The word “Unreal” over the past half-decade has been far more synonyms with the ubiquitous Unreal Engine than any actual game. In fact we haven’t had an Unreal Tournament release since Epic Games stumbled attempt at Unreal Tournament 3 back in 2007.
Since the success of games such as Gears of War and the other plethora of successful first person shooters, it’s not clear whether a new Unreal Tournament has a place anymore.
Unreal Tournament 2007’s poor reputation has not helped in the proposed development of a new game, but the business realities were clear and with the development of Unreal Engine 4, Unreal Tournament is coming back with a free version being built in real-time with the audience and community modding at center stage.
Along with the announcement that Unreal Engine 4 would be free, Epic Games has published an early version of Unreal Tournament for people to check out.
Honestly there is not much to Unreal Tournament just yet, but this does not matter at all and the game is absolutely worth your time. Why? Because it does not feel like the other first person shooters it feels exactly like Unreal Tournament and there has never been much like Unreal Tournament.
Technically the new Unreal Tournament has been freely playable for awhile now. Though, not until yesterday, could players play the first high-resolution map designed by Epic proper. Originally shown in early technical demonstrations, the map calls to mind Ridley Scott’s sleek-but-grimy aesthetic in Alien.
I highly recommend you view the above game play video in 1080p at 60fps. Nothing short of playing the new map will do it justice. The visual quality of the new engine is truly breathtaking, games before have impressed me with their visuals, but this feels like a 3D studio max render in real time, and frankly I’ve not seen anything like it.
The map launches alongside a marketplace, new characters, and additional weapons. Players can sign-up for the pre-alpha here.