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gaming 'til we die

Unreal Tournament pre-alpha

Disclaimer: The following is written by an opinionated oaf and should not be taken particularly seriously. If you get offended, it's your own fault for reading it and taking shit seriously. No facts were considered, opinions withheld, spelling checked, and certainly no proof reading occured. Read at your own risk.

As I was installing the Epic client to get Shadow Complex, I may as well finally step back into Unreal and give the latest version a try.

I was never a competitive Unreal Tournament player back in the day. I was a Quake player. Unreal was the Tart's Game. But as I've documented on this site over the years, I ended up really getting into UT2004 a decade or so ago, when I was first getting to know John as it happened.

UT3 never clicked with me. I wanted to like it, and I gave it plenty of attempts and restarts. The thing is I'd never considered the shooting aspect of Unreal to be particularly good - I'm a [ex] Quake player. UT2004 offered a whole lot more, with Assault and loads of other fun game types and vehicles and crazy mutators / mods. UT3 felt like earlier Unreal games but.... it still lacked something. Death was too instant, I never got an understanding of what was happening in a battle.

The latest Unreal Tournament, which best I can tell will be free to play and has been in community development open access for a while, seems better. I've only played a few games, but the combat felt better than UT3. Maybe not as crazy fun as UT2004 but that can come later. The controls were tight, I felt a little latency on weapon firing though but I'd need to play more to be sure. Movement was fluid. Graphics are nice.

And you know what? I was pulling off some pretty nice headshots. So fuck Battlefront, it's that game giving me shit not a complete death of FPS skills (though I'm still way off the pace, you understand).

The package is pretty barebones, there's some bizarre quirks like having to download additional maps in the Epic client then restart Unreal to be able to access them - that may have been me doing something wrong though. Menus aren't too clear.

It's pre-alpha thought. The game is there. A few tweaks and the gameplay will be locked. Then it needs content, a LOT of content (UT2004 spoiled me for content) and some more game modes. But it's pre-alpha as I keep saying, and although that's being used more as a marketing tool these days, I respect the game is barebones and it's out there for the community to iterate and shape.

I don't imagine it will suffice for my annual Unreal Xmas Night this year, but maybe next year? It's possible.

I'm looking forward to getting some more time on it, maybe braving online where I'm hopelessly outplayed. And maybe I'll have a tinker in the latest Unreal Editor myself and see what I can cook up....