Unreal is the first installment of the Unreal series, and was the first 3D venture by Epic Games and Digital Extremes. The game was approved by GT Interactive in 1996 and released on May 22, 1998 to the world, however by several accounts work on the engine actually started sometime around 1994. It was also the first game to use the Unreal Engine.
Unreal provided a single player experience along with a multiplayer mode that allowed for up to 16 players. It was rated 'M' for Mature by the ESRB for intense violence.
Work on Unreal began in 1994 when James Schmalz, founder of Digital Extremes, showed Cliff Bleszinski a side project he had been working on. At the time, Schmalz was creating all of his own content, and programming the game all by himself. The game had not yet been fully realized, and Schmalz was creating all of his levels on paper.
A short time later, Schmalz showed what he had been working on to Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic MegaGames (later renamed to Epic Games). Tim was impressed and began working on a level editor for Schmalz to use to build his engine. As time went on, many people became involved in the process. Some of the key people of the remote employees were Mark Rein which was brought in to do PR, Steven Polge that was hired to work on the AI and Shane Caudle who was called to make some of the game's maps. For a time, many of the people working for Epic were doing so remotely.
Early on development, the team used clay models scanned into the game. After the switch to 3D-modelling based tools such as Maya and 3DMax, these models were either deleted or heavily modified. The game missed internal deadlines, suffered delays, and lots of assets were made that never got used.
The game was initially planned for an April 1997 release. A beta was released that year, allowing player to get a feel of the gameplay. The beta was seen at GDC (Video Game Developer Conference) '97. Those who saw the demo expected the game to be complete by this time; however, the AI was unfinished, the levels, lacking variant textures, looked repeating, the sound effects were bad, and the game was overall too long to complete in a fair time. This resulted in the development team, up to that point using a "Virtual Team" scheme, all centered in Digital Extremes Waterloo offices, returning to their homes a year later, after completing the game. Roughly one year later, the game was released and its level of detail put video game publishers on notice: a new age of gaming had arrived.
A demo was alluded to many times by various people at Epic Games throughout the life of Unreal, however the only demos that were ever released came bundled with various hardware. Many people saw this as a negative to Unreal as there was no real way to try the game before you bought it.
Press release Edit
- May 22, 1998 - Unreal (PC) - 1 CD
- January 21st, 2000 - Unreal Gold (PC) - 1 CD
- Included Return to Na Pali.
- August 29, 2001 - Totally Unreal (PC) - 4 CDs
- November 6, 2006 - Unreal Anthology (PC) - 1 DVD
A full version of Unreal was released with certain S3 Video Cards to show off Unreal's S3TC capabilities. This version came with several S3TC showcase levels that can be found online.
A free trial of Unreal was released with certain Creative products to show off Unreal's EAX capabilities.
On May 22, 2018, due to the 20th. anniversary of the game, Unreal Gold was released for free on Steam and GOG, but only for that day.
Game content Edit
- Main article: Unreal Single player
Aside of the campaign, which features both single player and co-op modes, Unreal features four multiplayer modes: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill and Darkmatch. With the exception of the latter, the rest of the multiplayer gametypes use the Deathmatch maps.
|Darkmatch maps for Unreal|
|Deathmatch maps for Unreal|
|DM-Cybrosis • DM-Letting • DM-Loxi • DM-Mojo • DM-Shrapnel • DM-Twilight • DMfith • DmAriza • DmBayC • DmCreek • DmCurse • DmDeathFan • DmDeck16 • DmDespair • DmEclipse • DmElSinore • DmHealPod • DmKrazy • DmLocke • DmMorbfanza • DmMorbias • DmRadikus • DmScruular • DmSplash • DmTundra • DmVilla|
|Characters from Unreal|
|Secondary U1 characters: Ash • Benjamin Nathaniel • Boris Clague • J. Strang • James Cavanaugh • Jonas Gershwin • Kira Argmanov • M. v. Wely • N. Vos • P. v. Heel • R. Bijl • S. Kroon|
|Monsters: Behemoth - Brute - Cave Manta - Devilfish - Fly - Gasbag - Giant Gasbag - Ice Skaarj - Krall - Krall Elite - Lesser Brute - Manta - Mercenary - Mercenary Elite - Pupae - Skaarj Assassin - Skaarj Berserker - Skaarj Gunner - Skaarj Infantry - Skaarj Lord - Skaarj Officer - Skaarj Scout - Skaarj Sniper - Skaarj Trooper - Skaarj Warrior - Slith - Tentacle - Titan|
|Bosses: Skaarj Queen - Stone Titan - Warlord|
|NPCs and other creatures: Baby Cow - Biterfish - Bloblet - Horsefly - Nali - Nali Bird - Nali Cow - Nali Priest - Nali Rabbit|
|Beta: Dragon - Squid|
These are divided in two categories: Inventory Items and Pickup Items.
Inventory Items can be picked up and used during the course of the single player game, and a few are available in multiplayer levels. Use the bracket keys [ ] on your keyboard to select an item visible in your inventory icon bar (default controls). The currently selected item is bounded by a white box. Use the Enter key to activate an item. Activated items are highlighted in red. Press Enter a second time to deactivate an item.
Pickup Items are activated or put into use as soon as you pick them up. For this reason, it is often wise to leave a Pickup item on the ground and come back to pick it up only when you need to use it. Every Inventory item becomes pickupable in multiplayer mode.
- Main article: Music#Unreal
Unreal features music in UMX file format, based on tracker music. Alexander Brandon from Straylight Productions and Michiel van den Bos were in charge of the music, with additional contributions made by Andrew "Necros" Sega and Dan "Basehead" Gardopée. Additionally there are some music tracks which were included in the game, but were not used in the original game alone. Some of these unused tracks were, however, used in Unreal Mission Pack: Return to Na Pali.
Unreal was given very good reviews and was generally accepted very well by gamers. However, shortly after the game's release, it became apparent that the multiplayer network code was not up to scratch for the 56k modem connections in wide use at the time. Due to this, the Epic MegaGames message board filled up with hundreds of posts of complaints about the poor quality of the Unreal netcode and the general need for a patch. This led to Epic's message boards being nicknamed the "Epic FlameBoards". In response, Epic released dozens of patches to the game, later including Direct3D and OpenGL support to the Software Rendering and Glide support.
Essential files Edit
Here you will find all the links to the downloads of the essential files for your Unreal installation.
- There is an unfinished weapon in the game, the Quadshot, named from it being a quad-barreled shotgun, which is never seen in the game. Its mesh, sounds, and script, however, can be seen in the Editor. It was overpowered and redundant with the Flak Cannon, hence its removal. Some mods (one popular example being Seven Bullets) have working weapons using this mesh. The OldUnreal patch v227 restores and finishes the weapon and showcases it in its test Deathmatch maps. The primary fire fires shotgun pellets, while the alternate fire charges the primary fire up to four times in order to increase its spread and damage. As a countermeasure, there's a recoil from shooting the weapon.
- The song "Isotoxin" is featured as the opening song of another game, called "In Pursuit of Greed".
- A dragon, gargoyle, chameleon, squid, and some other creatures were shown in tech demos and displayed on pictures and ads, but none of them were ever used in the final, finished game. Some weren't seen in the game because the places which they were in were cut to avoid making a game too long to complete, others were either replaced (like the Krall, who took the place of a centaur-like creature) or removed altogether (like the Dragon), because they disturbed the quality of the game, the team behind which had the goal to make the game live to its full potential.
- Many maps were cut from the final version. Some of them are: Soledad, Morose, Nexus, Nexus End, FHub6, Cryox, and The Gateway. The Deathmatch maps DmMorbfanza, Sky14, DmSplash and the Kill the Cow gametype were also cut at the last moments, while DKNightOp was instead moved to the Darkmatch gametype.
- A full install of Unreal uses around 420 MB of hard drive space.
- ↑ Entertainment Software Rating Board
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "A retrospective of Unreal, from the people who made it" @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun
- ↑ History of Unreal Part 1 @ BU
- ↑ Mirsoft - World of game music
- ↑ Errata @ gwpress.com
- Blinded By Reality: The True Story Behind the Creation of Unreal
- Unreal @ Wikipedia.
- Unreal (video game) @ TVTropes.org
See also Edit
- Unreal II: The Awakening
- Unreal Mission Pack: Return to Na Pali
- Unreal Gold
- Totally Unreal
- Unreal Deal Pack
|Unreal series: Unreal • Return to Na Pali • Unreal II|
|Tournament series: Unreal Tournament • UT2003 • UT2004 • UT3 • UT4|
|Championship series: Unreal Championship - Unreal Championship 2|