So Good To Be Back: Unreal Tournament Trailer

I can see them, the pixels. They go on forever.

Cor, I’m getting proper excited about Unreal Tournament [official site] now. It’s been far too long since the last time I threw flak shells and bioblobs around in a new game. As Alec reported on Tuesday, with Unreal Engine now moving to fully free for casual use, it’s easy to download and play or create for the game. The first official trailer has also been released, now that Epic have something to show off and it’s embedded below, along with some additional thoughts on the current build.

Despite still being pre-Alpha, everything’s starting to slot into place. The movement system is there, and it’s good. Real good. Learning-to-dodge-jump-in-UT2k4 good. That-first-perfect-bunny-hop good. There are proper tutorials to explain terms like slope and wall dodging, eliminating the shroud of obscurity that so often hangs over hardcore online games. Within those tutorials are challenges that help you to learn the practical aspects of guns, pickups and movement options.

Putting it all together into a match is smooth, although the online component is currently struggling under the weight of a heavy influx of players, most of whom don’t know what they’re doing. But when it gets going, gosh. The heavy thump of a landing, dodging out of the way of streams of lasers as you nail a perfectly lobbed flak shell – there’s just nothing like it. And goodness me, just look how bloody pretty it is.

If you’re the creative type the marketplace is sparse, but up and running. Maps, cosmetic items and weapons can all be custom designed and uploaded for the community’s perusal. A thread on the highly active official forums is likely your best bet for feedback.

Development continues but the game is now, effectively, out. There are likely months and years yet to go before it’s approaching “finished.”

57 Comments

  1. morbiusnl says:

    white is the new brown.

    • Xzi says:

      Well thank god for that. I’d much rather the environments be bright and the characters have darker designs than vice-versa. Everything seemed to be pretty bright in that trailer, but that’s perfectly okay too, because that’s how UT2K4 looked as well, and that game was my favorite online shooter of the past decade. Better even than TF2 as far as I’m concerned.

  2. The_invalid says:

    Remember when we all cooed over how pretty Unreal Tournament 3 looked in the first screens, and then the game came out and it looked nothing like those early screenshots?
    We can now get a UT that looks significantly better than those screens, running at near constant 60fps on moderate hardware, FOR FREE.

    It’s truly a great time to be a PC gamer.

  3. razorramone says:

    That looks awesome! Wow, how did no major developer think of doing this for the past decade?

    • Xocrates says:

      For many and varied reasons. Among them:

      – CoD 4 happened, and worked better on consoles, leading to a focus on slower paced “realistic” shooters.
      – There was never a huge output of arena shooters to begin with. Unreal Tournament was only ever the recurring big name one and UT3 kind of sucked which put a dent on it.
      – The “real is brown” era happened, which was a terrible aesthetic for twitch shooters since it made everything look muddy and indistinct.

  4. Jekhar says:

    Am i just getting old, or is there someone else who thinks this looks a bit too convoluted and noisy visually for a twitch shooter?

    • Xocrates says:

      This actually looks like an improvement on that front when compared with UT3, because it at least has colours other than brown.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      It’s the former.

      No, really, if the aim is to also increase the graphical prowess, then there’s little way around a busiest presentation.

      With that in mind i think they did a great job when it comes to proper highlighting and separation of what matters. It is clean enough for me, or at least for a game that looks about 1.826,32% better than CS:GO while providing similar levels or readability. That seems pretty much a big feat to accomplish.

      • Jekhar says:

        I’m not just talking level geometry. It’s the whole package, including effects like missile exhausts reflecting on the ground and other stuff. While watching the trailer i sometimes just found it hard to read the situation adquately.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          But that’s what i meant aswell, i simply found the overall package to be neat enough considering the extreme level of detail.

          You’re right though, it can never hope to be as clean as previous competitive shooters, i just felt the readability vs complexity ratio to be on a very high level. That’s why i mentioned CS:GO, which while twice as clear as this one is also 10 times less detailed.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Also, as others pointed out, it’s less messy than UT3 while generally being amazing.

            So i guess it all comes down to this: do we want a downgrade for an “easier” experience or not? I personally would vote “no”.

      • ZPG Lazarus says:

        So we won’t see a return to the creepily dark atmosphere from the first Unreal? Sure the maps flow great and your character’s not lost in a mass of muddied textures, but what makes the map breathe with life?

        Maybe not in the multiplayer but perhaps a community-made single player.

        Maps like this: link to media.moddb.com

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          Right! There was such a lovely style hiding behind the admittedly dated textures of UT99. 2k4 had a few maps along the same theme, too.

          You can be fairly sure the community will throw out at least a couple of maps in that vein though. I certainly hope so.

    • Gnoupi says:

      I get what you mean, I already couldn’t see targets properly in UT3. Although this one is almost an improvement over UT3 in readability.

      But other than that, I think my graphical fidelity needs peak at Q3 for arena shooters. Maybe UT2004 for outdoors. Over that, it’s just too damn confusing for my eyes.

    • Zunt says:

      Bear in mind that it’s also serving as a showcase for the engine. Even in the old UT there were plenty of options for turning down the visual foofery to balance fidelity, frames per second and clutter.

    • Scandalon says:

      If you check the level design feedback forums (and some of the update videos), you’ll see they are very much aware of readability issues. (What the final outcome/decisions on that, of course, is still to be seen.)

      If you’re actually worried/care, go sign up at https://forums.unrealtournament.com and and add your input!

    • Stupoider says:

      You’re right actually. Even in the video, the HDR means the screen keeps darkening and then getting brighter. You look at something bright and when you look away everything is really dark, and when you look at something dark suddenly everything is blinding when you go outside. I don’t know why that’s even in the game, definitely something I’ll turn off and it’s only there (along with a bunch of other noisy tat) just to show off the engine.

  5. Clavus says:

    It’s crazy how low the bar has become for people to jump into game development. UE4 is state-of-the-art, a combination of decades of game tech engineering. And here it is, free for every everyone that has the patience (and horsepower) to dive in.

  6. Runty McTall says:

    Facing Worlds?

    Loved me some Facing Worlds back in the day…

  7. FreeTom says:

    Aaaah, the music. MWUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!

    To hell with your storytelling and realism. This is what video games are supposed to look like.

    • Marblecake says:

      Seconded.

      THAT MUSIC!!

    • Distec says:

      I’m at work and can’t play/listen to the video. But I hope to God we’re getting the same kickass tunes ala UT99.

      Foregone Destruction, Razorback, and Mechanism 8 all still get full blast on my car stereo.

      • FreeTom says:

        Yep, the UT99 main menu music. Let’s hope they keep it in all the way to the final release.

  8. Kaeoschassis says:

    Oooh, they kept the Link Gun’s UT3 design. That is pretty much the sexiest weapon in the history of videogames.

    Yknow, I was pretty wary when they announced it, but this is looking better every time I see it. If they really have nailed the movement, and if the community can rise to the challenge and give us some great maps (they will, we all know they will), this is really going to be terrific. I’d love to see UT back on top where it belongs.

    • The First Door says:

      Erm, sorry to burst your bubble, but as far as I know they haven’t. It is just they are using the UT3 weapons as stand-in models before they get around to changing them. I think they’ve done the Enforcer, Flak, and Shock Rifle so far, to various levels of ‘finished’.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Ehhh, bums.

        Here’s hoping they at least keep it in a similar style. It’s one of the weapons that’s changed most over the years, so I might be clutching at straws there, heh.

        • Jinoru says:

          New Linkgun concept by a contributor: link to forums.unrealtournament.com

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            Ohhhh be still my beating–

            Right. Very good. Carry on then.

          • LionsPhil says:

            But it’s not green! It’s been green since it was the pulse rifle. It’s gotta be green.

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            I can cope with it being blue or teal, honestly. In recent times each of the weapons has had its own associated colour, and green goes to the snotgun, the link gun was white with a distinctly teal-ish colour for its accents/ammo/shots in 3, afterall.
            What I love about that new design is how it so evenly combines the UT99 pulse gun and the UT3 link gun (I never much cared for the smaller, more rounded one in 2k4). I wouldn’t have thought those two styles could have been combined so effectively when they were so completely distinct, but I’m already in love with the result. Almost like somebody tried to build the newer, sleeker link gun out of spare parts.

  9. pilouuuu says:

    For some reason I am not able to install the alpha with Epic Installer on Win 8 64 bits. Any ideas? I am really pleased that this game is more like UT2004 and less like U3.

    • Ben Barrett says:

      Hmm. I’m on 8.1 64 and had no issues. Took a while but my internet is slow. What’s the issue? Check the official forums, see if there’s a bug report. Try running in admin mode too.

  10. Detocroix says:

    The last time I played Unreal Tournament was Unreal Tournament 2004 and it was bloody brilliant. This… this is like it. Fast. Fluid. Violent. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I have played quite a bit in the past week and it’s really enjoyable… too bad they have any plans for Onslaught return… maybe fans will remake it :)

  11. farrier says:

    I’m hoping this’ll have the positive impact of competition on Toxikk, which I’ve been playing and enjoying in early access. But I have a feeling this’ll just kill it due to the brand recognition and direct community involvement.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      I’ll be decidedly sad for the Toxikk folks if that does happen, absolutely. Especially considering the entire reason they’ve worked so hard on it is because of games like UT. But at the end of the day, I cannot be upset about a new, good UT.

  12. Freud says:

    Looks fantastic.

  13. derbefrier says:

    Will download when I get off work. UT99 was my first online expirience and stillone of my favorite arena shooters ever. Glad to see this is getting a pretty good reception.

  14. Xzi says:

    Kinda peeved that they couldn’t just bring this to Steam and integrate with their marketplace. Yet another pointless addition to the giant pool of launchers that I really only use for one game.

  15. Napalm Sushi says:

    Much as I love me some UT, I kinda hope this spurs the development of a follow-up to Quake 3. Actual gameplay considerations aside, I was always more drawn to that game’s grander (yet still unapologetically pulpy) theme of anonymous star gods hosting an eternal bloodbath of our universe’s most notorious warriors in vast, ancient edifices for their amusement.

    Also: dat Front Line Assembly and Sonic Mayhem soundtrack.

    • Arvell says:

      Yes, Quake! They kinda messed the usability up in Live and the forth one wasn’t anything special, so I’m looking forward to the worthy successor.

      Reflex and Strafe are looking good, btw.

  16. Scandalon says:

    I started to reply to a couple of the comments here, but they ended up being the same: They are developing this quite openly, and asking for feedback/suggestions/concerns, etc. Go visit https://forums.unrealtournament.com and contribute!

    I’ll also note that (on the featured level at least) the new lighting has an interesting gameplay change: inside you can’t see out very well (it’s blindingly bright), and outside you can’t inside very well (it’s too dark), and there’s a moment for “your eyes” to adjust when transitioning between the two.

  17. Kempston Wiggler says:

    …..Aaaand now I have Yet Another Game Client on my computer.

    A warning would have been nice, RPS.

  18. score47 says:

    Is there no double-jump?

    • Jinoru says:

      Nope. Just strafe boost and wall jumping.

    • Vandelay says:

      No there isn’t. I downloaded this yesterday and it threw me off for quite a while. The jump boots now act as your double jump, although the second jump launches you like the jump boots always did. It actually makes them much more useful, as you are no longer forced to use them when you pick them up, only using them when you actually need them.

      Besides that, it is the UT we all know and love. It is still very much bare bones (maps are mostly textureless, limited number of models for everything, not many maps, sparse options, etc.) but the actual feel of the thing is good enough to be out in the wild.

      I just hope they now go about adding some great original weapons and game modes. There isn’t really much in it yet that isn’t already in older UTs (far less, in its current unfinished state,) so you might as well play those outside of sating curiosity.

      One thing I really hope they look at is sorting soon is the menu system for finding a game. It is completely pants at the moment. Most of the games you click on are full and will only let you spectator or they just don’t seem to do anything when you click on them. I tried to create my own, but it just sat there “initialising…” for a long time. I know it is barely Alpha at the mo, but the whole system seems inefficient, even if it was working properly. I never will understand why developers are so reluctant to just use the old style browser system these days.

      • Cleave says:

        There is a dedicated server browser. Go to find a game then click on internet at the top.

  19. Synesthesia says:

    I grinned all the way through that. Pity my latency is too high to play with uk folk, or I would be all over the rps group.

  20. mattlambertson says:

    The graphics are incredibly gorgeous, on the Epic-designed map. I wish there was some game mode that incentivized exploring maps in UT games at a leisurely pace. The gameplay as it stands is more than I can handle. Too fast and lacking a game speed mutator yet. I’m 28 years old and can’t anymore handle the blur of motion (as opposed to fake motion blur effects, lol) that is UT. Maybe someday I’ll make a game mode that is “collect random objects scattered around the map while carrying a shock rifle that can poke other players gently out of their way to impede their progress”. That would be more my thing, at this point. I always loved discovering and exploring new UT levels. The gameplay, not always so much. At least they seem to have toned down the burly bodybuilder feel of the character models this time around.