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Unreal Tournament 2004: It’s All About the Mods

Genre: Mod Lover’s Dream Shooter Publisher: Atari Developer: Epic Games/Digital Extremes Platform: PC Metacritic Metascore: 93

Unreal Tournament, Epic and Digital Extreme’s stellar multiplayer-themed first-person shooter, is arguably the game with the most user-made content, ever. The highly flexible engine simply screams, "Use me baby!" Gamers have done just that, creating wildly inventive and imaginative mods that play nothing like the original game. If you have UT2004 sitting on the shelf, make sure to give these mods a spin; they breathe new life into what is already a fantastic 3D shooter. The mod community behind UT2004 is simply amazing. And although the samples listed here don’t even begin to do justice to what is out there, they are a good place to start.

The Mods

  • AirBuccaneers (http://ludocraft.oulu.fi/airbuccaneers). This nifty mod adds new maps and a new game type with air balloons, airships, and other high flying content.
  • Alien Swarm (http://www.blackcatgames.com/swarm). The talented folks at Blackcat Games have used the UT2004 mod tools to create a tactical turn-based strategy game!
  • Archasis (http://www.planetunreal.com/archasis). A Medieval-themed mod with multiple character classes, several new modes of play, and lots of cool Dark Ages weaponry. There’s even an experience point/level up system just like a traditional role-playing game.
  • Carball (http://www.carball.net). Think Rollerball with cars using the Unreal 2 engine and you get the idea. Carball is hilariously fun.
  • Deathball (http://www.deathball.net). A personal favorite, this total conversion of UT2004 combines football, rugby, and a lot of violence. There are even Deathball leagues out there that you can join.
  • Red Orchestra (http://www.redorchestra.clanservers.com). This mod rips out the futuristic setting of UT2004 and replaces it with the gritty war torn Eastern Front of World War II. Add tons of authentic weaponry from the period (with tanks!), and amazingly accurate WWII landscapes and you have one of the best mods around.
  • SAS Into the Lion’s Den (http://www.sas.jolt.co.uk). This is a slick counter terrorism mod involving the three main SAS forces around the world: British, Australian, and New Zealand SAS groups.
  • Troopers (http://www.ut2004troopers.com). A UT2004 Star Wars mod! Fight battles on Hoth, the Death Star, Endor, Mos Eisley, Cloud City, and so on. And you get to shoot stormtroopers, which just never gets old.
  • Unwheel (http://unwheel.beyondunreal.com). This is a racing mod that allows you to drive pretty much every four-wheel vehicle imaginable, even monster trucks.

The Unreal 2 engine is extremely popular with other developers. Games like Splinter Cell, Tribes: Vengeance, and Brothers in Arms Road to Hill 30 all use Epic’s wonderful game engine.

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