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April 3, 2004
Underworld: The Eternal War - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
6/2/2004Red AntPlay It1MA15+Medium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Street soccer? No... Underworld.
Underworld was a movie that I was quite keen to see and indeed I was fortunate to get into the premiere on the Gold Coast thanks to Radio Metro. The movie, however, turned out be one of the biggest stinking piles of turd that I have seen. Don't get me wrong, I like vampire movies (Blade and Blade II are among my favourite movies), but Underworld was just bad. Oh wait, there was something good - Kate Beckinsdale - in latex. The movie also had plenty of action, and the ideas of a good story, so the game could be good, especially at an extremely generous price point of $AU29.95.

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Getting your gun off.
In case you haven't seen the movie (and let's face it, you haven't missed much) here is the storyline. Imagine a war that is centuries old between two immortal races to determine who will rule the night. Masses of Vampires are slipping out of the shadows, bristling with modern weaponry and powers. Crawling from beneath the streets the Werewolves are enraged, itching to tear apart their eternal enemies. Your actions alone determine whether your side suffers a crushing defeat or stands on the corpses of your enemies.

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One of the movie scenes.
Pretty standard stuff, but in an interesting move the game allows you to take the role of either the leather clad, Vampire Death Dealer, Selene or the ruthless werewolf, Raze. Each has their own strengths, and each has different missions to complete. As a vampire you can heal yourself during the game or jump in the air and glide slowly back to the ground. The werewolves can change from human to beast and vice versa. This ensures a variety of gameplay at the very least. Sadly the levels are very linear with only single path to follow.

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One of the less impressive screens.
The problem with Underworld: The Eternal War is just that is just lacks that spark. You play it, you put it down. You forget about it. There is little reason to go back, and playing through it a second time won't be high on too many peoples list of things to do. The inventory system, especially when you pick up a new item, is cumbersome and doesn't keep well with the flow of the gameplay.

Graphically I was fairly surprised with the quality in this title. This is well above your typical budget game in terms in-game graphics and presentation. Sure, it's not up there with most full price games but in general the engine is strong enough to handle many enemies (often over a dozen) on screen with average texturing and animation. Video clips from the movie are almost DVD quality which is great to see considering the quality of the video in some other high profile games.

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Surrounded by enemies.
Sound is another area where there is nothing much to shout about, but there is nothing much to complain about either. The effects are adequate enough, the speech is uninspiring but does use the real actors for authenticity. Music is atmospheric enough but does little to inspire feelings either way about the game.

Underworld: The Eternal War is a $AU29.95 game, and you can probably pick it up for closer to $20 if you shop around. Is it worth it? There are better Platinum titles for around double that price but if you're grandma wants to spend $30 on you for your birthday, and no more, then this not a bad purchase. Just don't expect anything groundbreaking.

Review By: David Warner

GRAPHICSA budget game that provides an average graphics engine as expected.
SOUNDFairly good effects a music which do an adequate enough job.
GAMEPLAYCan get repetitive quickly, but overall this is a solid action title.
VALUEIt's only $29.95, this is a good title if you're on a budget.
OVERALLAs long as you don't expect a triple-A title (or anything with an A in it really) then you should get some value out of this game. Sure, it's not perfect, but this is probably one of the best value games on the market.

Talk about Underworld in this forum topic now.