Unreal Tournament, PC

Unreal Tournament is a famous, futuristic first-person shooter, developed by Epic Games and Digital Extremes and first published by GT Interactive in 1999. The game is powered by the first version of the Unreal Engine (which was created for Unreal) and it helped popularise arena-based, multiplayer deathmatching, alongside competitors such as Quake II and Quake III Arena.

The single-player campaign is a series of arena-based deathmatches against AI-controlled bots, and Unreal Tournament was the first commercial game to utilise bots in this way (Quake II, and other first-person shooters of the time, did have bots, but they were third-party mods, rather than integral to the game). The bots can be customised to give them names, to change their appearance, and to give them weapon preferences. Their skill level can also be set, or can be made to automatically adjust to the player’s performance during a game.

Unreal Tournament features a variety of weapons, such as pistols, The Flak Cannon, rocket launchers, and laser an plasma rifles, plus The Ripper (which fires ricocheting blades), and it also allows the player to dual-weild some guns. Each weapon has two firing modes that have different effects. There are a variety of power-ups that provide the player with health increases and extra defence, and Unreal Tournament also famously features a special weapon (that is usually hidden somewhere on a level), called The Redeemer, which is a miniature nuclear warhead that causes a large and powerful explosion, killing anyone caught in the blast.

The PC version of Unreal Tournament features a level editor so that players can create their own levels, and of course the multiplayer component allows deathmatching (and variations) to be played, with a maximum of 32 players in each game.

Game types include: Assault (two teams; one attacking a base, the other defending it); Capture the Flag (players compete to capture the other team’s flag and return it to their base); Deathmatch (classic every-man-for-themselves shootout); Domination (two teams compete to control various points on the map, for points); Last Man Standing (similar to Deathmatch, but the objective is to stay alive for longer than anyone else), and Team Deathmatch (up to four teams compete to kill opposing teams).

A number of bonus packs, including extra content and code improvements (particularly to the network code and to the game’s interface), were released after Unreal Tournament‘s initial run, and these are available in the Game of the Year (GOTY) edition, which was the version available on contemporary retail sites, until Epic decided to de-list them in December 2022 (making them completely unavailable for the time being). Nice one, Epic. Good work… [That is sarcasm, by the way].

More: Unreal Tournament on Wikipedia

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