I grew up in the middle of a gamers’ debate about which game engine is the best: id Software‘s Quake or Epic’s Unreal. Quake and Quake II were great at the time, but Unreal was breathtaking (although it didn’t have the same pace as id’s shooters). The game that finally convinced me to choose Unreal as my personal favorite was Unreal Tournament, a game which offered me flashy and colorful (not to mention entertaining) ways to take out my opponents using a set of futuristic weapons. To be honest, I didn’t like the later installments of the UT game as much as the first one, but it can be nostalgia that makes is a better experience. Or is it?
A few days ago I finally managed to have a little hands-on with Epic’s latest take on the Unreal Tournament universe. The game is in a very early stage, with not much more than a handful of player models, all the weapons and a few maps to play at. But the feeling – the thing that makes a game great – is amazing. Now I know it’s not just nostalgia that makes me remember the first UT with such pleasure, because the latest Unreal Tournament is just as great a game to play.
The first thing I loved about the game was its set of weapons. The Enforcer is still a great handgun – and having two of them in your hand is overwhelming. The Bio Rifle still has the potential to leave some “pleasant” surprises behind, and its new way of shooting makes it even more lethal than before (try it out). The rocket launcher is still a bit slow, but equally lethal, and the Shock Rifle is again an incredibly rewarding gun (as long as your aim is sharp). And my all time favorite, the Flak Cannon, is just as effective as it always were.
The handful of maps in the game are a great showcase of what the new engine is capable of. There are just a few at this time, but enthusiasts have the possibility to build more – and the community is full of talented youngsters living out their fantasies on the screen to offer an incredible variety of maps to kill each other on.
There is one thing about the classic Unreal Tournament that I would like to see reintroduced in the 2015 version: mutators, the settings that change the way weapons, players and the environment behave. My personal favorite was the InstaGib deathmatch, with the Shock Rifle overloaded for a one-hit kill. And it was great – beats to play the best casino games directly on your phone any time.
Overall, the 2015 version of the Unreal Tournament offers us the best possible gaming experience since the original UT was released. Hopefully the community will have a taste for oldschool deathmatch, and expands the UT universe beyond its current limits.