Nightdive wants to remaster the original Unreal next

Image for Nightdive wants to remaster the original Unreal next
(Image credit: Epic MegaGames)

Last year Nightdive Studios released a Quake remaster giving the classic FPS 4K and widescreen resolution support, enhanced models, dynamic and colored lighting, anti-aliasing, depth of field, and some new levels by MachineGames. It also restored the original Trent Reznor score, previously absent from the digital version due to an expired copyright, and added a new theme song by Reznor. All that, and it was free for owners of the original Quake.

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.

Bleszinski responded only to explain that he was "Not saying anything for legal reasons." Sweeney has yet to reply.

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.

As Steve Owen said in our Unreal review at the time, "The sprightly creatures leap away from on-coming projectiles, hide behind walls and shoot from there. If they are close to death, they run away and try to shoot you from a further vantage point and because they are bigger than you they frequently out-distance you quickly. If an obstacle is between you, or if they just feel like it, they might find an alternative way to get to you, attacking from behind. Simply put, if a Skaarj runs away, keep one eye 'on yer six' as they say in Top Gun."

Nightdive Studios is responsible for remasters and rereleases of old games including Blood, Doom 64, Sin, PowerSlave, Strife, Shadow Man, and more. Right now, Nightdive is working on a remake of the original System Shock due later this year, which has been long in the works. As we saw in March that remake is finally near completion

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.