Unreality Sucks

It was not without some curiosity that I noticed that the Linux and Mac OS X versions of the Unreal Tournament 2004 demo are available. After all, being a (nearly retired) Quake player, I still like to play a few bouts now and then, so I started the 200MB download and left it overnight.

Now, I must say that I loathe the Unreal Tournament physics model - the way characters move, jump, run, etc. It was bad on Unreal, it got worse on UT, and even considering the 2003 edition's slight improvements, playing Unreal Tournament feels like wading through a quicksand pool under lunar gravity.

Add to that a rag-tag assortment of weaponry that combines the worst aspects of the words eyecandy and spam and a really bad graphics renderer, and you start wondering why I even bothered.

Call it boredom. Call it fascination for the fact that they even bothered to put out a Mac OS X demo at all, considering that the Mac is not really a high priority for any games developer.

Well, the weapons are still too funky for my taste, and the OpenGL renderer is a bit crappy considering what I can get out of Quake III Arena, but the UT 2004 demo gameplay almost made up for it. The "Onslaught" game mode is pretty good - it feels eerily like the a cross between the Quake III Arena Team Arena add-on and Halo (but with more choice of vehicles and uhm, weaponry), and it's quite fun to play.

The thing is, it's too damn slow - the framerate varies tremendously even at 800x600 (which means it's definetly not my iMac's lack of power) and it still feels like running through quicksand. I'll be watching out for performance improvements, but, at least for now, all that I'll play on the Mac (when and if I find the time) is Urban Terror - at least there, even with the huge textures, I have a moderately decent framerate.

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