Playing the latest Epic Unreal Tournament sometimes makes me think of those meta-moments in cartoons where the characters come out of their animated reality and are suddenly standing in an expanse of white nothingness. Here I am firing shots from a beautifully rendered pistol, dodging and sliding and following my enemies by the sound of their footsteps, all on a gray box map, bleached geometric bones of what might look like ancient ruins or a lunar outpost. The shape of a map is there, but none of the textures that give it life.
Twenty-eight months in, Unreal Tournament is the most overtly unfinished game I've ever played. Epic announced plans to revive the series and develop it openly with the community in May 2014, and for the past two years, it has been doing that quietly. The team added weapons and worked on the move from the beginning, giving players the opportunity to jump on bare and unfinished maps. There are modes and features that are missing, regular adjustments to just about everything that makes a game of ticks.
Surprisingly, for a game that is so unfinished, Unreal Tournament is too immediately entertaining. It is fast and relentless in that classic deathmatch mode, with new dodges added to UT's classic dance repertoire. This seems like a rare dichotomy to me in the days of polished alphas and marketing betas, and if you've ever wanted to know more about how games are made, here's a good chance: Epic is building one right in front of your eyes.
"It's almost as if we've been using real software conditions [for alpha and pre-alpha] as opposed to the marketing messages people have," says producer Zack Estep, chatting from Epic's office in Carolina. North.
Required PC Hardware and OS Info:
- Microsoft / MAC OS: Windows XP - Windows 7 - Windows 8
- PC CPU: Pentium 3 - Pentium 4 - Dual Core - Core Duo - Core i5
- RAM: 512 MB
- Hard Disc Space: 3 Gb
- Graphics Card: Nvidia Geforce or AMD Radeon HD series.
- VGA Memory: 256 MB
- Network Connection: High-Speed internet or DSL for Multi-Player Online Gaming.
- Optical Drive Player - DVD or CD-ROM.
Application Details & Info:
- App Size: Na
- App Version: 2017
- Licence: Premium
- Platform: Windows - MAC - Linux
- Developer: Firaxis