Is the return of competitive PC shooters upon us?

By Anthony Garreffa on May 11, 2014 at 11:56 pm CDT

On our Authors page, my blurb states that I'm "a PC enthusiast - with a passion of hate for games to be built around consoles. With FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with high-end, custom-built PCs".

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This is 100% true - I'm a massive PC fanboy, something I've been since I was young (I'm 31 years old). I was a huge fan of the 3dfx cards, 32-bit color being pushed in Quake III, and much more. The news that Unreal Tournament was returning, and not hitting the consoles, really struck a chord with me. Epic Games is behind it, a studio that I had mostly lost my faith in. Why? Gears of War.

Gears of War was a third-person shooter for the Xbox, with Epic Games all but tied up developing the Unreal Engine, but pumping out Gears of War games. The Unreal franchise - the first-person shooter games, not just the engine - was thrown to the side. Why call it the Unreal Engine if it doesn't power any new Unreal games? Well, Epic Games sold the rights to the Gears of War franchise to Microsoft, freeing up serious dev time obviously.

Fast forward a few months, and we're hearing about a new Unreal Tournament game. For so long, first-person shooters have been dominated by multi-platform games like Call of Duty and Battlefield, but nothing has come out that has really shaken things up in the tournament/professional shooter category. Sure, we have Counter-Strike, but it's not a fun shooter - it's more predictable thanks to its static environments and stale graphics.

Unreal Tournament on the other hand, hasn't seen the light of day since 2007 - a massive seven years without an Unreal game. I really thought it could've been id Software releasing a truly groundbreaking Quake title, even rebooting the franchise to include the Shambler and all... but nope. Disappointment is an understatement. We have all this graphical power, mostly being wasted on console ports.

Unreal Engine 4 is going to be powering Unreal Tournament 2014, so we should expect some truly amazing graphics. Even more so because it doesn't have to be dumbed down for the still underpowered hardware in the 'next-gen' consoles. I'm expecting Epic Games to do some truly spectacular things with UT 2014, so don't let me down, Epic!

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