.
- Laser Hallway
- MacGuffin Delivery Service: Aida lampshades that, if the Dismantled MacGuffin forms a dangerous galaxy-threatening superweapon, why the heck is he collecting all of it's pieces instead of just taking the three or four pieces he has already and dropping them down a black hole? Sadly, Dalton is a military man through and through, and replies that orders are orders.
- Mecha-Mooks: The Drakk.
- Mega Corp: The main companies from the Tournament/Championship games (except Phayder) are involved in the game's conflict.
- Number of the Beast: The Black Hole Gun starts with 666 ammo.
- Obvious Beta: Even for today's PCs, the game has huge loading times. The same counts for the Xbox version.
- Oddly-Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Unreal II: The Awakening.
- One-Winged Angel: The true form of the Tosc, when awakened by the Dismantled MacGuffin Dalton was collecting.
- People Jars: With a healthy side of Squick due to... bizarre, nonsensical experimentation.
- Plot Coupon: The pieces of the Artifact of Doom.
- Powered Armor: EVERYONE.
- See You in Hell: Literally. Ne'Ban, who doesn't speak English very well, tells you he is on a course for Hell because your mission officer told him to go there. Then you go and talk to the mission officer, who casually tells you that your next mission is on a moon called "Hell".
- Shoot the Medic First: The best tactic against the Drakk.
- Shout-Out: Check the page.
- Sniping Mission
- A Space Marine Is You: The entire game, with the sole exception of the characterization of the main characters. It's somewhat of a running gag of Dalton complaining about how he should have been one.
Marine: Hell Dalton. You should have been a Marine.
- Space Police: The Terran Colonial Authority.
- Super Window Jump
- Swiss Army Weapon: The Hydra Grenade Launcher, capable of launching six different types of grenades and capable of employing timed or impact fuses!
- Unorthodox Reload: The Drakk Laser.
- Womb Level