Unreal IIThe Forgotten Game

After the announcement that Unreal 2 will not feature multiplay, and that its release date will be pushed back to the fourth quarter of 2002, many gamers have forgotten about Unreal 2, a game which has been in development since 1999, but has only recently received any public attention. While in the short term this will mean less publicity for Unreal 2, due to massive community interest in UT2003, which is just weeks away from release, in the long term Unreal 2 represents a sizable chunk of the Unreal Universe. Unreal Tournament 2003 may have a longer life, but Unreal 2 promises to be just as moddable and just as playable as its multiplayer cousin.

Early Days

Back in 1999, Epic quietly announced that Legend Entertainment were working on the sequel to the original Unreal -- Unreal 2. At the time this was of little consequence, the Unreal Community was enjoying the multiplay-focussed Unreal Tournament too much to think about a new Unreal game, let alone a single player one.

Unreal II The community started buzzing with excitement in early 2001 with the launch of the official Unreal 2 website, and some pretty amazing in-game shots, showing off the most noticeable improvement in the Unreal Engine -- terrain. We had already seen what the improved engine was capable of in Epic's tech demos of 2000, and now we could see what the technology was like when it was put to use in a game, a game which at the time was only a 18 months away from release. With the screenshots, new information started to filter through about Unreal 2. Unreal 2 would be a single-player focussed game, with multiplayer features. It would be more of an adventure game and less of a casual blaster than any of its prequels. At this time, the game was scheduled for an early 2002 release. Little did we know at the time that Unreal 2 would pull a Daikatana on us, and end up appearing towards the end of the year instead.