Platforms: PC, Mac
Publisher: GT Interactive
Developer: Epic MegaGames, Digital Extremes
Genres: 3D Shooter / First-Person Shooter
Release Date: May 22, 1998
Game Modes: Singleplayer / Multiplayer

This first real Quake-killer is true to its name.

Having been over three years in development prior to its release in 1998, Unreal went through numerous production phases and was originally conceived in a time when 3D accelerated graphics were non-existent. In its later stages it was heavily marketed as the game that would revolutionize 3D shooters, and when it did hit shelves – several months into the release of Quake II – its timing couldn’t have been better.


Dare enter the Nali Castle?

The story of Unreal is surprisingly simple, though it’s interesting enough to point out. As a nameless prisoner trapped on a crashed prison ship, you find yourself alone as the human crew is slaughtered by an alien force. You escape the bowels of the downed starship and discover a large, rocky world teeming with strange life – a planet inhabited by a peaceful race known as the Nali. Things look bleak as you find that the Predator-inspired aliens who’ve attacked the prison ship have also invaded this world, killing or enslaving the locals, and that your only means of escape is facing the aliens head-on, guns blazing.

As far as technical detail, Unreal had some of the most amazing visuals you could hope for at the time. The steep hardware requirements meant users had to upgrade their existing machines to enjoy the game’s coveted 3D accelerated mode. While software rendering will run by default, a 3dfx video card had the potential of turning an already good looking game into something much more deserving of the game’s title – even if it did meant running you back a few hundred bucks.

Unreal was powered by Epic’s first installment of the excellent UnrealEngine, found here using a mapping technique called BSP. Binary Space Partition can best be understood as a language that establishes the order in which ingame geometry is drawn, having a great impact on the way levels are built. Most importantly it allows video cards not to render pieces of geometry which aren’t immediately visible, giving way to higher framerates and more freedom to cram the world with detail.


The Unreal Engine had some great light and shadow effects. And check out those lens flares!

And that’s exactly what they did. Tiny insects buzz around rocky landscapes, busted equipment hiss loudly and thick red fumes rise over lava plains. Where before shooters were pretty much limited to closed, monotonous spaces (eg: Quake), Unreal displayed both colorful interiors and large open worlds unlike anything seen before. In short, Unreal was the Crysis of its day. Apart from just looking good, the engine was extremely easy to reverse engineer into whatever shooter you wanted to sell. After heavy licensing, games like Deus-Ex, Klingon Honor Guard, X-Com Alliance, The Wheel of Time and many more projects were rocketing ahead in production just months after Unreal had shipped.

Unreal itself plays in regular FPS fashion as far as an alien shooter, although it does advance one or two facets of the genre. Maps are played out in linear fashion but they’re logically connected and give a good sense of progression. You intuitively advance from the broken hull of a spaceship, to crash site, to Nali village. There’s some level of inconsistency with regard to level design (some are harder than others) and this is probably due to Epic’s use of multiple designers. But credit should be given to Unreal’s sense of variety – ancient temples, starships, castles, villages and dungeons are all on your travel book.


A clever host of scripting also ensures that some of the more important events are memorably highlighted, like the first encounter with a Skaarj. The aliens themselves in Unreal have a lot of fight in them, and killing them takes some good reflexes alongside serious firepower. This holds especially true for the Predator-like Skaarj, who have a nasty tendency of pouncing on you and skilfully dodging your shots.

Some aliens even exhibit simple group tactics, like the Mercenaries. One will cover the other as they advance to your location and seeing them in action is pretty cool. One final advancement as far as AI come from the multiplayer bots, which were the first of their kind in deathmatch games.

As Beautiful As It Is Plain

Unreal would have scored higher on gameplay if it had an actual story to tell, or simply if there were more stuff going on around you. The plot is thinly presented and mainly comes packaged in the form of written logs or simple messages on computer terminals. There’s not a single line of spoken dialogue. Other minor grievances include slight weapon balancing issues (the Flak Cannon is much too powerful) and some of the levels are too confusing to be solved intuitively, needing a whole lot of trial-and-error navigation to get through.

Running the game to its full visual potential in hardware mode takes some tweaking on modern cards. While the boxed copy was specifically designed to run under 3dfx in its day, the original API may be simulated with this free Glide wrapper. Unreal Gold, containing both the original Unreal and the Return to Na Pali expansion while supporting both Glide and modern Direct3D, which means that it can easily run in hardware mode.

System Requirements: Pentium 233 MMz, 32 MB RAM, 4 MB Video, 100 MB HDD, Win95

IMPORTANT: This is a download button.
Please READ THIS before downloading!

Normal Version:
Download Link

Gold Version:
Download Link

Magnet Link

Tags: Full Download Unreal Classic Free PC Game Review


  1. rihan.z says:

    Hello my friends. well my friends you bring me to a correct place to make me reveal my childhood game haha silly me
    well thank you. Now i got descent freespace the great war and Unreal wow i made it. well please can you help me. i know the gameplay but i forgot the name. i still remember the game is a space fiction game too okay and then you played as an astronaut and then your duty is to make a base in some planet and then start a war and the game is a first person shooter. please help me find this game name i really love this game but this is the only game that i forgot it’s name

  2. Bernie says:

    Excuse me sir, I am a huge fan of your website, and I have a question on making unreal run on my windows 7 pc. I have extracted the rar file and used poweriso to view an open the files. On the setup.exe, which I assume is what I click on, when I click to run it, it comes with a pop-up saying it is unsupported 16-bit file that can’t run on 64-bit system. So I use the properties technique to switch to a proper program to run it, and I even use the administrator technique, to no avail. How do I make it run? I made sure to make my reply as thorough as possible. Please respond.

  3. Downgrade to Win98 or XP.
    Or just use a virtual machine. Will solve 90% of your problems.


  4. Bernie says:

    It says that I need a disk of actual windows 98 software in order to use a virtual machine. I do not have access to that. Either I read that wrong or there is an easier way for you to explain?

  5. Some virtual machines don’t support hardware mode now that I think of it. I think it’s better to install XP on a virtual machine or have an old pc with XP. Yeah you need the disc.

  6. Luke says:

    To rihan z: I think you mean the game Battlezone.

  7. Bernie says:

    I am back after a while of forgetting about even having the game. Can dosbox run it? I drag-and-drop the exe files into the dos shortcut and it wont register.

  8. Hi. This won’t run on Dosbox because it was designed for Windows (check system requirements)

  9. Bernie says:

    I see. Do you know of any links where I can download Unreal Gold GOG.com version for free, so i can simply click the exe and play the game?

  10. Nah buddy. You should buy it since it’s cheap now.

    try nglide and run the non-gold version of unreal on 3dfx mode. It might work.

  11. masseffect says:

    I dw vs gold and runs smoooth on my qosmio x500 with win7, no problems.Great game, play it fiirst in 99 and was my first shooter play for this time…Awesome game, my favorite

  12. AdityaGameX says:

    Can you upload codename eagle

  13. DreckDeck says:

    why you don’t upload Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat?

  14. Juan Manuel says:

    It´s not a problem with your Operative System, its a problem with the 64x processor. you may need to re install your OS or maybe just use a virtual machine with the OS using the 32x version. That ll solve your problem. Hope it helps

  15. Hiram Daza Quiñones says:

    Unreal is old but it’s gold

  16. Juan Manuel says:

    so true hahah (Hiram Daza Quiñones)

  17. Rimantas says:

    Ultimate Quake 2 killer. It’s hard to believe, that Q2 is older than Unreal only by few months. Unreal have MUCH better graphics, sounds, music, enemies AI, maps. I recommend to download GOLD version – it’s already updated and includes expansion.

  18. ja says:


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