An Unreal History

Screenshot27A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a game called Unreal was created by (then called) Epic. It brought a myriad of innovative features to the FPS genre (including bot match) and set the standards for future games to come. But more than that, it created a futuristic, science-fiction universe where people have become a space-fairing civilization. Since then several companies have been building on that success and still somehow manage to bring out games that are the same, only much better. Hats off to these guys. The weapons included a forked chargeable pistol, an automatic pistol, an automatic rifle, the Gloop Gun, the infamous Razor Jack, a sort of minigun, the sniper rifle, the Eight-Ball, as well as some weapons I can’t remember.

The original Unreal brought players something no game had before (or at least not so well done). As a result, an expansion set was released for the game by Legend Entertainment Company. Sadly, I didn’t play it.

After that, Unreal Tournament was released by Digital Extremes. That was (to my knowledge) the first game designed primarily for multiplayer. It also brought a huge update in graphics, but more importantly, in gameplay. Although other games of the time (I think) supported Capture The Flag, UT took that to a whole new level, with beautifully designed and carefully planned maps. At that point a new kind of player was born – the team player. Suddenly, playing in a team became just as important as playing well, which allowed the weaker but smarter players to team up and defeat the Quake-zombies. It was the dawn of a new age in FPS, at least for me. Also, the infinite chargeable pistol was replaced with the Impact Hammer melee weapon, the automatic pistol was remodeled into the Enforcer, the assault rifle was removed, the minigun was redesigned, the Razor Jack was renamed the Ripper and redesigned, the Eight-Ball was renamed the Rocket Launcher and remodeled. The rest I mentioned were just remodeled and I don’t know about the others.

After that, Unreal Tournament 2003 was released, again by Digital Extremes. It was just the same as the original UT, only with VASTLY superior graphics. What it really did was update an aging but still good game, for which I personally am grateful. But it also added a few very interesting, elements – double-jump and adrenaline. In my opinion, double-jump was THE first useful kind of jumping in a firefight in any FPS. Adrenaline was also an innovative addition and it actually contributed a lot to team play (when used right) – yeah, go catch that flag-thief who just activated speed! All of the weapons are just the same as in the original UT but redesigned, except for the impact hammer, which was turned into the Shield Gun, the Enforcer, which was turned into the Assault Rifle, and the Ion Painter, which was a new weapon. They also removed the Assault Game Mode mode.

Lastly, not all that long ago, Unreal Tournament 2004 was released by Epic Games (the former Epic). To everyone’s surprise, it was JUST THE SAME AS UT2003. Then people looked closer and thought about it. Then they were blown away. UT2004 is more different from UT2003 than UT2003 is from UT. The addition of vehicles in one new mode – Onslaught – made this a completely different game. More team-oriented than ever, yet still a frantic Death Match. A new breed of gamer is required for this game, one who has both skill and strategy, as well as the smarts to tie the two together. So far, I have seen a few of these and they were just contrasting to everyone else. Or maybe everyone else just sucked. All the weapons from UT2003 are present, though the Assault Rifle, Shock Rifle and Link Gun were remodeled. A few weapons were added: The Mine Layer, the Grenade Launcher, The AVRiL, and the Target Painter.

Also, Unreal 2 and expansion were released sometime before 2004 and that’s all there is to it.

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