Unreal Tournament pre-alpha Impressions

Unreal Tournament is a return of the critically acclaimed and fan loved Unreal series. It’s a glorious return to form and is fast, fun and freaking magical. Its a glorious return to form and although pre-alpha it shows more potential than most multiplayer games I have played in the last little while. The game is being developed by Epic games in direct cooperation with community leaders and modders. This cooperation will shape UT  into what the UT community wants, not what sells the most. The UT pre-alpha is completely free for anyone and Epic has promised to never release paid DLC and have no plans to ever charge for the game. UT community members can sell items on the marketplace but Epic has released a good amount of professional content for free.

UT is running on Epics own Unreal Engine 4 as with tradition. The game looks fantastic and despite a few frame drops runs smoother than George Clooney after two martinis. This is quite the feat due to the particle heavy nature of the high-resolution maps. The soundscape however is a bit weak, the voice acting for the character’s taunts is well done even if only half intelligible and the announcer sounds great but jesus christ the guns sound like god damb be-bes. Despite a few specials like the flack cannon, plasma rifle and rocket launcher they just don’t have the oomph they need to make blasting someone into little bits satisfying.

The gameplay of UT is actually relatively unchanged from previous games with few new addition. For the uninitiated UT is arena shooter in the purest sense with a few twists of its own. Well when I say twists I mean staples of the franchise that have existed since 2004 but lets move past that. It retains the same guns, movement(with the addition of sliding) and health system. It’s a game that requires and rewards skill, timing and a near photographic memory of the maps. And oh god, the maps! They are all classics designed by the masters of multiplayer map design. They are all drop dead gorgeous, balanced and filled with nooks, crannies and secret paths for those who have mastered the mechanics. The guns take skill and have unique mechanics that make them unique and fun to use.

Its amazing and it’s as fun as I remember. but I am not entirely sure this game is necessary or worth it. There is a feature complete and pretty popular version of UT already out there. Right now I can only recommend trying it preferably with a friend or two. Its fun and great but right now its doesn’t have nearly as much content as UT 2004 which justifies the 15 dollar price tag. The new UT is only a a fraction of the game that 2004 was. Not sure It should have been released in pre-alpha. A new UT should be more modern and give me a reason to play it besides a new coat of paint. Give it a bit and then well check back in. In the meantime sorry for the delay.

Cheers,

Earlegrey

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