In a Reddit AMA, Cliff Bleszinski revealed that he would love to return to Na Pali and get involved in a new Unreal game. Although Epic is not currently working on something like that, Cliff felt the need to describe what an Unreal reboot would look like. And if you’re expecting to hear about lots of big guns and mayhem, you’ll be disappointed.
You see, Unreal was never about big scale fights. It was about exploration. Yes, you could fight enemies, but it was not a frag fest (like say Doom, ROTT, or even Quake). In fact, you were always confronting a limited number of powerful enemies. Otherwise, noone would still remember the awesomely detailed (and clever) Scaarj. Scaarj was clever, could not be defeated easily, was diving to avoid your shots, and was trying to flank you. And who can forget those red eyes in that black corridor (the first time they encountered him)?
Unreal was a unique experience. It was not a ‘classic’ shooter. It was something more than that. The game’s intro is still one of the best we’ve ever seen. Witnessing the slaughter of a prisoner from an unknown enemy, exiting the space ship and admiring the beautiful graphics, hearing the sound of the birds and looking at the waterfall. And make no mistake – Unreal pushed the graphical boundaries and it was a beauty to behold. But it was not an all out – kill countless enemies – shooter.
Cliff seems to also think the same thing, and stated that he’d love to – more or less – see an Unreal reboot that is a mash-up between Skyrim and Unreal:
“Having really grown into a big Bethesda fan lately (Skyrim rocked my world) I couldn’t help but wonder what a reboot of Unreal would be like if it was more “SciFi-Rim.” Sure, there would be shooting involved, but exploration would almost be more important. Get back to that sense of wonder that the first game had. (Caves and castles and crashed ships are basically your dungeon instances, whereas the “overworld” is less intense.) Put it on a high end PC and prepare yourself for amazing visuals never before seen in real time.”
Now that would be really cool. As we stated though, Epic Games is not working on something like that right now. Cliff said that Epic Games is currently understaffed for all the projects they’re working on, therefore a new Unreal game seems unlikely.
“So if, when? I don’t know, honestly. We’re understaffed right now for all of the projects we’ve got going on so I can’t say if or when it may happen. I do love that IP and do hope to return to Na Pali some day.”
Still, we’d love to see a proper reboot of the Unreal franchise.