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Unreal Championship

A remake/port of Unreal Tournament 2003 for the original Xbox, and one of the first games to use Xbox Live.

A remake of Unreal Tournament 2003 for the original Xbox, and one of the first games to use Xbox Live. It can be considered a console adaption of Unreal Tournament, which it shares a lot of maps with.

Sadly this is one of the games that is trapped on the original Xbox, it was not made backward compatible with the Xbox 360 or the Xbox One, despite its sequel being supported. Perhaps this is deliberate since Unreal Tournament 2003 isn’t available on Steam, but the original and 2004 are, are Epic ashamed of these games?

Game Modes

Deathmatch: Standard deathwatch action, either team-based gameplay (two teams fighting each other, Red Vs Blue) or a free for all
Capture the Flag: Very similar to the PC original, you have to capture the opposing team’s flag three times (more or less, depending on the game settings) and return it back to base. If both teams have the opposing team’s flag, then no teams can score until the opposing team’s flag has been returned, which can be done by killing the flag carrier and picking up the flag.
Double Domination: Similar to capturing the flag, here you and your team have to capture two points for 10 seconds in order to score a point for your team. Kind of like a king-of-the-hill mode. Once either team reaches a predetermined score, the game is over. This is one of the games does that is better played online rather than offline since the bots suck at defending the captured base.
Bombing Run: Basically a reverse capture the flag, but kind of like football. Here you have to take control of the ball (Spawns in the middle of the map) and then fire it into the opponent’s goal. When you take control of the ball, expect to be target #1 by the opponent team. A nice side effect is the ball will replenish your health, slowly.
Survival: 1 vs 1, whoever gets the most kills wins, really deathmatch but with only two players.

Characters

There is a distinct story between the different characters, but this is only referenced in the characters biography’s, there is very few cut scenes in the game involving characters, aside from the opening with Brock and Lauren. Characters here have their own statistics, although many share the same voice lines, i.e human males use the same voice as each other, but the Aliens have their own, each with male/female versions. It’s not like fighting games like Tekken where each character has their own fighting style, more so they have unique statistics for their team.

  • Gen Mo’Kai: Alien looking species who take part in the tournaments, seem to be very agile but have weak strength
  • Automatons: A bunch of robots built by the Liandri corporation
  • Mercenaries: Regular humans, fairly typical stats for each character, ideal for newcomers to the game
  • Juggernauts: Big muvvafuckers, the strongest race that can take the most damage but are slow and the least agile characters in the game
  • Anubans: Look like humans but dress like they’re from Egypt, bit more agile than humans but are very high jumpers and acquire adrenaline more quickly
  • Nightmare: A bunch of weird and scary looking but have generally good stats. Supposedly their appearance is a result of the different experiments that have been done to them

Many characters would appear in Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004.

Multiplayer – Online Play

As one of the first Xbox Live titles, Unreal Championship was a popular title that was played online and the game made full use of the Xbox Live features. Until Microsoft shut down the original Xbox Live in mid 2010.
On the flip side you can sill play the game online using the system link features, which was Microsoft terms for LAN play where multiple Xbox’s are connected to the same network. This can be done either by connecting a crossover ethernet cable from one Xbox to another or by connecting both Xbox’s to a router using a standard ethernet cable
xLink Kai can be used to play online by using the system link features to play games over the internet, this requires the xbox to be connected to a PC which will emulate an Xbox LAN network

Left: Score display screen, Right: Hidden third person view, avaliable by using a custom save file

DLC

Additional maps were released on Xbox Live that could be purchased and downloaded from around May 2003. These maps could then be played online or in instant action mode. These maps include:

  • AquaMortis: This area features a open ocean area that contains a shark, who will kill once a player falls in
  • Inferno: Hell themed map
  • Leviathan B: SciFi arena themed map
  • Otaros Run: Capture the Flag map, A large-ish map set in the forest, similar to Tokara forest in UT2003
Installed DLC, which uses a different format

These maps are installed in the TDATA directory and can be used for all profiles on the Xbox. I’m not sure if custom maps can be installed and played this way since they are in a different format, would be good if custom maps could be played like the PC version. As far as I know, you cannot use UT2003 maps on Unreal Championship.

More information on Xbox DLC

Weapons

Left: View from the translocator camera, and your typical Xbox Live Gamertag, Right: The lightning gun

  • Shield Gun: The weapon you will only use when you are out of ammo and have no pickups in sight, alt-fire fires a shield that can protect you from limited damage but can only take so much damage.
  • Assault Rifle: One of the weapons you start with, does basic damage and is really the gun you only use until you can pick up another. Alt-fire shoots out a grenade that explodes shortly after being shit.
  • Mini-gun: A chain gun or sorts, ideal for spraying bullets at multiple enemies. Has a slight charge time of around a second.
  • Flak Cannon: The GOAT, fires a bunch of small projectiles which disperse quickly. Best used in close combat as it almost functions as a shotgun
  • Lighting Gun: A sniper rifle of sorts, shoots out a lightning bolt. Alt fire can be used to zoom into an opponent.
  • Rocket Launcher: Fires a rocket, alt-fire will lock onto a target
  • Translocator: Not really a weapon but more of a utility, allows you to fire a beacon which you can use to teleport to where the beacon had landed, useful for teleporting to hard to reach areas but you cannot translocate when carrying a flog. Attempting to do so will cause the flag to be dropped, but it can still be picked up by a teammate or returned back to base.

Adrenaline

Throughout playing the game and killing opponents or by picking up adrenaline pills, you will acquire adrenaline which can be used to apply power ups by quickly entering a button combination whilst playing:

Regeneration – Press down four times quickly – Regenerates health to twice the staring health, and gives up to 150 shield points
Berserk: Press up three times quickly – Increases damage inflicted to opponents, and reduced the damage taken by the player
Invisibility: Press Right twice, then Left twice – Makes your character invisible to other players, not much use on instant action / campaign as bots have been reported to still attack the player
Agility: Press Down twice, then Up – Increases your characters running and jumping ability

Early Alpha

A build of Unreal Championship was leaked in 2011 which was an early alpha version but was compiled and running on PC (Windows). There are quite a few changes compared to the actual release, with many maps being completely different.

The menu interface is different, with it using a planet-like interface for the character selection screen, here you can see the actual3D models, complete with animations compared to the 2D portraits in the final release.

Some geometry errors when playing on more modern systems, this game would have been developed and tested on DirectX 8 compatible hardware, and would have used Nvidia based hardware like the original Xbox used.

In the menu, Up/Down is used to select the map, whilst left/right is used to select the game mode.

There is no settings section to customize the game, but the ini file can be edited to change the game rules, such as the amount of kills needed to win (1000 by default)

Some sound effects come from the original Unreal Tournament, notably the respawn sound.

To exit the game, bring up the console by pressing tab and then type ‘exit’
There is no pause menu, but pressing F1 will bring up the score/players.

The game can be played using a keyboard, but the controls are centered around a console control. Weapons can be selected using the number keys (1-9), the mouse wheel can’t be used to select a weapon
F9 – Take a bitmap screenshot
F10 – Adjust Gamma
F11 – Adjust Brightness
F12 – Adjust Contrast
The Numpad number keys will spawn a weapon, and the regular number keys can be used to directly select a weapon.

A vehicle can be spawned by pressing H, which can be used to travel through the map quickly, very similar to the hoverboard in Unreal Tournament 3.

A third-person view mode can be activated by pressing F4, however it’s very buggy, and the weapon aiming is buggy.