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  Quake III Arena vs. Unreal Tournament - Comparison

Ahhhh... the endless debate. The showdown. The SuperBowl of the First Person Shooter genre. Quake III Arena meets Unreal Tournament.

Quake III Arena (Q3A), is brought to you by id software, the founders of the First Person Shooter (FPS) genre.

They've come a long way from the days of Wolfenstein 3D, and Q3A is one the most hyped and anticipated PC titles of all time. With games like Starsiege TRIBES and Team Fortress Classic paving the way for a new genre of games designed specifically for multiplayer, Q3A is the natural evolution for the king of the FPS. For months, gamers worldwide have drooled over the timedemos and screenshots, and scoured the web to gather any tidbits of information they could find. No game would be able to stand up to legendary programmer John Carmack's newest toy. At least... that's what was thought.

Unreal Tournament SlashEnter Unreal Tournament (UT). At first, the idea of UT seemed to receive a collective snicker from the industry and gamers alike.

The original Unreal, developed by Epic Megagames and Digital Extremes, and published by GT Interactive, was released over a year and a half ago. It boasted an engine that was second to none, sporting the most impressive graphics ever seen on a consumer PC (well... if you had a 3dfx accelerator). The single-player game was riveting, the AI was the best seen to date, and the level design provided some serious eye candy. There was only one problem. The network code was comparable to smoke-signal technology. The game was rendered pretty much unplayable online. Thus, Quake II, and it's impeccable network code, reigned as king of the FPS.

Then, Epic announced Unreal Tournament, a new game using a tweaked Unreal Engine, and focusing completely on multiplayer contests. Because of Epic's and id's respective reputations, it was obvious that Epic was taking the role of David in an uphill battle against the Goliath that would be Quake III Arena. The interesting twist to this story came in mid September, when the UT demo was released. The reviews were pouring in, and both the industry and gamers were shocked at just how good this game was turning out to be. Even the network code, which was obviously one of Epic's primary focuses, was cleaned up. The showdown between Q3A and UT was quickly becoming a hot topic.

Now, both titles have been on the shelves for over a month, and the debate has flared to an even higher level. Which is the better game... Quake III Arena or Unreal Tournament? Well, I grabbed a copy of both titles, gave them both a good workout, and I've come up with a winner. Not that my opinion is necessarily worth any more than anyone else's, but here's my scoop...

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Quake III Arena vs. Unreal Tournament

Quake III Arena
id Software

Unreal Tournament
Epic Megagames &
Digital Extreme

Quake III Arena

Unreal Tournament
GT Interactive

Comparison by:
Rob "RJCombo" Garrett

January 12, 1999

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