Unreal Tournament Review

Nebojsa Radakovic
Unreal Tournament Info


  • N/A


  • N/A


  • GT Interactive
  • Infogrames


  • Epic Games

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now


  • DreamCast
  • PC
  • PS2


“Ladies and Gentlemen… We Have a Winner!”

1999 is the year for pugilism. It is the year in which many genres have thrown

down their best gauntlets and the gaming public has watched in awe and anticipation,

waiting for the victor to emerge. Battling Bots ’99: the competition of Starsiege

vs. Mechwarrior

vs. Heavy

Gear 2
. Real-Time Sequels ’99: matching Age

of Empires 2
vs. Total

Annihilation: Kingdoms
vs. C&C

2: Tiberian Sun
. These showdowns and others have sustained and entertained

the loyal masses all year. But one match, the final match, is just now raging

on gaming rigs ’round the world. That match, that quintessential bout and classic

David v. Goliath, is none other than Multi-Play FPS Fragfest ’99: Quake

3 Arena
vs. Unreal Tournament. Members of the studio audience, viewers

around the world… a victor has emerged.


, in no uncertain terms, is the best multi-player first person

shooter to come out all year. While there are other games that push hard on

the boundaries of traditional FPS gameplay such as Starsiege Tribes and

the upcoming Team Fortress 2, Unreal Tournament focuses on expanding

and refining more classic FPS gameplay instead of creating a whole new paradigm.

Even with that focus on keeping it familiar, Unreal Tournament is extremely

innovative, taking FPS Multi-Play to the brink of perfection without alienating

the massed legions of Quake fans.

UT includes 6 ways to play: Tournament Deathmatch, Tournament Team

Deathmatch, Domination, Capture the Flag, Last Man Standing, and Assault.

Tournament Deathmatch is traditional Deathmatch, pitting players with guns

& ammo against each other in an orgy of violence. Team Deathmatch groups players

into teams. Domination is a Team Deathmatch mode in which each team attempts

to hold on to three control points on the map – score is awarded to teams based

on the number of control points held and time of possession. Capture the Flag

is like the old kids game: teams face off, each has a flag and each attempts

to steal the other team’s flag and return it to their own base. Last man standing

assigns each player a certain number of lives, when the lives are exhausted,

the player is ‘out.’ The winner is the last player to remain alive.

Assault is another team-based mode that is sure to raise heads. It involves

two teams, one in control of a base that they must defend, and the other team

attempting to storm the base and accomplish some task. The tasks are varied,

such as invading an artillery position and detonating the massive gun or jumping

off a moving helicopter and taking control of a speeding train.

While that may seem a bevy of play options, it is merely the beginning of

the variety. Unreal Tournament allows you to vary the style of gameplay

from how fast people move to how much damage guns do. Beyond that, specialty

rules sets (called ‘mutators’) can be assigned to any level. Mutators can be

anything from ‘Chainsaw melee’ (self explanatory) to ‘Fatboy,’ a mode in which

players get larger as their frags go up. The sheer number of options and modifiers

that can be used in Unreal Tournament, combined with the large number

of gameplay modes, make for a game that is almost endlessly expansive.

All of these modes can be played either online or simulated in every detail

using a practice mode that places computer controlled opponents, called ‘bots,’

in place of humans. One of the most notable features of UT is the incredibly

good AI. Quite simply, the bots play like humans . . . like good humans.

Bots exhibit all the behavior of a skilled human player, except that they actually

follow your orders in the Team games. Bots are also highly configurable, from

one of eight pre-set difficulty settings to actually tweaking their favorite

gun, marksmanship, and other characteristics. To put it bluntly, no one has

ever programmed a better AI in a FPS than the UT bots; playing offline

just as much fun as playing online.


weapons in UT help to make it a far more intense, and subtle game than

most other FPSs. Every weapon has two fire modes whose effects complement each

other and make for some great combo moves. With two modes of fire, you are essentially

always equipped with two weapons, adding depth and intensity that was lacking

in Quake 3.

Graphically, Unreal Tournament is fine and based on the still-great


engine. Unlike Quake 3, where the fun is dependent on the graphical quality,

the fun in UT is all in the gameplay. Architecture detail is not particularly

complex, player models are not particularly varied, and overall the game is

not actually as visually appealing as the original Unreal. Still, the

graphics are perfectly functional and carry the gameplay well.

Also, although the engine may be a little old, the gameplay maps are fantastic.

Unreal Tournament‘s 50-plus areas have you fighting on stratospheric

sky scrapers, spinning asteroids, ships in hyper-space, and even a Spanish Galleon.

In fact, Unreal Tournament has some of the best multiplayer maps in the

entire FPS genre.

Interface is yet another area in which UT excels. Epic Megagames (the

game’s designer) also made wise move in incorporating the Gamespy server-locating

software directly into Unreal Tournament, which makes finding a good

server a snap.

Add to that some excellent sound and smooth internet code, and you have a

serious winner on your hands. Unreal Tournament, by the thinnest of margins,

is not really a revolutionary game, but it is almost perfect at what it does.

This is the definitive straight multi-player first person shooter. It is an

amazing game that never fails to impress or entertain. No self-respecting action

gamer’s library is complete without Unreal Tournament. This is the undisputed

champion, choose it . . . there’s no reason to pick the consolation




Older Graphic Engine