Unreal Tournament is playable, and awesome

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So damn awesome.

I’ve been playing three first person shooters recently, see if you can tell what they all have in common:

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Interstellar Marines

Insurgency

That’s right; slow paced, thoughtful and deliberate shooters where the punishment for a mistimed peak is two minutes sat on the bench watching your team play without you. I hadn’t realised just how much I’d missed the fast paced, ludicrous intensity of Unreal Tournament. But now I’ve played it, boy did I miss it.

The game is available to download and play already so, like a good boy, I jumped instantly into a 32 man free for all deathmatch. The first thing to note is that not all of the maps are fully textured; just Outpost 23 and Lea, as far as I can tell, but they both look sublime. Like seriously, the screenshots in this post are real. I know that sounds a little corny, but in 60fps at the intensity Unreal Tournament manages it’s quite the looker.

The other maps are, for now, simply geometry, but they all Unreal Tournament to shine in the area where it has always excelled; the combat. I jumped into a game to find myself leading with rockets, firing secondary fire Flak cannon balls around corners and double tapping movement keys to leap off walls. Advanced Warfare tried, Titanfall tried, but no first person shooter has ever managed to top Unreal Tournament, and now a modern version has entered the fray it’s even more apparent.

The game is being made collaboratively with the community and, as such, already features a marketplace where you can buy people’s creations. One of the fully complete maps is only available on the marketplace, so it’s worth looking around to get a feel for how this new client works.

The game currently features genre staples Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, while Capture the Flag and Duel are welcome additions to bulk out the roster of modes and maps. With more maps and new additions promised the future looks extremely bright for Unreal Tournament.

I cannot praise this highly enough; it’s a welcome return to the genre to one of the pillars of its success. It’s frantic, it’s joyous and it’s glorious. It’s also free to download right here.