Over a century has passed since Liandri Corporation first began the Tournaments, and while the tradition lives on much has changed in the world around it.
Seventy years ago an invasion fleet appeared in human space, wiping out virtually all resistance before it could begin. Humanity, a race that had taken pride in its freedom suddenly found itself bound by the shackles of an ancient race vastly superior in numbers and technology.
The Empire quickly established a foothold among the worlds of its latest acquirement, using propaganda and brute force where necessary. Those who swore allegiance to the Emperor found that life wasn't so different under the new rule, and for some it even improved. But for those who would not kneel before their new rulers, death awaited them on the prison planets scattered across the sectors. The Emperor and his counsel, at first repulsed by the idea of the tournaments, soon began to see the advantage of providing the populace with a form of entertainment that both enraptured the viewers and reminded them where disobedience would lead them.
Arena worlds were picked from the harshest of the prison planets, and the training began. People who had watched the Liandri Tournaments with savage glee found themselves on the arena floors fighting for their lives again and again, as the alien technology ripped them back from the brink of death until their minds finally collapsed under the strain.
Examples were made of the more vocal dissidents, each broken and remade in the image of the darkest nightmares, to show the scorn the Emperor felt for the weaklings who opposed him.
Not all the participants took part unwillingly. A race of beings previously unknown slaughtered the new combatants with reckless abandon, taking pride in the ease at which they butchered the new meat. For all they cheered during each battle, every time another human died the spirit of the men and women who watched grew weaker.
Now that the Tournaments have become a fixture of the Empire's power, the aristocracy has begun to take part as well, in carefully orchestrated battles that pose no real danger to their lives. Unlike their prisoners, these Highborn can not use the resurrection technology so readily available, without losing their status as ones tainted by madness. To kill a Highborn is to kill him forever. The only hope for mankind is that a champion will rise from the ashes of their civilization and succeed against all odds, to hold the Emperor's life in their hands.
- Wield multiple weapons, including favorite blasters from the original Unreal Tournament and brand new, awe-inspiring implements of destruction!
- 6 different races and over 35 characters, 30 maps, class-specific combos, role assignments, teamwork directives, and recharge stations for ammo and health.
- Feast your eyes on breathtaking graphics, powered by advanced Unreal Engine technology, that go beyond the cutting edge.
- Never die the same way twice! Sophisticated in-game physics does away with "seen-it-before" animations and effects.
- Power up on adrenaline to unleash Special Moves - a completely novel concept in first-person shooters that adds a new dimension of unpredictability and skill to a favorite genre, and to each battle you dare to wage!
The Unreal Engine - a bespoke piece of code that constantly evolves to push the boundaries of graphics, game play and sound to the next level and beyond, powers unreal Tournament 2003. Developed by Epic Games, it allows the player to enter an incredible environment of scorching flame, billowing smoke, lush plant life, and bleak war-torn landscapes. Complex, beautiful and awe-inspiring - it's why it's called Unreal.
For more information visit www.epicgames.com
The warriors of the arena are as varied as their technique in battle. 'Normal' humans go up against gene-boosted juggernauts - all power armor and brute force. Then there are the alien races enslaved by the same oppressive force that conquered humanity.
Artificial Life forms in the shape of combat 'droids kill efficiently and without emotion while nightmare creatures that were once human take pleasure in nothing but the thrill of the kill.
As opponents, they are remorseless in their ferocity as teammates, unswerving in loyalty.
When the battle calls for team play, you will captain a squad of elite warriors. Select their role in the arena and call out orders on the fly. They look to you for victory - don't let them down.
Since the original Tournaments were held, there has been a huge advance in technology - both human and alien. There are weapons that target and fire on the enemy before you can think about it. They're probably smarter than you. However, the powers that control the Tournament understand the necessity of balance and tradition - therefore these 'smart' weapons are banned in the arena.
All weaponry in the Tournament is designed to make the most of the skill of combat. Random blasting (known as 'Spamming') is considered dishonorable and a waste of ammunition. Additionally, the 'traditional' weapons of the Tournament make for a longer battle in the hands of skilled warriors and thus provide more grisly 'entertainment' for those in power.
It should be noted though, that things have not been at a complete standstill with regard to weapon design. Tweaks have been made since the original Tournaments - rate of fire, blast area and range are just some of the things that have been altered where necessary to ensure that the skillful are rewarded with a longer lifespan and the glory of victory.