Why Unreal deserves to be remembered alongside Half-Life

#1 Edited by uninspiredcup (10074 posts) -

Nice little eurogamer article.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-06-22-unreal-retrospective

I'm not sure I agree with it, for me Halflife was a vastly superior game. One of the things I like about Unreal that games don't really do anymore is that the narrative seems almost driven by the music above all else.

#2 Posted by vfibsux (4217 posts) -

When I think Unreal I think graphics, the game itself was not engaging at all other than the new stepping up of eye candy.

#3 Edited by Blutfahne (275 posts) -

Never played it but I did play some HL1.

#4 Posted by Chatch09 (448 posts) -

Never played Unreal but I loved Unreal Tournament on Dreamcast. Really want to get a subscription for UE4 to play around with.

#5 Posted by Old_Gooseberry (3858 posts) -

I never liked either game. Both had tech in them that were better than the actual games themselves. Even Quake 3, i remember a ton of games used that engine for their games back in the late 90s to early 2000s. But the actual Quake 3 game was bare bones shallow compared to the games that used its engine for better things.

I think the unreal games are forgettable for most people unless they were into the fps tournament shooter scene, but the tech in them lives on in so many games. It was probably the king of all dx9 games that shared its tech for them.

I remember the ps3/xbox360 had a ton of games that were powered by the Unreal engines. Wasn't exactly optimized the best for some of the games that used it unfortunately. I've played TERA off and on since its release and it uses one of the Unreal engines and it looks and plays great but bogs down badly in crowds, which i don't think they optimized it quite right for those events.

Anyways I think the whole Unreal legacy is inventing tech that others have been able to create unique games with. Some did this with the Half Life 2 engine also, but not as much.

#6 Posted by biggest_loser (24105 posts) -

Played Unreal after Half-Life and expected a lot more considering some of the hyperbole around it.

I didn't even finish it. I like Unreal Tournament a lot more and would gladly play some more of that in the future.

#7 Posted by uninspiredcup (10074 posts) -

@Chatch09 said:

Never played Unreal but I loved Unreal Tournament on Dreamcast. Really want to get a subscription for UE4 to play around with.

Aside from some of the same weapons and the same engine and some of these might as well be totally different IP's.

The original Unreal is mainly a surreal alien exploration/fps with the story-telling done through music and text logs with the occasional scripted sequence. It's a fairly slow paced meditative game compared to UT.

#8 Edited by uninspiredcup (10074 posts) -

@Old_Gooseberry said:

I never liked either game. Both had tech in them that were better than the actual games themselves. Even Quake 3, i remember a ton of games used that engine for their games back in the late 90s to early 2000s. But the actual Quake 3 game was bare bones shallow compared to the games that used its engine for better things.

I think the unreal games are forgettable for most people unless they were into the fps tournament shooter scene, but the tech in them lives on in so many games. It was probably the king of all dx9 games that shared its tech for them.

I remember the ps3/xbox360 had a ton of games that were powered by the Unreal engines. Wasn't exactly optimized the best for some of the games that used it unfortunately. I've played TERA off and on since its release and it uses one of the Unreal engines and it looks and plays great but bogs down badly in crowds, which i don't think they optimized it quite right for those events.

Anyways I think the whole Unreal legacy is inventing tech that others have been able to create unique games with. Some did this with the Half Life 2 engine also, but not as much.

I think you seem to be missing exactly what made Quake 3 appealing. The bare bones, speed twitch nature.

Simple doesn't mean easy or lack of skill. A moderately skilled Quake 3 player would most likely rip apart "modern gamers" at a FPS since essentially that's what the game was, skill. Pure skill.

The fact Quake 3 is played today while pretty much every other Quake 3 engine powered title is forgotten about should be an indication to it's appeal.

Hell, aside from Doom it's arguably the only ID title people give a shit about in this day and age.

#9 Posted by JigglyWiggly_ (23715 posts) -

Most of the top q3 players at the time had pretty bad aim compared to quake live players now(their quake live selves included).

I think the unreal series is a lot better than half life as half life hasn't aged well. Unreal games are just mainly focused on the mp and it's very good.

#10 Edited by uninspiredcup (10074 posts) -

http://store.steampowered.com/app/13250/

It's on sale for £2. Might play through it again at the weekend I think.

@JigglyWiggly_ said:

Most of the top q3 players at the time had pretty bad aim compared to quake live players now(their quake live selves included).

I might be guessing here (i'm not as a a former quake 3 league player) but many of these people are probably the people who played Quake 3 back in the day. And no, the aim wasn't terrible. If you watch competitive matches of then, or now, it's near enough to the point you are watching a bot operate. Since that's essentially what Quake 3 was about, speed and precision. It had power ups but none of the gimmicks gaming today has. Skill was the reward. A novel concept for modern gamers.

#11 Edited by JigglyWiggly_ (23715 posts) -

@Old_Gooseberry said:

. But the actual Quake 3 game was bare bones shallow compared to the games that used its engine for better things.

I

Quake 3/live is probably the most tactical fps ever made.

Not even including duel, you need a lot of game sense for clan arena and 1v1 clan arena. It's a different type of game sense than the duel gametype, more like a combat sense. The duel gametype is about map control, item timing, and reading the opponent. You don't necessarily need very good aim for the duel game type, but you need to have been playing from q3 since not many people play duel anymore(i didn't). Coincidentally I'm about 1000 times better at clan arena and 1v1 clan arena.

Now shooters like cs go categorize game sense as throwing smoke grenades and aiming badly for a spray headshot/shoot through a wall.

#12 Edited by JigglyWiggly_ (23715 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/13250/

It's on sale for £2. Might play through it again at the weekend I think.

@JigglyWiggly_ said:

Most of the top q3 players at the time had pretty bad aim compared to quake live players now(their quake live selves included).

I might be guessing here (i'm not as a a former quake 3 league player) but many of these people are probably the people who played Quake 3 back in the day. And no, the aim wasn't terrible. If you watch competitive matches of then, or now, it's near enough to the point you are watching a bot operate. Since that's essentially what Quake 3 was about, speed and precision. It had power ups but none of the gimmicks gaming today has. Skill was the reward. A novel concept for modern gamers.

I am/was the number one lg dueler in north america in quake live, I'm not as active. If you want to count their aim in percents which is a wrong way to do it, but if you do it anyway they hit lg's in high 20 percents and low 30 percents. On my alt I have 47 percent and 61 percent rail. The early days of q3 (e.g 2002-2003 and before) their aim was very far from an aimbot.

The only player who had good aim at the time was czm, who also has a phd in mathematics.

All the other players like tox, gopher, cooller, all the ice climbers people took a lot longer to develop their aim. Tox peaked at quake 4, same for fatal1ty.

#13 Posted by FelipeInside (25968 posts) -

@vfibsux said:

When I think Unreal I think graphics, the game itself was not engaging at all other than the new stepping up of eye candy.

This.

It was a breakthrough, especially cause Voodoo GPUs were at their best performance... but the game was just a normal shooter, nothing special.

Half Life on the other hand brought graphics, story, immersion and interactivity to the genre.

#14 Edited by uninspiredcup (10074 posts) -

@FelipeInside said:

@vfibsux said:

When I think Unreal I think graphics, the game itself was not engaging at all other than the new stepping up of eye candy.

This.

It was a breakthrough, especially cause Voodoo GPUs were at their best performance... but the game was just a normal shooter, nothing special.

Half Life on the other hand brought graphics, story, immersion and interactivity to the genre.

This is actually false. It did use scripted sequences like Halflife. Indeed, you would frequently meet up with aliens dying or attempting to escape in a similar manner to Halflife's scientists and text logs similar to System Shock 2 would give the player information. Unlike other shooters at the time (i.e. Quake) it would have long stretches of exploration.

I think I will replay this weekend. Might record it all on shadowplay.

#15 Posted by vfibsux (4217 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:

@FelipeInside said:

@vfibsux said:

When I think Unreal I think graphics, the game itself was not engaging at all other than the new stepping up of eye candy.

This.

It was a breakthrough, especially cause Voodoo GPUs were at their best performance... but the game was just a normal shooter, nothing special.

Half Life on the other hand brought graphics, story, immersion and interactivity to the genre.

This is actually false. It did use scripted sequences like Halflife. Indeed, you would frequently meet up with aliens dying or attempting to escape in a similar manner to Halflife's scientists and text logs similar to System Shock 2 would give the player information. Unlike other shooters at the time (i.e. Quake) it would have long stretches of exploration.

I think I will replay this weekend. Might record it all on shadowplay.

No it is not false, you simply have an opinion. Personally I think you are remembering it wrong. Knowing this is possible and that I too am human I looked back in time to see if I was the one remembering it wrong.....don't think so.

Unreal Review Gamespot June 10, 1998

Half-Life Review Gamespot November 20, 1998

The Unreal review came prior to Half-Life and does not quite talk about revolutionizing the genre, but rather how great the graphics and AI are compared to other shooter.

Then you read the Half-Life review which makes it obvious what a revolutionary and ambitious game it was at the time.

So damn revisionist history....just step back in the time machine and see how it really was seen back then.

#16 Edited by uninspiredcup (10074 posts) -

@vfibsux said:

@uninspiredcup said:

@FelipeInside said:

@vfibsux said:

When I think Unreal I think graphics, the game itself was not engaging at all other than the new stepping up of eye candy.

This.

It was a breakthrough, especially cause Voodoo GPUs were at their best performance... but the game was just a normal shooter, nothing special.

Half Life on the other hand brought graphics, story, immersion and interactivity to the genre.

This is actually false. It did use scripted sequences like Halflife. Indeed, you would frequently meet up with aliens dying or attempting to escape in a similar manner to Halflife's scientists and text logs similar to System Shock 2 would give the player information. Unlike other shooters at the time (i.e. Quake) it would have long stretches of exploration.

I think I will replay this weekend. Might record it all on shadowplay.

No it is not false, you simply have an opinion.

Nope. It's false. Objective facts have been given. My opinion (as stated in the first post) is that it was inferior to halflife and doesn't deserve to be put in the same pedastal.

That however, doesn't mean I will disregard the game or make false claims of "generic" or "average" when it wasn't.

Indeed, the much touted extended sequences of Halflife in which the player is introduced to the world rather than simply shooting everything on sight was also (factually) in Unreal. Albeit a shorter and inferior version.

I dono if you read the link you posted. The unreal review pretty much opens up with a statement near enough exactly echoing what I stated.

What gives Unreal an edge is how these differences, while not always positive, distinguish it from the legions of other 3D shooters.

#17 Edited by vfibsux (4217 posts) -
@uninspiredcup said:

@vfibsux said:

@uninspiredcup said:

@FelipeInside said:

@vfibsux said:

When I think Unreal I think graphics, the game itself was not engaging at all other than the new stepping up of eye candy.

This.

It was a breakthrough, especially cause Voodoo GPUs were at their best performance... but the game was just a normal shooter, nothing special.

Half Life on the other hand brought graphics, story, immersion and interactivity to the genre.

This is actually false. It did use scripted sequences like Halflife. Indeed, you would frequently meet up with aliens dying or attempting to escape in a similar manner to Halflife's scientists and text logs similar to System Shock 2 would give the player information. Unlike other shooters at the time (i.e. Quake) it would have long stretches of exploration.

I think I will replay this weekend. Might record it all on shadowplay.

No it is not false, you simply have an opinion.

Nope. It's false. Objective facts have been given. My opinion (as stated in the first post) is that it was inferior to halflife and doesn't deserve to be put in the same pedastal.

That however, doesn't mean I will disregard the game or make false claims of "generic" or "average" when it wasn't.

Indeed, the much touted extended sequences of Halflife in which the player is introduced to the world rather than simply shooting everything on sight was also (factually) in Unreal. Albeit a shorter and inferior version.

I dono if you read the link you posted. The unreal review pretty much opens up with a statement near enough exactly echoing what I stated.

What gives Unreal an edge is how these differences, while not always positive, distinguish it from the legions of other 3D shooters.

Ok if you want to play this way I will just go all the way and say you are full of it, the sh- kind.

You quote one sentence out of context but yet you fail to mention they are not talking about the same thing you are....they go on to talk about the graphics, level design, weapons, and AI. Did you even get past the first paragraph where you found your holy grail of bs you quoted? You do know this was written BEFORE Half-life came out right?

Here is another comparison of reviews...this time by IGN. Unreal and Half Life. Let's see what you can take out of context here..anyone who can read can see Unreal was just a good shooter, Half-Life was an amazing one.

But keep coming with anecdotes dude....whatever you think works for you. If you want to like Unreal more than Half life have at it, but stop trying to make everyone believe it was revolutionary. It simply wasn't. Half life came out a mere few months after it and erased it off the map, period.

#18 Edited by uninspiredcup (10074 posts) -

@vfibsux said:
@uninspiredcup said:

@vfibsux said:

@uninspiredcup said:

@FelipeInside said:

@vfibsux said:

When I think Unreal I think graphics, the game itself was not engaging at all other than the new stepping up of eye candy.

This.

It was a breakthrough, especially cause Voodoo GPUs were at their best performance... but the game was just a normal shooter, nothing special.

Half Life on the other hand brought graphics, story, immersion and interactivity to the genre.

This is actually false. It did use scripted sequences like Halflife. Indeed, you would frequently meet up with aliens dying or attempting to escape in a similar manner to Halflife's scientists and text logs similar to System Shock 2 would give the player information. Unlike other shooters at the time (i.e. Quake) it would have long stretches of exploration.

I think I will replay this weekend. Might record it all on shadowplay.

No it is not false, you simply have an opinion.

Nope. It's false. Objective facts have been given. My opinion (as stated in the first post) is that it was inferior to halflife and doesn't deserve to be put in the same pedastal.

That however, doesn't mean I will disregard the game or make false claims of "generic" or "average" when it wasn't.

Indeed, the much touted extended sequences of Halflife in which the player is introduced to the world rather than simply shooting everything on sight was also (factually) in Unreal. Albeit a shorter and inferior version.

I dono if you read the link you posted. The unreal review pretty much opens up with a statement near enough exactly echoing what I stated.

What gives Unreal an edge is how these differences, while not always positive, distinguish it from the legions of other 3D shooters.

Ok if you want to play this way I will just go all the way and say you are full of it, the sh- kind.

What way? I gave you facts and used your article. No argument here exists.

Yet, for some, utterly bizarre reason you have jumped to getting personal and emotional about it.

Ok....

#19 Posted by FelipeInside (25968 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:

@vfibsux said:

It's all good to have personal taste and favourites, and Unreal was a great game for it's time... but it's doesn't hold a stick against Half Life in any department (well, maybe graphics).

Half Life is just the better game all around. If you're going to play Unreal cup, do that and then play Half Life straight after and you will notice the differences.

#20 Posted by uninspiredcup (10074 posts) -

@FelipeInside said:

@uninspiredcup said:

@vfibsux said:

It's all good to have personal taste and favourites, and Unreal was a great game for it's time... but it's doesn't hold a stick against Half Life in any department (well, maybe graphics).

Half Life is just the better game all around. If you're going to play Unreal cup, do that and then play Half Life straight after and you will notice the differences.

Am I on another planet?

@uninspiredcup said:

Nice little eurogamer article.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-06-22-unreal-retrospective

I'm not sure I agree with it, for me Halflife was a vastly superior game.

#21 Posted by FelipeInside (25968 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:

@uninspiredcup said:

Nice little eurogamer article.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-06-22-unreal-retrospective

I'm not sure I agree with it, for me Halflife was a vastly superior game.

My apologies. What the hell is all the argument about then?

#22 Posted by uninspiredcup (10074 posts) -

My original retort was about it being "just another first person shooter" when in fact it wasn't and shared several things with Halflife. My guess is both you and that angry guy thought I was implying I said it was better. Even though I never actually said that and roughly mentioned about about 3-4 times (including the OP) Halflife was better.

#23 Edited by xxninja666xx (590 posts) -

Funny that I just started replaying Unreal (I never got to complete it) and this appeared on the forums. I agree. It should be remembered as one of the top-notch classics in the FPS genre. It isn't something super awesome today, just like Half-Life isn't - it's just an oldschool shooter. The thing it should be remembered for imho was the pretty good attempt at storytelling - something FPS games did before, but usually the creators limited it to one or two pictures with story's summary in the help menu. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Unreal was the first one to attempt to tell a story that you actually had to discover throughout the game. You did it by reading diares and textlogs, and experiencing events throughout the game, unlike FPS games from before Unreal where you knew the whole story from the get-go and all you had to do was to shoot your way through swarms of aliens/demons/whatever. That's pretty damn ambitious for the nineties standards.

#24 Edited by vfibsux (4217 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:

@vfibsux said:
@uninspiredcup said:

@vfibsux said:

@uninspiredcup said:

@FelipeInside said:

@vfibsux said:

When I think Unreal I think graphics, the game itself was not engaging at all other than the new stepping up of eye candy.

This.

It was a breakthrough, especially cause Voodoo GPUs were at their best performance... but the game was just a normal shooter, nothing special.

Half Life on the other hand brought graphics, story, immersion and interactivity to the genre.

This is actually false. It did use scripted sequences like Halflife. Indeed, you would frequently meet up with aliens dying or attempting to escape in a similar manner to Halflife's scientists and text logs similar to System Shock 2 would give the player information. Unlike other shooters at the time (i.e. Quake) it would have long stretches of exploration.

I think I will replay this weekend. Might record it all on shadowplay.

No it is not false, you simply have an opinion.

Nope. It's false. Objective facts have been given. My opinion (as stated in the first post) is that it was inferior to halflife and doesn't deserve to be put in the same pedastal.

That however, doesn't mean I will disregard the game or make false claims of "generic" or "average" when it wasn't.

Indeed, the much touted extended sequences of Halflife in which the player is introduced to the world rather than simply shooting everything on sight was also (factually) in Unreal. Albeit a shorter and inferior version.

I dono if you read the link you posted. The unreal review pretty much opens up with a statement near enough exactly echoing what I stated.

What gives Unreal an edge is how these differences, while not always positive, distinguish it from the legions of other 3D shooters.

Ok if you want to play this way I will just go all the way and say you are full of it, the sh- kind.

What way? I gave you facts and used your article. No argument here exists.

Yet, for some, utterly bizarre reason you have jumped to getting personal and emotional about it.

Ok....

You took shit from the article out of context to make it look like you "won" to those who did not read it. I don't play that shit, you're wrong and you are intellectually dishonest. Play with yourself, I made my case, called you out, and I am done.

#25 Posted by uninspiredcup (10074 posts) -

???

Internet.

#26 Posted by cyborg100000 (2863 posts) -

I love Unreal. It's a unique gem of an FPS that kind of reminds me of Dark Souls now that the author mentioned it. Dark, isolated, exploration and adventure over set objectives, amazing set pieces unmatched even today, fantastic soundtrack, varied environments and challenging combat.

#27 Edited by commander (8269 posts) -
@uninspiredcup said:

Nice little eurogamer article.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-06-22-unreal-retrospective

I'm not sure I agree with it, for me Halflife was a vastly superior game. One of the things I like about Unreal that games don't really do anymore is that the narrative seems almost driven by the music above all else.

Not only was unreal released 6 months before halflife, they're both different fps shooters.

Unreal had a revolutionary single player campaign, halflife's may be better because of the cinematic gameplay, the character interactions and the story driven gameplay, unreal was released half a year before halflife.

And unreal was way way better when it came to multiplayer. Counterstrike which released even later than halflife and was based of the same engine of halflife, was a great success and a big name in multiplayer fps history. Unreal was a different kind of multiplayer and was only rivaled by quake II, and still it had it's own brand.

I don't want to take anything away from valve of course, but unreal is certainly on the same level that halflife was when it came to innovation in computer games, or fps shooters, if you can call it that because these were basically the two games that set the bar for fps 3d gaming.

But Quake was the first game that came with mouse look in a 3d animated world , the first 3d first person shooter. A rough diamond, it was unreal and halflife though that created the perfect diamonds out of this. Both perfect diamonds, but different ones.

The amount of perfection and innovation in computergames like that has not been done that much in computer game history. I was glad I experienced these masterpieces, which simply changed our culture.

Let me give you some examples

Kung fu master: The first influential side scroller beat-em up.

Double Dragon: The perfected 'fake 3d' side scroller beat - em up, the first one was renegade which was a revelation, but double dragon perfected it immediately.

Street fighter II: One on one fighting , they did it before with streetfighter 1, and other games like way of the exploding fist, karateka and international karate already made good one on one fighting games, but this was a masterpiece and today we're still playing games that are simply a spinoff of streetfighter II.

Mortal kombat: Allthough mortal kombat didn't bring that much new in gameplay, they managed to create a semi realistic one on one fighting game , where gore was implemented in the game and they made use of real characters, allthough they didn't keep on using real characters in their sequels, they set the bar for realistic gore, blood and violence in computergames, there was a lot of commotion around this, but it was clear that gamers simply wanted this.

Doom and wolfenstein, the first person shooters are born. It had been done before, but never showed the potential of these kind of games, doom and wolfenstein did.

Here is where quake , halflife and unreal came in, which revolutionized computer gaming with 3d fps shooters, and 3d animated worlds.

The elder scrolls: 3d gaming combined with rpg elements.

deus ex: 3d shooting combined with rpg elements

Hitman: rag doll physics, 3d third person shooter perfected.

Medal of honor: reliving past wars with 3d shooters. (yes call of duty stole it from them)

halflife 2 & far cry:, the psychics engine, a beginning of new gen, releasing a game now without computer psychics, where 3d animated objects act like they would in real life because of the laws of psychics (gravity, inertia) , is simply not possible anymore, since those games released, every 3d game with big production values has a physics engine in it.

Crysis; polygons polygons, crysis set the bar for graphical quality in computer games and even today , it's hardly been rivaled and only bested by their sequels and a few next gen games.

#28 Posted by AutoPilotOn (8565 posts) -

I remember the first time I booted up Unreal. I believe I had a AMD k6 233mhz. I think they had released several different covers of the case. I was so amazed at the graphics and sounds. I remember just watching the intro over and over of the camera flying around like a castle and the enemies walking around. Then playing it, getting out of the crashed spaceship and seeing a wide open level with things flying in the air and water falls. It was pretty awesome at the time.

#29 Edited by uninspiredcup (10074 posts) -

I had a voodoo banshee for Unreal. I thought because it had 16meg of ram it would make me cooler and better than my friends with voodoo 2's. It was actually weaker. Shameful times.

At the person who wrote the big ass post, revolutionary implies impactful change, it was Halflife, not Unreal that was revolutionary. Neither of these games arguably created any element that didn't exist before. Halflife used the tools barely or poorly used in other games and done them to such as execution that most games to this day rip it off. Especially the tram ride.

#30 Posted by PredatorRules (8486 posts) -

I don't think anyone will forget Unreal games since many devs using their engines to make their own games and the engine is called Unreal engine.