Unreal Tournament 4 is coming along nicely

You may be aware that Epic has kicked off a community-participation project intended to resurrect the classic Unreal Tournament using the latest version of the Unreal Engine. The new game, Unreal Tournament 4, will be free to download and use, and the current builds are already in very good shape.

You can grab UT4 from the website and try it for yourself, which is just what I did this past weekend. Despite the "pre-alpha" label, the game already seems to be quite stable. It runs well and looks spectacular on modern hardware, plenty fast enough for an arena FPS of this type. The game also has reasonably good modern matchmaking, so starting up a match is pretty straightforward, too.

Most of what's left to do, it seems, is building the out the levels and making them look nice. The game doesn't have tons of levels yet, and some of them still look very spartan, without proper texturing or artwork. That said, recent months have brought some significant additions, including a sumptuously updated version of the classic Facing Worlds CTF map.

Yes, that means you can play low-gravity instagib CTF on Facing Worlds with a roomful of friends—or with a few friends and some bots, if need be. It's as fun and frantic as in the classic UT2004, but it looks better and is easier to use.

Which means it's frigging stellar.

I realize we live in an amazing time with killer shooters like Battleborn and Overwatch just on the horizon, but if there's any justice in this world, UT4 should be at least a minor phenomenon. It's already achieved that status here in Damage Labs. Check it out if you can—and you can, since it's a free download, people.

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