O tempora is a series of retrospective posts where I play games from ages before to see if they stood the test of time.
Last years of 20th century and first years of 21st were really interesting for FPS game genre. The genre was slowly turning from fun mindless shootouts to story-driven events with Half-Life being the example most tried to follow. There was some resistance to this idea – Serious Sam being the best example of that, a mindless action game where you killed hordes of enemies with only basic outline of a plot. But most developers tried to go for something very cinematic, something that mixes shooting with other elements and ideas. In between release of Unreal 1 (released just half a year before Half-Life) and release of Unreal II we had Halo, Kingpin, Jedi Knight 2, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, several Medal of Honor games, Aliens versus Predator 2, Undying, Red Faction and even Metroid Prime (which is not a pure FPS, but a hybrid) all trying out very different often innovative things and new ways to mix storytelling and first person shooting. And then we have Unreal II, which at the time of release received mixed reviews and was completely ignored by me. Was it really that weak? Hahahaha, oh I couldn’t even predict how much.