It’s hard to deny the fact that arena shooters have undergone some serious changes in recent years. Between all the military shooters and narrative-driven romps on the market, there has been a noticeable lack of titles harkening back to the roots of multiplayer first-person shooters. As such, it’s no surprise that Epic Games’ confirmation of a new Unreal Tournament made serious waves among FPS purists.
It was then revealed that the game would not be developed strictly by Epic, but that this new Unreal Tournament would be developed with the help of community feedback and participation. While the claim may have worried some fans as to what the approach could mean for the quality of the final product, others have embraced the model, seeing it as the beginning of a renewed modding community. Holding fast to this commitment of community support, Epic has released footage of the game’s first deathmatch for players to enjoy.
In its current state, the game is unsurprisingly rough, with the arena comprised of simple grey blocks and a skybox and the only weapon seemingly available in the match being the Shock Rifle. While the content of the game will become the priority over time, arguably the most important thing to take away from this short video is the demeanor of the developers. Rather than simply showing what they have and being done with it, it’s clear that they are having an immense amount of fun.
While some may not see this as a significant point of interest (like the implementation of new weapons or revised classic arenas), it’s a good bet that if the developers are enjoying themselves making the game, that same passion stands a better chance of coming through in the final product. Of course, passion should not be viewed as a replacement for talent – but with the pedigree that Epic possesses, gamers have little to worry about, barring some unforeseen issues.
With the current multiplayer FPS scene being dominated by franchises like Call of Duty and Halo, it will be interesting to see how the general public accepts the return of arena shooters. Modern FPS titles no doubt take on elements of this classic genre, but much still sets it apart; particularly the fast-paced gameplay. For many who were not around to experience the hey-day of instagib matches over LAN, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether this new Unreal Tournament will catch on among the mainstream or reign supreme among a tight-knit niche.
Are you excited to jump back into the world of arena FPS titles? What changes would you like to see in this new Unreal Tournament?
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