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The Strife Commando

Why Is The Original Unreal Not As Well Known As The Unreal Tournament Series And Quake??

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Remember Unreal 1? Made by Epic Games to compete with Quake. Why wasn't it as well known as Quake? Darn, the Unreal Tournament series is much more known than its single player brother. Unreal did get a sequel, but Quake and Unreal Tournament still struck big which put it out of the radar.

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Unreal sold what? 1.5 or so million copies? The sequel wasn’t as big of a hit in terms of sales and reviews. I’d say it’s not so much that they aren’t well known, but more that they have just been left in the past by the uninitiated majority who are focused on other games, many games of which hold a lot more “nostalgic value” to the masses than Unreal I & II. 


As for UT, Unreal Tournament came out a year after Quake III and was also on the same consoles as Quake III. It just happened to come out at the right time, and was a very good competitor to QIII. Those types of arena deathmatch games were very popular at that moment in time, which helped things as well. 
 

edit: confused the Dreamcast release of UT for the PC release. UT came out only a few weeks or so before Quake III on the PC, and most of their console ports also came out around the same times as well. 

Edited by Gerolf : Mistook the pc release date of UT for the Dreamcast release

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Unreal is a very well known game and a true FPS classic. It competed with Quake II. Both games then had to compete with everybody’s darling, Half-Life.

 

@Gerolf: UT and Q3A were both released in 1999. Maybe some months, but not a year apart.

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16 minutes ago, Tetzlaff said:

Both games then had to compete with everybody’s darling, Half-Life.

 

Half Life was not my darling 

 

Also based on trying it, I don't think much of Unreal. Quake 2 is better than both, though frankly Quake, Doom and Doom 2 remain better than those. 

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5 hours ago, Gerolf said:

As for UT, Unreal Tournament came out a year after Quake III and was also on the same consoles as Quake III.\

37 minutes ago, Tetzlaff said:

UT and Q3A were both released in 1999. Maybe some months, but not a year apart.

 

UT99 was released about 2 weeks before Quake 3

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Unreal, for me, is the king of 90s FPS. A fantastic story-based sci-fi adventure with memorable enemies, locations and weapons. I suspect the multiplayer franchise that spun off of it did better because online multiplayer was a huge deal back then and remained that way ever since, whilst even a great story/campaign for an FPS is often a one-and-done deal for most players.

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47 minutes ago, hybridial said:

Half Life was not my darling 

 

Also based on trying it, I don't think much of Unreal. Quake 2 is better than both, though frankly Quake, Doom and Doom 2 remain better than those. 

 

Yours and most people here actually :p .

 

At any rate, I'm the other way around.

 

In all honesty, I do not get the love for Quake 2, at all. For me it's pretty much the weakest entry in the series, with the only highlight being the music and actual bosses compared to Quake 1. But otherwise, I found its gameplay boring, the levels bland and repetitive, and some enemies obnoxious. On Hard it also has a major balancing issue, where enemies do not enter a pain state anymore.

 

I found Unreal better than it in all respects, save for maybe that annoying side-stepping, useful on anything but ledges. Thankfully that can be disabled.

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35 minutes ago, Phobus said:

Unreal, for me, is the king of 90s FPS. A fantastic story-based sci-fi adventure with memorable enemies, locations and weapons. I suspect the multiplayer franchise that spun off of it did better because online multiplayer was a huge deal back then and remained that way ever since, whilst even a great story/campaign for an FPS is often a one-and-done deal for most players.

Agreed. The fact that UT'99 has fast-paced action with "short" rounds and it was a BIG deal for online gameplay solidified the game more than Unreal. 

 

A big success, in short.

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I think the reason why Unreal was not as popular as UT is because Unreal's SP was pretty much a once-and-done deal for most players (as Phobus mentioned). Not to mention that after about 6-ish months, Half Life happened and pretty much changed the landscape. Unreal's multiplayer, while fun, was not as refined as UT99.

 

UT99 being completely multiplayer focused meant that the devs were able to make more MP maps/content for it while also making the gameplay more refined.

 

It doesn't help that Unreal 2 was a complete failure.

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1 hour ago, ReaperAA said:

 

UT99 was released about 2 weeks before Quake 3

Right, my mistake. I was mistaking the console release date of UT for the PC release, which was December of 2000 as opposed to November of 1999. 

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7 hours ago, The Strife Commando said:

Remember Unreal 1? Made by Epic Games to compete with Quake. Why wasn't it as well known as Quake? Darn, the Unreal Tournament series is much more known than its single player brother. Unreal did get a sequel, but Quake and Unreal Tournament still struck big which put it out of the radar.


What timeline was this in?

Unreal 1 was a massive deal and every single PC mag at that time loved comparing it to quake 2, it was only when HL came out the argument of which was better was ended.

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@EndlessI remember arguing at school over unreal and q2.. I borrowed my mates copy to play, but decided I liked Q2 better, but in my class it was a 50/50 split. 

 

Not to mention it was a bit of a poster boy for the voodoo card range.. those screenshots looked amazing at the time.

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People in this thread have already covered the most important reasons, though I also think that some people don't like the combat in Unreal because of how tough the enemies are as compared to, say, Doom. I think Quake is also more popular for MP than SP, at least at the time.

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1 hour ago, Endless said:

unlike Crysis, Unreal is actually fun

 

Crysis was (and probably still is) a fun game. Crysis 2 and 3 on the other hand....

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Just now, ReaperAA said:

 

Crysis was (and probably still is) a fun game. Crysis 2 and 3 on the other hand....

Can't really agree 100%. While I do like the concept and open world of the game, as well as its incredible presentation, 50% of it is really slow and too artificial for me. Facing off the Koreans is just no fun thanks to how much of a bullet-sponge they are. Things change with the aliens tho, I had a lot of fun facing those blue mechanical things and it was even a bit scary at times. The tank mission was also good fun.

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22 minutes ago, Endless said:

Facing off the Koreans is just no fun thanks to how much of a bullet-sponge they are..

 

Well truth be told, none of the enemies in Crysis are anywhere near as bullet spongy as the enemies in Unreal ;)

 

On a serious note, yeah the enemies in Crysis are definitely bullet-spongy. But the "Predator-like" nanosuit abilities + the physics give plenty of options to deal with them. I liked trying various strategies (and finding optimal strategy) to kill the enemies.

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4 hours ago, ReaperAA said:

 

UT99 was released about 2 weeks before Quake 3

Unreal Tournament was first? I didn't know that. I thought Quake 3 came first. So Epic Games made the arena shooter genre. Was Quake 3 considered inferior or better to some?

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Quake 2 is decent but Unreal puts it to shame. Unreal should really get a remaster at some point.

 

37 minutes ago, Theperson said:

Can we all just know that a unreal tournament sequel was canned for Fortnite. 

 

 

 

Yeah.......

 

It wasn't anything special. Having a dedicated dodge button was nice, and the HUD was good, but UT99 was much better overall. 

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Unreal is fantastic. To me, its only flaws are a paucity of cannon fodder enemies - and the only ones it has are irritating - and an excessive length.

 

But other than that? You have enemies that challenge you with mobility as well as weaponry. They lead their projectiles so you can't just circle strafe the danger away.  It's got huge, atmospheric levels that offered up spectacle and scale not commonly seen in shooters for some time after. Imaginative and innovative weapons that were fun to use - the ripping HKKKKK of some poor fleshbag absorbing a well aimed flak-cannon shot. The insane explosive force of a fully loaded 8-ball. The satisfying pop of a headshot. Throw in dash as another innovative mechanic that has stuck around although I'm personally not keen.  And all delivered with a unique look that still holds up today let alone back then when most of its contemporaries came dressed in extremely dull palettes.

 

Oh, and a great soundtrack which shifts in and out within levels, prefiguring the methods of current games.

 

Meanwhile, Q2 was barely evolutionary. But the base dynamics of motion, the feel was better, and long live the railgun and Q2DM1.

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For me it was a 'feeling' thing.

 

I did get hold of Unreal when it first came out. I could see that it was technically excellent, but I just didn't 'feel' it. It was a Marmite thing I guess... I should probably dig it out and have a crack at it again.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, The Strife Commando said:

Unreal Tournament was first? I didn't know that. I thought Quake 3 came first. So Epic Games made the arena shooter genre. Was Quake 3 considered inferior or better to some?

 

Not really, Quake 1 and 2 already existed :p.

 

Quake 3 was basically the combination and refinement of the multiplayer aspects of both Q1 and Q2. Quake 3's MP is considered far better than both Q1 and Q2, although lack of proper singleplayer campaign did disappoint some. 

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19 minutes ago, ReaperAA said:

 

Not really, Quake 1 and 2 already existed :p.

 

Quake 3 was basically the combination and refinement of the multiplayer aspects of both Q1 and Q2. Quake 3's MP is considered far better than both Q1 and Q2, although lack of proper singleplayer campaign did disappoint some. 

I see.

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1 hour ago, Theperson said:

Can we all just know that a unreal tournament sequel was canned for Fortnite. 

 

This is pretty much how Epic died as a game developer for me, for good. I STILL can't fucking believe they canned the UT reboot (at least, I recall it was going to be a reboot of sorts), their highly relevant franchise for gaming history, and very competent games able to stand on their own feet, for that trash. Beyond pathetic in my book. Traded their legacy for the temporal popularity of a game that will be remembered for nothing.

 

48 minutes ago, ReaperAA said:

On a serious note, yeah the enemies in Crysis are definitely bullet-spongy. But the "Predator-like" nanosuit abilities + the physics give plenty of options to deal with them. I liked trying various strategies (and finding optimal strategy) to kill the enemies.

 

Indeed, the gameplay of Crysis was pretty varied, and satisfying. It was an all-around solid game, even though it became a meme for its generation and the one after due to how hardware demanding it was for the era it came out.

 

Not sure of Crysis 3 though, from what I've seen that game looked quite competent and fun. I liked the story too. Wish we get a sequel one day.

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Im so glad @Endless posted the magazine pic - That's literally the first thing i think of whenever i hear Unreal. That, and the ubiquitious ''It melted PC's back then'' (which it did.)

 

It also would not be a Strife Commando thread without some inane baffling that some things are as they are, albeit these things are known for the past 20+ years or so.

 

But i digress. It wouldn't be a TSC thread if my pompous ass isn't in it :P
 

12 hours ago, The Strife Commando said:

Remember Unreal 1? Made by Epic Games to compete with Quake. Why wasn't it as well known as Quake?

  1. Most people know about Unreal. Its not a wildly obscure game
  2. Most people also know it was made by Epic Games since it pretty much cemented Epic Games as a developer (Jazz Jackrabbit, ZZT and Jill in the Jungle were previous titles to this)
  3. Back in the day Unreal was the hottest thing since wet rocks. But then there was also Half-Life, and Turok. Two wildly different games that also further advanced the genre. Unreal's open spaces are quite reminiscent of Turok's level designs.
12 hours ago, The Strife Commando said:

Darn, the Unreal Tournament series is much more known than its single player brother. Unreal did get a sequel, but Quake and Unreal Tournament still struck big which put it out of the radar.

Its like asking why Quake 2 was not as popular as Quake 3. Except its also a wildly popular title.

 

Your question would be more valid if you were asking why Deathmatch Classic never got as popular as the titles you mention.

UT (and Quake 3) arrived at the right place at the right time. Internet connections were getting faster. Graphics advancements followed up quickly. Multiplayer became more than just deathmatch (And was going to get a massive boost with Counter-Strike in 1999). UT and Q3 arrived with advanced 3D engines, timeless level designs and fast paced action. Subsequent clones never were as successful.

 

Its why people still play these titles, 20 years on - Their gameplay is so incredibly polished, you don't want anything else.

 

1 hour ago, The Strife Commando said:

I see.

See this is what i don't get. You make these threads and ask these questions to start off a discussion, but when someone replies with an indepth rebuttal, you do the equivalent of knodding without opinionating anything further.

Like, why? Why ask a question and then forfeit any more indepth participation?

1 hour ago, seed said:

This is pretty much how Epic died as a game developer for me, for good. I STILL can't fucking believe they canned the UT reboot (at least, I recall it was going to be a reboot of sorts), their highly relevant franchise for gaming history, and very competent games able to stand on their own feet, for that trash. Beyond pathetic in my book. Traded their legacy for the temporal popularity of a game that will be remembered for nothing.

Fortunatley we still have UT3. Which, i have to say, is pretty effin solid as an UT game aswell.

1 hour ago, seed said:

Not sure of Crysis 3 though, from what I've seen that game looked quite competent and fun. I liked the story too. Wish we get a sequel one day.

Crysis 3 was definitely more layered and allowed for more kinds of approaches - Though still quite limited compared to the first one. Visually damning though and its bizarre how it has yet to see a PS4/XBO/PS5/XSX release yet. On PS360, it looks incredible, PC even more so.

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3 minutes ago, Redneckerz said:

Fortunatley we still have UT3. Which, i have to say, is pretty effin solid as an UT game aswell.

 

All UT is good UT basically :p.

 

4 minutes ago, Redneckerz said:

Crysis 3 was definitely more layered and allowed for more kinds of approaches - Though still quite limited compared to the first one. Visually damning though and its bizarre how it has yet to see a PS4/XBO/PS5/XSX release yet. On PS360, it looks incredible, PC even more so.

 

Indeed. I was always amazed at how good it looked even on consoles, and I don't recall these versions being badly optimized either.

 

On PC, with all graphical features enabled, it looked phenomenal. And still does, seven years later.

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7 hours ago, hybridial said:

 

Half Life was not my darling 

 

Also based on trying it, I don't think much of Unreal. Quake 2 is better than both, though frankly Quake, Doom and Doom 2 remain better than those. 

 

HL isn't my darling either, I actually think it's overrated. But everytime I say this I get massive contra, so I accept it's just very popular and my opinion is in the minority.

 

What I love most in Unreal are the varied environments and how they made them all part of one seemless world. You start in a dystopian prison space ship, escape to enter a beautiful alien world. You explore ancient temple ruins. Then it switches over to a pure scifi environemnt when you enter a massive spaceship that crash landed on the planet surface, and so on. The way this was realised was ingenious.

 

In comparison, Unreal 2 sucks so bad when you look at this aspect (and many others). In Unreal 2 Legend Entertainment probably said to themselves: "Unreal is famous for it's varied environments, right? So let's switch the setting with every level by hopping from planet to planet with a spaceship!!!" Gone are the seemless and clever transitions.

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2 minutes ago, Tetzlaff said:

What I love most in Unreal are the varied environments and how they made them all part of one seemless world. You start in a dystopian prison space ship, escape to enter a beautiful alien world. You explore ancient temple ruins. Then it switches over to a pure scifi environemnt when you enter a massive spaceship that crash landed on the planet surface, and so on. The way this was realised was ingenious.

 

Well, for one thing, I did play some of Unreal 2... yeah it's bad.

 

But my issue with the first one is really how bored I get trying to play it. I don't like the big open spaces, I don't like the sprawling maps, I think it just leads to a game of more running around than playing it. I'm not "immersed" more by that and any wow factor at the spectacle is about worth one second of thought to me. It's why I think Quake 2 is better, Quake 2 didn't stray from compact level design, and I just like that more for most games. 

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Well, I wasn't comparing Quake II and Unreal. Quake II is great for it's own reasons and yes, the level design there is excellent.

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