Epic MegaGames and Digital Extremes released Unreal in 1998, a landmark first-person shooter that was the first to utilize Epic’s groundbreaking Unreal Engine that has since gone through five major updates to power many of today’s biggest games. A recent exchange between original designer Cliff Bleszinski and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney highlighted by Nightdive Studios co-founder Stephen Kick has now provided indication that Unreal could be getting a modern remaster, one that will introduce the classic to a new generation of gamers akin to recent re-releases that include System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition and Quake. Bleszinski, who’s also well known among gamers for developing the Gears of Wars series, has acknowledged the tweet but explained that he can’t say anything right now due to legal reasons. The classic version of Unreal is currently available through Steam and GOG as part of the Gold release that includes the Return to Na Pali expansion developed by the now-defunct Legend Entertainment. Unreal Tournament (2014) remains in an alpha state due to Epic’s greater interest in Fortnite.
Not saying anything for legal reasons.— Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) June 4, 2022
According to a tweet by Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick, following the Quake remaster, Cliff Bleszinski contacted Epic CEO Tim Sweeney on Nightdive’s behalf. The co-designer of 1998’s Unreal suggested it deserved a similar remaster. “I guess if you want that leave a message to let Tim know”, Kick finished.
While the Unreal series became known for its multiplayer, the original had an impressive singleplayer mode that opened with an intense prison-ship escape sequence. After that it opened up into huge alien spaces that showed off the then-new Unreal Engine’s graphical possibilities, though it was also noted for atmospheric sound design, alt-firing weapon variety, and the challenging AI behind its alien enemies, the skaarj.