Friday, January 20, 2012

Amazingly Unreal

Posted by James Worden

I remember when I played Unreal Tournament '99 back when it was new on the market. It was....and still is...an amazing game. Though, what led to that was the first Unreal game that I had sadly not played, even if it's been mentioned quite a few times in my elementary years. It was easy to see, however, that Unreal Tournament used the Unreal 1 engine as a base (that is an obvious "Duh!", I realize). Unreal technology has always been big when it came to gaming. So many games rely on the Unreal engines and I honestly couldn't see a world without these available to the market in the form of Software Development Kits.



There are some games out there where you wouldn't believe that it's running on one of the Unreal engines, such as Bioshock (hey, it fooled me once...), but there are also ones out there that are blatantly obvious, which really isn't all that much of a bad thing if you look at it. For example, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 1 and Vegas 2 by Ubisoft Entertainment both run on the Unreal 3 engine and it's really easy to tell that it uses the same shaders and rendering patterns as Unreal Tournament 3....err...don't mind my technobabble, but if you were a technical geek like I am, you'd appreciate these things a bit more. Moving along, though...I like those games I mentioned, to be honest with you!

A few other examples of Unreal engine technology would be Killing Floor and Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45. These products were originally modifications for Unreal Tournament 2004! Who would of thought it, right? It's actually not so hard to believe these days where modifications of older video games become their own separate product on the market. Tripwire Interactive wouldn't be where it is today if it weren't for Epic Games releasing the SDK for the Unreal 2 engine...well, what Tripwire now calls a modified "Unreal 2.5 engine". They definitely made a couple of amazing games. They just released Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad on September 13th of last year utilizing the Unreal 3 engine...amazing stuff! Must I also include that Epic's very own Gears of War series runs on Unreal Engine 3? Well, 3 runs on Unreal 3.5 technically, but I'm not going to go into technicalities....even though I technically...just...did...but I digress.

I must also mention that a well known game called Deus Ex uses Unreal Engine 1. Didn't know that, did you? Or...maybe you did? The America's Army series used Unreal Engines 2 and 3. Brothers in Arms series, another one of my favorites, uses the Unreal 2 and 3 engines as well. Need I mention the Mass Effect trilogy? My whole point being, I don't think the gaming world will quite be where it is today without the ingenius creation and development of Unreal technology.

As much as I'd like to list off every single game that utilizes Unreal engine technology, I think everyone already gets my point. The Unreal engines as a whole are staples in the whole timeline of the gaming industry, or at least the majority of it. I'm just waiting for information on an Unreal 4 engine. I wonder how big of an influx of games would come in with that one!

For more information on games that use the Unreal Engine, visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unreal_Engine_games
For more information on the Unreal engine series as a whole, visit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unreal_Engine
http://www.unrealengine.com/

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