Unreal II: The Awakening is a first-person shooter video game, designed initially only for a single-player campaign. The game is part of the Unreal series. It was developed by the now defunct Legend Entertainment, published by Atari and released on February 4, 2003 for Microsoft Windows. It was later ported to Microsoft's Xbox on February 10, 2004.
Unreal II: The Awakning is the sequel to the original Unreal game. However, you get to play a different character.
The player controls a former Marine John Dalton, a Terran Colonial Authority Marshal whose job is to patrol remote areas of space far away from any real action. He is called back into service to retrieve seven pieces of an ancient artifact thought to make a powerful weapon when assembled.
The plot follows a set path like many First Person Shooters, with the character going to various planets in search of the artifacts. Level design at each location is also single-pathed, with a certain amount of puzzle solving and key finding.
Environments on each planet are quite diverse, ranging from tropical to desert, bunkers and industrial installations, and alien cities and even inside the bodies of aliens. During several missions the player must hold a location against waves of incoming enemies, in some cases using NPCs as support. Overall it is a short game, comprising only 12 missions.
- John Dalton: The protagonist of the game. Dalton was once a proud member of the Marines, but was court-martialed after he disobeyed a direct order and saved the life of a civilian, his commanding officer who had ordered him to leave behind to die. He was relocated to the TCA, given command of the run-down patrol ship Atlantis, and ordered to patrol the "ass-end of space far away from any real action or significance." Dalton is a strong believer in the military lifestyle and the need for authority, but he also has a strong code of ethics and will always "do the right thing" without stopping to consider the consequences.
- Aida: The first officer of the Atlantis, Aida is in charge of giving Dalton his mission briefings. Acerbic and extremely cynical, Aida has a strong distrust of authority and a particular dislike for the military. In the past, she was a child prodigy and strategic genius, and holds galaxy-wide fame for saving Earth during the Strider Wars in a gambit where she lured the Strider armada to a distant human colony and then nuked the planet called Taiko into oblivion, killing everything on it. (Her room aboard the Atlantis contains reminders of the Strider wars.) However, her plan also involved sacrificing several hundred human colonists who were also killed in the destruction of the planet. The guilt from their deaths eventually caused Aida to develop a strong hatred of the military, causing her to seek escape and solitude by serving in the TCA.
- Isaak: Isaak is the ship's engineer and weapons specialist, responsible for briefing Dalton on his weapon loadout before each mission and keeping the ship running smoothly. Once an engineer in service on a Marine capital ship, Isaak panicked during a battle with the Skaarj and opened the ship's fighter bay too soon, which led to the deaths of several people as they were sucked into space. This is one of the reasons that Aida hates his guts. Disgraced from the incident, he hit the bottle and eventually ended up in the TCA. Dalton usually returns with souvenirs from every mission that Isaak skillfully transforms into devastating weapons.
- Ne'Ban: The ship's pilot, Ne'Ban is a Hex-Core alien on loan to the TCA through a personnel exchange program. Ne'Ban's personality is innocent and somewhat naive, and his command of the English language is rather imperfect, causing him to be something of the game's comic relief. In fact, Ne'Ban is royalty, and because of his sheltered upbringing he has been shielded from life and danger and therefore not allowed to participate or accomplish anything of significance. Ne'Ban is actually a parasite which dwells in some sort of transluscent slug, which wears a robotic life-support suit to operate in a human environment.
- Sector Commander Hawkins: The head of TCA operations in the ship's area of operation, Hawkins is Dalton's superior officer and the man responsible for sending Dalton on a quest to collect the artifacts. Hawkins claims that his orders come from General Drexler of the marines, and that Drexler wants Dalton to collect the artifacts to safeguard them from the enemies of humanity. However, it turns out this is all a lie. Drexler has nothing to do with the search for the artifacts; Hawkins is deceiving Dalton so that he can collect the artifacts and use their power for himself. Hawkins ultimately murders the crew of the Atlantis when they realize his deception and attempt to prevent him from obtaining the artifacts. Dalton kills Hawkins when he learns of this.
- Terran Colonial Authority: The TCA is a peacekeeping force established by the New Earth Government to maintain law and order on the outer edges of human space. Most of their work involves reining in abuses of power by the Megacorporations, who often commit serious ethical violations against the civilians of their own colonies due to the vast distance between them and any governing authority. The TCA itself controls its own private corporation, Axon Corporation, which is in charge of research and development of weapons, technology, and even archeological artifacts for the TCA. Several characters in the game describe the TCA as a very unprestigious organization, and most of the members of the Atlantis crew are wash-outs or rejects of one form or another.
- Liandri Corporation: The infamous megacorporation that controls the Tournament in the Unreal Tournament series. Liandri is seeking the power of the artifacts, which pits them in open warfare against the TCA. The company employs a private army of cold and ruthless genetically-engineered female warriors known as the "Liandri Angels".
- Izanagi Corporation: A Japanese megacorporation, Izanagi is also pursuing the artifacts for their own purposes. They employ a private army of elite mercenaries known as the "Ghost Warriors", and are the most common enemy type faced throughout the game.
- Skaarj: The Skaarj are a war-like reptilian race that has conquered a large portion of the galaxy, and who are currently at war with humanity. They have appeared as antagonists in nearly every game of the Unreal series. The Skaarj actually have a relatively minor presence in Unreal II, and only appear near the very beginning and end of the game.
- Izarians: The Izarians serve as enslaved minions to the Skaarj, but said to be willingly due to their masochistic nature. This four-armed alien species only appears along their masters' side in the first two missions of the game, generally carrying their traditional weaponry of the so-called "Shock Lances".
- Araknids: Araknids are a species of giant spiders that have overrun the Axon Corporation research facility on the ice planet "Hell". They are not a starfaring race, but rather an ordinary species of spider that have been mutated by the power of one of the artifacts. In the second half of the game the Araknids become of use for the player as a kind of organic weapon, summoning them via the newly designed "Spider Gun" by Isaak.
- Drakk: A mysterious race of ancient and extremely powerful insect-like machines, the Drakk are fought near the end of the game. The Drakk are engaged in cruel biological experiments on captured members of the other species, attempting to create the perfect soldier by grafting body parts from humans, Skaarj, and Kai together. Their energy cores serve as ammunition for Isaak's invention of the "Drakk Laser".
- Kai: An old semi-nomadic race of aliens, the Kai have soft bodies with thin limbs, and are only barely humanoid in appearance. An apparently weak and pacifistic race, the Kai are employed to do menial tasks and are generally looked down upon and degraded by the galaxy's other races. Several Kai are seen serving in the TCA as cooks and low-level labor. It is ultimately revealed that an ancient race known as the Tosc hid their DNA within the genetic structure of the Kai, and thus in fact one of the galaxy's most downtrodden races is actually the last remnants of one of the galaxy's most dangerous races.
- Tosc: An ancient and extremely powerful race of alien warriors. The Tosc stand almost 20 feet tall, have enormous strength and durability, and appear to have the natural ability to generate singularities, making them devastating living weapons. It is ultimately revealed that the Tosc are the ones responsible for creating the artifacts. When all 7 of the artifacts are brought together, they emit a signal which resurrects the dormant Tosc DNA hidden within the Kai, transforming all nearby Kai into Tosc, who quickly proceed to kill everything within sight.
List of Planets