Unreal Tournament: Legendary. Alive.
Those are the words I tie together with this game franchise and how I’ve experienced it in the past. Unreal Tournament was one of the first fully 3D games that cake out for PC and I was completely hooked by the fase paced action and the game types it covered. From Capture the Flag featuring maps like Facing Worlds to playing Deathmatch in Liandri or Deck16, you just couldn’t get enough of the fast paced action Unreal Tournament had to offer.
From it’s initial release in 1999 a lot of Unreal Tournament titles have been added to the franchise but none of the follow ups had that same fast paced action as the first one had. From my opinion those titles were OK in their own right but they had something sluggish and I didn’t play them as much as the version from 1999.
And then Epic Games announced they were going to launch a completely free Unreal Tournament going back to it’s roots from 1999 and introducing old maps in next-gen style. This announcement blew my minds and gave me that nostalgic feeling. From the moment they announced it, they also released pre-pre-alpha versions of Unreal Tournament which were initially not available on the Epic Games Launcher. This gave me the chance to try the game and see what it really had to offer.
Epic Games integrated the first few versions with a new (dressed down) version of Deck 16 which matched the old Deck-16 entirely. Even the bots and their AI were OK from the start. Eventually they moved from forum posts to the Epic Games Launcher (just like Blizzard has it’s own launcher/updater) through which you can download the latest version of Unreal Tournament and (since a couple of months) also the full Unreal Engine.
To give you a preview of what you can expect from Unreal Tournament, here a gameplay video:
This video is from a year back and a lot has changed in the game, the AI has improved and a lot of (highly detailed) maps have been added.
Personally I didn’t have a lot of time to look at the latest developments of the game but I am using the Unreal Engine to work on my own map for Unreal Tournament which is a nice challenge in it’s own. Details about this map will probably pop up sooner or later.
Why should I play this game?
That’s all nice and dandy but how does Unreal Tournament stand out against other titles like Battlefield, Call of Duty or The Division?
First, it’s completely free, and Epic Games means, completely free. No free to play setup, just free.
Second, it allows for great customizability where people can add their own maps, mods, mutators. This follows the same route as the original Unreal Tournament game from 1999.
Third, you can host your own servers again! Instead of having a party like Electronic Arts host all the servers for the game (and thus allowing them to decide when to pull the plug) you can define your own game type, add your own customizations and launch a server for your friends to join.
Fourth, Unreal Tournament is a game on it’s own. It’s fast paced action is incomparable to most current day titles like the ones above. If you’re new to the franchise and aren’t afraid of a little bit of extreme chaos, you should definitely give Unreal Tournament a try!
Fifth, Did I mention it’s free? completey free!
As you might have guessed I am quite enthusiastic for the launch of the actual game. Although it’s currently playable a lot still remains to be added. I am looking forward to the reincarnation of all the customizations that can be added to the game like Fatboy.
Here a video of someone who added the nyan kitty redeemer:
Are you looking forward to this new addition to the Unreal Tournament franchise? Share your previous experiences (if any) and what you’re looking forward to!