Unreal Tournament fans looking to get an early taste of the latest installment, dubbed Unreal Tournament 2014, can already grab a pre-alpha build. The catch is that you will need an Unreal Engine 4 subscription to play the game, which costs $19 per month.
Epic Games announced Unreal Tournament 2014 back in May. Epic senior programmer and UT project lead Steve Polge said that the game will be free and developed in conjunction with the Unreal Engine community.
"We know that fans of the game are as passionate about Unreal Tournament as we are," he said. "We know that you have great ideas and strong opinions about where the game should go and what it should be. So let's do something radical and make this game together, in the open, and for all of us."
The pre-alpha, compiled by fans of the series, isn't a full-fledged demo, but it is meant for providing feedback on the gameplay. Those who have played this build report that it only provides greybox levels, meaning the textures aren't in place. Still, the game already feels like an Unreal Tournament installment at this point in the developmental stage.
The premier Unreal Tournament made its first appearance on the PC back in November 1999, followed by releases on the PlayStation 2 and the Sega Dreamcast. After that, Epic released Unreal Tournament 2003, Unreal Tournament 2004, and then Unreal Tournament 3 in November 2007. This series' biggest competitor was id Software's Quake III Arena, which launched on December 2, 1999 and lives on today as Quake Live.
Will this be the best Unreal Tournament yet? Possibly so, given that Epic Games has thrown open the doors to the community. What's shocking is that the game will be free, a factor that will undoubtedly reel in a new generation of arena-style players. The anticipation for something playable is intense, hence all the excitement surrounding this pre-alpha build.
For more information about these builds, check out the Beyond Unreal IRC channel.