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Retro Reviews: Unreal

by: Gustavo Lequerica-Calvo ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Unreal is one amazing game, really fun to play and truly a classic game in the first-person shooter genre made by Epic Games. The game was praised in it's time since it gave a detailed experience in term of scenarios and playability.

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    In the best tradition of first-person shooters, Unreal is one of the few games that innovated the concept of first-person shooters by giving the character a story in the first installment contrary to most popular games of the time like Doom or Quake which didn’t gave a background history to their characters.

    The player takes control over Prisoner 849, an average intergalactic criminal with no name or face. The story will begin in the prison spaceship called Vortex Rikers. On the first day, the prison spaceships starts to malfunction and crash in a planet called Na Pali.

    Na Pali is a planet with two dominant species: a race of four-armed humanoids and the Skaarj a technological advance race of humanoid reptilians that dominate the four-armed humanoids and Na Pali. When the prison ship crashes on the planet, the Skaarj go in and kill everyone aboard except Prisioner 849 who arms himself and escape from the ship.

    Unreal is a game inspired in the sci fi genre, but it takes more a post-apocalyptic-stealth approach since the player has to escape the planet before he meets his demise. When traveling through the planet, you will find pieces of information of previous visitors and victims who died in the jaws of the Skaarj.

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    The gameplay is really good, my personal score a 4; why a 4? Because there are some technical difficulties that can take from the value of the gameplay, but they won’t represent any major problem in the game experience. The difficulties (if you want call them difficulties) are a slow pace in the action, sometimes in a scenario you will get too much tranquility and little killing. Then, there are only six enemies models in total. These are just a few, but in general the gameplay is good.

    The controls are one of the negative features in the entire game, they aren’t easy to learn and the player will need tons of endurance while playing just to keep up with them. Sure, you will know how to walk, run, jump, and shoot: the basic features. But when you are going to use the weapons, you will have certain problems in mastering them as they use a series of buttons to activate them, although there are some easy ones as the knife and an average shotgun.

    The graphics and the sound are excellent, they are a perfect five, really realistic and textures are so perfect for a game of its time. The skin of the reptiles and the metal of the weapons shines as if they were on the real world. The sound is also good; it gives to the game a chilly atmosphere, you feel the adrenaline of the hunt.

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    Unreal has become one classic game itself, it had overcome the competition of Doom, Duke Nukem, Quake, and other popular games by finding a niche in video game history. It gained popularity in its own right by giving a new experience to the players, not giving new elements in the gameplay but making the game itself more easy and enjoyable to the first-person shooter fans.