Unreal (series)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Yes, they've named their engines after this series.

One of the most iconic FPS franchises, made by Epic Games. it started as a primarily single-player game, but its multi-player successor, Unreal Tournament, saw such great success that the series has essentially split into three branches:

Single player games:

Multiplayer games:

Console exclusive games:

Like many popular FPS series, modding potential is a large part of its appeal and success; both the 1P and multi part of the series have seen many releases. Part of the dodgy reception of UT2003 and Unreal 2 is the fact that their modding tools were half-broken. Of particular interest is the fact that all of the original Unreal's assets and textures are available in Unreal Tournament, so with the right mod (along with transferring the music and maps from the original game to the UT folders) it is essentially possible to turn UT into one big "super-game" with a full 1P and multi component.

The Unreal series fell into obscurity near the end of the last decade, helped along by a number of factors: the rise of team-based / "tactical" shooters (starting with Counter-Strike and ending with the current Call of Modern Battlefield glut), the overwhelming popularity of Team Fortress 2 (which combined the strategic elements of the former with Unreal's action-packed and over-the-top vibe), and Epic Games's focus on the Gears of War franchise and most recently Fortnite. However, Epic president Mike Capps is quoted as saying that the franchise is due for a revival. Furthermore, the Unreal Game Engines, one for each Tournament, have seen extremely widespread use throughout the gaming industry, with dozens of games, in just about every genre, released using Epic's code. In comparison, other competing engines have only been used sparingly in commercial games such as with id Tech which Bethesda eventually made exclusive to their subsidiaries; this leaves the Unity engine as their closest competitor.

The decline of the Unreal series in favour of Epic's latest Cash Cow Franchise Fortnite made Unreal Engine 5 the first Unreal Engine generation to not receive an entry in the Unreal franchise.

The series in general provides examples of:
  • Art Evolution: Compare this and this with this and this.[1]
  • Blind Idiot Translation: Pretty much any translation to any non-English language is bound to: bugs (which aren't even the game's faults!) inconsistency, (to the point of even translating names!) and non-translated stuff, among other things. Let's leave it at that.
  • Compilation Rerelease:
    • Totally Unreal: Unreal + Unreal Tournament
    • Unreal Gold: Unreal + Return To Na Pali
    • Unreal Anthology: Unreal Gold + Unreal Tournament GOTY Edition + Unreal II (plus the multi-player expansion XMP) + Unreal Tournament 2004: ECE Edition. [2]
    • Unreal Deal Pack: Unreal Gold + Unreal Tournament GOTY + Unreal II (without XMP this time) + Unreal Tournament 2004: ECE Edition (again without the mods, but with the community bonus pack maps) + Unreal Tournament III Black.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Lava is deadly only when touching it in this series.
  • Crapsack Universe: Well... let's just say that, across the series, the Unreal universe's setting it's the Earth extremely Darker and Edgier, and that's being generous.
  • Energy Ball: What some of your guns fire.
  • Excuse Universe.
  • Game Mod: THE series for mods outside of Half Life. Both the Single-player and multi-player side of the franchise have seen a large quantity of high-quality releases, due largely to the fact that it was the first game that didn't require knowledge of C programming to make a mod. Unreal 1 featured UnrealScript, which was simpler and less complex than C, and the main game itself was written in UnrealScript, which gave people a strong example to look at. In short, there will be at least one person using a custom model on your map.
And if your mod is good enough, this goes even far, since Epic Games has done in the past many Updated Rereleases which included many community-made mods, and, starting from 2003, the 1 Million Dollar Make Something Unreal modding contests that have spawned several commercial games like Killing Floor and Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45.
  • Girl of a Thousand Voices: Sioux "UnrealGrrl" Blue, who does nearly ALL of the female voices of the Unreal series. May it be a female announcer or a female player, you'll always hear her.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: A common topic on the franchise as a whole. There's no such thing as "100% good" or "100% evil" characters; all of them are guided by their own interests. For example, the Skaarj are bastards, but with a sense of honor.
  • Lazy Artist: Many of the Unreal Tournament (and some of the few Unreal) remakes for Unreal Tournament 2004, excluding those from artists such as Yournan or the people behind the "Community Bonus Packs" or the two "Flag Packs", are just direct ports of their original versions, without any visible change in the scale or even the sounds and textures.
  • Loads And Loads Of Characters Skins and Models: And how!
  • Planet Terra: The Skaarj call humans Terrans.
  • Rocket Jump: Possible across the series; in most cases you can do it with a weapon you spawn with.
  • Secondary Fire: A staple of the series, with each weapon having it's own use depending on the situation.
  • Trope Overdosed: Just so you know, this page had to be broke onto several different pages. Now imagine how big this page was. Wiki Magic at its finest!
  • Wolverine Publicity: Starting from Unreal Tournament 2003, expect to find Malcolm in any and every Unreal game, even if it's just a short cameo.
  1. In case you didn't catch the difference, that's the Deck16/17 map in Unreal, Unreal Tournament, Unreal Tournament 2004 and Unreal Tournament III.
  2. Unfortunately, Midway couldn't get the rights to publish the mods.