Unreal (1998)

Video Game  |  Animation, Action, Sci-Fi  |  30 April 1998 (USA)
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You are a prisoner being transported across the galaxy, but when your transport crashes you must fight your way across dangerous alien worlds.

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Title: Unreal (Video Game 1998)

Unreal (Video Game 1998) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Cast overview:
Dj Carroll ...
(voice) (as D.J. Carroll)
Shannon Newans ...


You are a prisoner being transported across the galaxy, but when your transport crashes you must fight your way across dangerous alien worlds.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

first person shooter | battle | See All (2) »


Alter your reality...forever.




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Release Date:

30 April 1998 (USA)  »

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Followed by Unreal Tournament III (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Good game, but not quite the "Quake-killer" it was meant to be.
17 November 2008 | by (Cape Town, South Africa) – See all my reviews

When Quake 2 was released in 1997, it was the undisputed king of the FPS genre. That was until the release of Unreal in 1998, the first credible challenger to Quake's throne. For months debates raged amongst gamers on which was the only FPS worth playing. Eventually, neither of the 2 games could claim to be the clear winner of this debate, but with the benefit of hindsight is safe to say that while Unreal was technically superior to Quake 2, it wasn't quite the "Quake-killer" it was promised to be on release. The main reason was probably the high system requirements (for 1998) needed to run the game properly, without adding much to the existing FPS genre besides better graphics.

Yes, the best thing about Unreal is without a doubt its graphics, other reviewers on the site have described the graphics much more eloquently than I can, so I will suffice to say that quite a few times while playing the game I sat back and said to myself "Wow, this looks amazing! How did they do it??". The graphics have aged somewhat by today's standards, but I believe that along with Half-Life, Unreal's graphics set the benchmark for all FPS's at the end of the previous century. The other amazing thing about Unreal is it's AI. Enemies duck and dive out of harm's way, ambush you, run away if overwhelmed and even play dead. Rarely do one battle a Skaarj trooper or mercenary and leave the scene of the battle unscathed.

Unreal is unfortunately not without some frustrating aspects, one of the main complaints is the weak weapons available to the player. Quake's range of weapons complement each other, there is always intuitively a best weapon for any given situation. Unreal's developers could have done worse than simply copying the Quake arsenal into Unreal. In Unreal, enemies dodge your powerful weapon's projectiles with ease and require numerous hits from your weaker weapons to be killed. One or 2 of the supposedly advanced weapons are simply useless, and I completely ignored them. The bad weapons frustrated me throughout the game and probably made the AI appear cleverer than it really was.

The other disappointing aspect for me is that while Unreal ushered in a new era with regards to graphics and AI, this innovation was not carried over in the storyline. The storyline is simply the standard Doom/Quake formula of fighting your way through mazes filled with enemies searching for a way to open that darn locked door. The "story" is told by way of logs of fallen soldiers and books picked up along the way, resulting in a feeling of always being two steps behind the story's happenings and not actually being part of the story.

After the initial novelty of the good graphics had worn off, I quickly lost interest in the game and only bothered to finish it because I spent some good money importing it from USA (and some nice cheats really helps when you don't feel like running through the whole level again to look for that button that will open that pesky locked door). The FPS genre has moved on since the mid-nineties, and nowadays a game like Unreal is merely a novelty, but it's still obvious why it was such a hit back in 1998.

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