It is not often that a game comes along that makes us question the very foundation of what a game really is. Whether you consider video games to be a form of art or just a way to escape the day, Uni Fine 4 has single-handedly changed the way I feel about games in general. The level of immersion in UF4 makes the game feel so close to reality that it is borderline indistinguishable and if magic and monsters existed I doubt they would feel this real. Game play is as smooth and responsive as ever. During my review of Uni Fine 4 I never missed a beat during its 60 hour main story line, though there are plenty of side quests and dungeons to keep you busy for another 40 hours (no kidding, the main story is only half of the game) if you are so inclined. Customization was a big draw of the last installment in the franchise and is back again with nearly twice the options.
Where you could change age/sex/style before they've since added 3 other playable races; Orcs: The powerful and prideful race have been given a huge over hall in looks and are a ferocious as ever, Necrons: the human/undead hybrid who are able to summon spirits to do their will, and the Uni: the mysterious race from the game's namesake who's secrets are finally uncovered. Weapons all have a unique feel and have a proper weight behind them. Swinging a sword is noticeably different than an axe or dagger. Bow's have a real umph to them and are great for starting engagements or taking out a single target, though the time it takes to re nook an arrow makes them hard to use against groups.The graphical capabilities of the Uni Engine are showcased extremely well here. Lighting and shadows stand out as each piece of amour creates a unique outline and realistic lighting plays a major role in being able to sneak past groups on enemies. Weapons even have a sheen when they are in good condition but dull as they get worn down. Footsteps in the snow allow you to track wildlife and enemies or see patrol routes. Environments are all well done and have a unique feel, my favorite being the dank, wet marshes where overgrowth and murky water can create low viability and interesting situations that add the immersion.
The only environment I wasn't fond of was the desert area. The bland color palate and unexciting dunes didn't have the same "wow" factor that the mountains and swamps had, and it wasn't able to keep my interest for very long. Fortunately this area is only a short part of the main story and doesn't really take away from the experience.
Though I enjoyed the majority of my review of Uni Fine 4 there are a few issues. The major problem I found was the pacing. Open world games seem to run into this problem a lot and UF4 is no exception. Bursts of action or suspense in the story are followed by stretches of less interesting quests or objectives. The excitement of taking down a giant Bullwark or hunting down and assassinating a diplomat are nearly overshadowed by the boring-by-comparison fetch quest or kill x to get y missions that just aren't as fun. Surprisingly there are few bugs considering the scope of the game and I never had the game crash or freeze once. Though these problems are not game breakers they can take a little of the fun out of an otherwise perfect game.
My final verdict of Uni Fine 4 is that it is incredible in both scope and design and it is definitely a game I see myself playing over and over again. The game play is sharp and combat exciting, each quest brings something fresh and new, and everywhere you go you'll be stopping to smell the flowers and take in the beautiful environments. I highly, highly recommend you pick this game up as soon as possible.