Unreal Championship is the third entry in the Unreal series, and the first launched for the Microsoft Xbox console. It was co-developed by Epic Games and Digital Extremes, and released on September 24, 2002. It was released only six days prior to the release of Unreal Tournament 2003, the fourth entry in the series.

Synopsis Edit

"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. That champions name was Nefarious. He was the greatest Unreal champion to ever grace the arena. After winning and earning his place in tournament history at the expense of his comrades lives and proving that he was the most fiercest and brutal competitor, he and those falling by his hand were saluted and a truly fitting reward was offered to the Unreal champion. The reward was that of immortality. He refused and in turn asked for his freedom. In doing so, his name and record was erased from history and Nefarious is said to have been executed for his insolence. Others have claimed that his wish for freedom was granted and he left the fame and power only to head towards the border edge of the galaxy to the desolate planet of Pandora to be left alone. Whatever his fate may be, he will be remembered as the greatest Unreal champion to have ever competed."
- Unreal Championship manual

Overview Edit

The game is essentially a console version game of the PC-based Unreal Tournament 2003, developed specifically to take advantage of Xbox Live, Microsoft's online gaming service. In 2003 Unreal Championship was added to Microsoft's "Platinum Hits" line of Xbox games. It was followed in 2005 by Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict, also for Xbox.

Development history Edit

Unreal Championship began its life as a product of Digital Extremes. It was announced roughly a year and a half after UT was released.

Release dates Edit

  • November 12, 2002 - Original Xbox Release
  • August ??, 2003 - Re-released under the Platinum Hits Xbox branding.

Game content Edit

Gamemodes Edit

Main article: Unreal Championship Single player

The game features a single-player ladder similar to those of 2003 and 2004, where the player drafts a team and rise up in the Tournament ladder until the final matches. It also features six botmatch/multiplayer gametypes: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture The Flag, Double Domination, Survival and Bombing Run. While CTF, BR and DDOM use their own set of maps, DM, TDM and Survival use the Deathmatch set of maps.

Bombing Run maps for Unreal Championship
Capture The Flag maps for Unreal Championship
Deathmatch maps for Unreal Championship
DM-AntalusDM-Aqua MortisDM-AsbestosDM-CompressedDM-Curse3DM-Flux2DM-GaelDM-InfernoDM-InsidiousDM-LeviathanDM-MoltenDM-OceanicDM-SG1DM-SG2DM-SG3
Double Domination maps for Unreal Championship

Characters Edit

The game featured the same six races of Unreal Tournament 2003 with the same array of characters. Some of them were renamed and their bios changed, though.

Weapons Edit

The regular arsenal of Unreal Tournament 2003 can also be found here, with the exception of the Redeemer.

Ball Launcher Translocator Shield Gun Assault Rifle Bio Rifle Shock Rifle Link Gun Minigun Flak Cannon Rocket Launcher Lightning Gun T.A.G. Rifle

Items Edit

Health Vial Health Pack Big Keg O' Health Shield Pack Super Shield Pack Adrenaline Double Damage

Mutators Edit

Soundtrack Edit

Main article: Music#Unreal Championship

The game's music was written by Starsky Partridge.[1]

Reception Edit

The game was not well received since it didn't offer many features that were promised, even though the game's box cover mentioned those features as available out of the box, or through future downloads. This disappointed many buyers.

Trivia Edit

  • Unreal Championship is the first console game ever to receive a downloadable patch. This caused a lot of controversy over the viability of post-release game patches for console games.
  • It was intended to be a more massive game with up to 64 players on one enormous map and including drivable vehicles, which were indeed set to appear in Championship, as the beta version of BR-IceFields can attest. But memory constraints and map sizes prevented them to appear here.
"Well, to put the vehicles in turned out to be a massive problem for our memory budget, time constraints and simply the maps would have had to be pretty big for this to work properly.[2]"
- Juan Pancho 'XceptOne' Eekels
"In addition, without having the technology for vehicles near the start of development; it was very tricky trying to design maps that were fun without being able to play them. So we put all the extra effort into single player and Xbox Live, rather than vehicles.[2]"
- James Schmalz
  • Apparently, user-made custom content was considered, but due to a lot of "cross-platform issues" it couldn't be included into the game.
"Unfortunately, there are just too many cross-platform issues to consider to make user-made mods for UC a possibility.[2]"
- James Schmalz
  • At some point, someone discovered that a player could lock onto another player and still remain locked onto that player while turning around or switching weapons. When the player did that and shot three rockets at another player in open areas, the physics of the rockets would malfunction and make the rockets move faster. If a player tried to dodge them, they would almost do an S-curve, swing back around, and hit the player right in the face. Many online players referred to this technique as "Rocket Whoring". It got this name because it could be exploited on servers with auto-aim disabled when using characters whose weapon affinity was the Rocket Launcher. The most typical character was "Memphis," which combined with the Anuban class' air control boost, make the rocket glitch somewhat easier to dodge. There is an assortment of maneuvers a player can do to avoid being hit, but they are difficult and therefore annoying. When Digital Extremes halted development on the game, the spamminess of the rocket glitch came to be considered one of the biggest reasons that the game's online community failed shortly after the patch was released.

External links and references Edit

  1. Starsky Partridge - Credits at MobyGames
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 PlanetUnreal's interview to Juan Pancho 'XceptOne' Eekels and James Schmalz.

See also Edit

Unreal (series)
Unreal series: UnrealReturn to Na PaliUnreal II
Tournament series: Unreal TournamentUT2003UT2004UT3UT4
Championship series: Unreal Championship - Unreal Championship 2