Unloaded started off as a mod for Unreal. Outhouse Productions had decided to port the mod over to UT, after all not everyone who owns Unreal Tournament had played Unloaded on Unreal. So, after five days of vigorous coding, the mod was released. A while later, it was patched and some new additions were implemented.
While Unloaded introduces new maps, weapons, etc., the main thing that is radically different between Unloaded and UT is the view. Unloaded takes on a top-down perspective.
As with most games utilizing this viewpoint (there aren't many left), it takes a while to get used to the controls and the camera. The controls will probably take you ten minutes max to master. The camera, on the other hand, will take the longest to adjust to For some people, five minutes is all it takes, but for others, it might take a while longer.
Assuming that you become accustomed to the camera and the controls, you're in for a fun time. However, if one of the two elludes you, I highly recommend not playing Unloaded. It will just turn into a frustrating experience for you.
When you start a new game (by double-clicking on Unloaded.bat), you'll realize that Unloaded plays in a single player mode. You start off with nothing more than a chainsaw, so you'll want to avoid enemies until you get your first gun. If you try to take on powerful enemies with such a measly weapon, you'll probably find yourself restarting the level, a lot.
There are five maps in total (with one of them being a map for the end boss), which are played in a linear fashion. However, the maps themselves aren't too linear so that it feels like a rail shooter, but they aren't too open either. If you get lost, with a few minute spent on searching, you'll find the right track and be on your way again. All the maps consist of blasting away enemies, pushing switches, and on the Downtown level, driving cars.
The monsters will give you a run for your money, but they will not become frustratingly difficult to defeat. Just make sure you watch your health.
Unloaded provides a healthy arsenal for your killing pleasure, with only a few weapons being taken from Unreal. The weapons are described below:
Chainsaw - This is your first weapon and does medium damage.
Flame-Thrower - It basically kills everything immediately within it's proximity.
Handcannon - This weapon is the one that you'll probably use the most. It fires three types of rounds (Glazier, Explosive, and Standard) that can be easily switched with a press of the alt-fire key. The rounds deal medium to heavy damage, depending on the selected ammo type.
Rocket Launcher - It fires long range rockets, and deals heavy damage upon impact.
Grenade Launcher - Similar to the Rocket Launcher, but it shoots grenades in place of rockets.
Dispersion Cannon - It's the same weapon from Unreal. While it only deals medium damage, it can recharge, which insures that you'll always have something to resort to, besides the Chainsaw, when you run out of ammo for the other weapons.
Beam Cannon - It's similar to the Shock Rifle from UT, and deals quite a punch. When it hits an enemy, it pushes them away a considerable distance.
The graphics in Unloaded are top-notch. They are bright, colorful, and easy on the eyes. The environments are nicely done as well, and differ greatly from one another. The sound effects are on the same level as the graphics, meaning that they are superb. Nothing much to complain about in these two departments.
However, that doesn't mean that Unloaded is free of flaws. Like many games that put the top-down view into use, the camera can, at times, be a little quirky. You might end up seeing the floor above you, and it'll obscure your view, but there are only a few points in the mod where this happens.
The menu is the other problem that Unloaded posses. It's nice looking, but needs some work. It also doesn't make use of the mouse, meaning that clicking on a selectable option does not change the setting. Rather, you have to change the option by pressing the left or right arrow key. Even so, the menu is easy to use after a minute or so of fooling around with it.
Unloaded is probably one of the best mods that brings UT to a totally new environment. While it still has it's shooter roots, the top-down view makes Unloaded feel totally different from Unreal Tournament. It's an excellent mod to play, but the fun is all over too soon. Still, in the end, it was worth the download to play UT in an entirely different view, both literally and mentally.
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