In this article, we will cover the biggest battle in the ArenaFPS community Unreal Tournament Vs Quake III Arena. The biggest battle for king of the First Person Shooter at least in the late 90s was one that will never be forgotten.
Below we will cover many aspects of the games. What made them better than the other one and ultimately who I believe came out on top. Where these franchises are ultimately are at now. Both games threw away what ultimately made them a name for themselves for a Multiplayer Experience only and were some of the first games to do so.
Table of Contents
Unreal Tournament (1999)
Developed by Epic Games (Yes that Epic Games) and released just 10 days before Quake III Arena. Unreal Tournament is where in my opinion Unreal kind of got its name or rather its recognition.
The original Unreal Tournament is now better known as Unreal Tournament 99 or UT99. This is because Epic decided to release an unfinished Unreal Tournament 4 and just called it Unreal Tournament, making the whole internet and search engines confused. If you want specific original UT configs, mods, or whatever it is best you search for UT99. So the original was released in 1999 hench the name Unreal Tournament ’99.
Most people have never even heard of the original Unreal or played it. This is a shame cause it’s really a fantastic game.
Anyways, Unreal Tournament was the first entry into the series that was specifically Multiplayer action only, no single player, no story (sort of), just jump in and it’s fragging time. The original Unreal did have multiplayer but this was more refined and was marketed as such.
While it does have a story… it’s not something a lot of people cared about because why would you. That wasn’t why you purchased Unreal Tournament, you purchased this to compete against other players online.
Unreal Tournament Weapons
Unlike Quake III.
Unreal Tournament focused on having a primary and secondary fire on each weapon. Some weapons did something different than their primary fire would do.
Such as the flak cannon. The Primary fire would shoot like a spread shotgun, while the secondary attack would shoot a like a curve pattern grenade which would explode on contact.
The most memorable weapons on UT are the Shock Rifle, Pulse Gun, Flak Cannon, and the big bad boy the redeemer.
Of course, there are other weapons that come pretty much stock in most FPS games such as the sniper.
We also cannot forget the translocator which can be used as a weapon, you can use it to teleport faster or to spots, you normally cannot reach, but “TELEFRAGGING” someone with this device was awesome.
Unreal Tournament Gameplay
UT in my opinion is not AS fast as Quake III Arena. But, it’s pretty close.
While the game doesn’t have a movement style that is required for you to master such as strafe jumping. There are some things you must learn to be better at the game.
Such as dodging, or learning not to hit the dodging mechanic at certain times. Using the translocator and figuring out dodging is really all you need to learn on UT.
The rest is quick reactions with all the different weapons. The one the pros or “the really good players” focus on is trying to learn how to use the shock rifle. You can shoot a big ball with the secondary fire, and with the primary fire, you make a big explosion. This is a very powerful technique that is extremely hard to master. It has a very high risk/reward of trying to hit opponents with this attack. The risk is that it is hard to aim and takes a while to even do the attack. But, a precise attack can be devasting to the opponent.
You have map control, power-ups, and more you must master to find victory.
With a multitude of different game modes the fun last’s an extremely long time with this game. Don’t want to hop online? There is an offline bot match/campaign of sorts which can get you up to speed to go online.
Pros and Cons Unreal Tournament
Here I will discuss the pros and the cons of Unreal Tournament. These are just my personal pros/cons of the game. I just want to say beforehand I do enjoy Q3A more but I also love Unreal Tournament. The original UT unfortunately is not my favorite UT. That would go to Unreal 2K4.
- The Translocator- The Translocator is a blast to try to telefrag people in the midst of battle. It adds an interesting dynamic of gameplay to the game and is just pure fun.
- Shock Rifle – Trying to blow people up with the combo of the shock rifle is very rewarding and hard to master
- Some of the maps are iconic such as facing worlds. I think it’s one of the best maps ever made for team modes such as CTF.
- Still receives updates after all these years even if it’s unofficial by the UT99.org community patches which are just amazing.
- The Announcer for UT is amazing.
- Dodging feels weird to me. I think it works better mapped to a button instead of locked to your movement keys. I seem to always use my movement to help me aim better so tapping really fast always caused me to dodge.
- UT looks great but it feels a bit clunkier and has less smooth animations compared to Quake III Arena.
- Not really a game that gets Modded A lot
- Is recognized now as Unreal Tournament ’99 because they used the name again on the Epic Game Store for Unreal Tournament 4. Why couldn’t they keep it and just added Numbers… I have no idea but it annoys me.
Quake III Arena
When it comes to Quake 3 arena and comparing it to other games. It’s going to be really hard for me because Quake III Arena is one of my favorite games of all time. But, you cannot mention Quake III without mentioning Unreal Tournament because it is almost as good.
Quake III to me is probably the perfect Arena Shooter ever made. With the crazy mods, skin models, rocket jumping, and sheer fun. Nothing really tops it for me. Now, that being said it doesn’t get any unofficial updates like UT.
The best way to play Quake III nowadays is using an engine called ioQuake. You and learn more about that in this article about how to play Quake III on Modern Systems.
I do plan to cover Quake III fully on a podcast episode or something but onto the battle. Quake III took everything that made the Quake 2 multiplayer awesome and just turned it up a notch.
Quake III hasn’t received an official update or community update, unfortunately. Id Software however did create Quake Live, which was basically Quake III but with a ton of modern fixes and balancing features. Quake Live is still played fairly often today, but even it hasn’t received any support.
Quake III Arena Weapons
If you haven’t heard of the “Unholy Trinity”. Then you probably haven’t play Quake 3.
The Trinity is of course the Rocket, Lightning, and the RAIL-GUN. These weapons give you just about everything you need for every situation during the game.
Of course, there are some other weapons put only truly provide niche situations that you won’t find yourself in very often.
Pulling off mid-air combos with rockets and finishing off with a quick switch to the rail gun never seems to get old.
Quake III Arena Gameplay
Quake III does have a unique movement scheme. This movement is called strafe jumping.
Alongside strafe jumping you can use things like Rocket Jumping, Nail/Plasma jumping to sometimes reach higher points in the map you otherwise wouldn’t be able to. Most maps come with bounce pads which can skyrocket you to other platforms and other places in the arena.
Strafe jumping does take a little bit to get used to but with some practice, you can become pretty proficient at doing so. This unfortunately is somewhat of a downfall as well.
New players find it hard to grasp quickly and can sometimes give up and move on to slower FPS games such as Call of Duty these days where all they need to do is shift a button which allows them to run/sprint.
Pros and Cons of Quake III Arena
Now it’s time to talk about the pros and cons of Quake III Arena. I’ve been a long-time Quake 3 arena player since the days of insta-unlagged and excessive.
Pros Quake III Arena
- Intense and Fast gameplay – nothing really feels like this game, other than games that have completely copied it.
- Maps and Mods – some of the mods are still played today like CPMA and DeFrag.
- Weapons – out of these games I give Quake the better weapons.
- Models and Skins – The number of skins and models for this game was insane back in the day. Duke Nukem & Homer Simpson to just name a few.
Cons Quake III Arena
- While I don’t think strafing is a con, it is a con for new players that think the game looks awesome and want to pick up and play. I would say maybe it’s the learning curve?
- Lack of modern support. With Source Port Engines like ioquake3 and equake3 is the only true way we can experience Quake III on modern hardware. Some of these still feel off and not everything is supported.
The popularity of Quake III Vs Unreal Tournament
Both games, Unreal Tournament and Quake III arena was massively popular. Pitted against each other from the beginning and always clashed as to which was the best.
They both had tremendous gaming engines and Epic and its Unreal Engine create the majority of games today. The Quake engine or id tech engine doesn’t really happen as much anymore, the engine used in the latest Quake game was the Saber Engine.
Quake spawned a whole con of its own known as Quakecon, where gamers get together 1 week a year with computers and laptops and frag each other on LAN. A big eSports tournament is usually held with cash prizes.
Unreal as far as I know has never had a con but Unreal Tournament was widely successful.
Where are the game franchises now?
Unreal Tournament(4) ultimately is no longer in development. Since Fortnite came out and took all the developers at Epic Games, the game was canceled. However, you can play the Alpha version of the game still for free. The version that has been released is actually fun, but it leaves you feeling on what could have been had the game been finished.
Quake Champions is the latest entry into the Quake universe. Also, with the Original Quake getting an official remastered version and re-release which even made its way onto consoles. If you want to know more about Quake Champions you can read the review here.
Conclusion: Unreal Tournament Vs Quake III Arena
Unreal Tournament Vs Quake III is a timeless battle of 2 behemoths at least at the time going head to head at each other in the Arena. Both of these games help spawn the genre of there only needs to be an online version of a game and no true single-player experience.
I’ll always give the upper hand to Quake III when it comes to the battle. But, I want you the reader to know that do love Unreal Tournament as well. When it comes right down to it the movement, gameplay, and weapons put Q3A over the edge for me. I feel like I can get the same adrenaline rush I get when I play UT in Quake 3 Arena. I cannot say the same for UT when it comes to Quake 3.
That being said I love both games and they are both embroidered in gaming history probably until the end of time.
Let’s hope that these once upon gaming giants can well… become giants again in the future of gaming.
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