Unreal Engine 2

Engine default


Epic Games

Not specified


Supported Platforms:
Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Xbox, Playstation, GameCube

Languages Written In:

Languages Supported:

Graphics APIs:
OpenGL, DirectX, Software Renderer

  (3 reviews)

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Unreal Engine 2 provides a complete solution that has stood the tough test of real-world game development. All of Unreal’s components have been designed together; they provide a consistent programming interface, and they fully interoperate. Even when we’ve opted for a third-party solution for a specific subsystem, we’ve worked directly with the team providing the code to make sure it’s a tight fit.

Supported Features


  • Object-Oriented Design
  • Plug-in Architecture
  • Save/Load System
  • Four distinct geometry types allow for highly detailed levels with reduced design time through instanced, reusable content.
  • Adaptable to several different game types including but not limited to First Person Shooters, to Real Time Strategies, to 3rd Person Action Adventure.
  • 64-bit Windows and Linux ports using AMD Hammer x86-64 available
  • Object-oriented, highly expandable in-game UI and control system
  • Native support for localization of text to UNICODE via replaceable fonts
  • Fixed-function
  • Semi-reflective materials, such as marble surfaces which partially reflect light
  • Rendering subsystems include Direct3D, OpenGL, and RAD Game Tools’ Pixomatic software renderer for Windows PCs (no cost).
  • Lens Flares
  • Billboarding
  • Particle System
  • Sky
  • Water
  • Explosion
  • Decals
  • Fog
  • Mirror
  • Non-Euclidean, redirectable "warp" portal effects for seeing through teleporters
  • Comprehensive particle system allows for diverse configurations, supporting sprites, meshes, lines, beams, all with collision, a multitude of movement, lifetime and texture options, and all manipulatable in real-time in the editor.
  • Fluid surfaces allow for dynamic water simulation, supporting ambient ripples, targeted oscillations (for player or other disturbances), clamping for realistic wave boundaries, surface vertex alpha blending for texture effects and more, all independent of water physics.
  • Distance fog provides a greater sense of depth indoors and out, while additionally improving rendering performance in large outdoor areas.
  • Real-time, in-engine movies (machinima) support through "Matinee" functionality provides comprehensive camera, actor and effects direction.


  • Per-vertex
  • Lightmapping
  • Static lighting through the use of vertex coloring and light maps for high resolution lighting without the runtime calculation overhead.
  • Multiple light types are supported: directional, point lights, and spot lights.
  • Numerous light effects (blinking, wavering, etc.) for dynamic lights.


  • Shadow Mapping


  • Basic
  • Multi-texturing
  • Projected
  • Projected textures allow the simulation of complex dynamic lighting and shadowing effects on all surfaces, including player shadows and flashlights.
  • Many operations supported, such as panning, alpha blending, modulation and more.
  • Easy to use mechanism for scrolling, rotating, and scaling textures via artist settings.
  • All textures support up to twelve levels of mip-mapping, including mipping down to a solid color.
  • Texture animation sequences with variable playback rate.


  • Mesh Loading
  • Skinning
  • Instanced geometry can either be rendered batched by material or not for additional memory usage versus frame rate flexibility.
  • Only practical limits on polygon count.

Scene Management

  • General
  • BSP
  • Portals
  • Occlusion Culling
  • PVS
  • LOD
  • DSG (dynamic scene graph) is a natural extension of portal technology. A dynamic scene graph consists of a root node, corresponding to the player’s immediate surroundings, and a hierarchical tree of child nodes.
  • Enhanced portal-based visibility system includes "antiportal" occluders, supported as two dimensional sheets or three dimensional volumes, to cull objects or portals within a zone.
  • Real-time scenes of 10,000 to 100,000 or more fully textured and lit polygons in view are common.


  • Keyframe Animation
  • Skeletal Animation
  • Animation Blending
  • Skeletal animated characters average 2000-3000 polygons each, driven by some 30 bones, with two to three influences per vertex.
  • Interpolation support enables perfectly fluid animation at high frame rates
  • Tweening support allows smooth flow between disjoint animation sequences.
  • Multiple channels of animation, each with a variable blending percentage, allows for several animations to be played simultaneously.
  • Skeletal mesh compression


  • Rendering
  • CLOD
  • Eight- and sixteen-bit heightmap terrain system allows for fast, complex terrain rendering with smooth gradients and dynamic addition and subtraction of chunks in real-time.
  • Texture layers allow you to have multiple textures atop the heightmap with variable eight-bit alpha for seamless transitions and easy creation of non-repeating land.
  • Comprehensive suite of terrain manipulation tools allows you to raise, lower, raze and flower the heightmap in real time.
  • Decoration layers allow for coarsely sorted flora detail such as grass.


  • Basic Physics
  • Collision Detection
  • Rigid Body
  • Vehicle Physics
  • Integrated physics-driven animation eases network programming and animation replication
  • Collision cylinders provide highly optimized collision detection for humanoid characters and items.
  • Convex collision volumes allow for simplified, optimized collision for geometrically complex map areas.
  • Integrated Karma 1.2 rigid body physics engine allows for ragdoll physics, dual vehicle physics systems and more (Karma license included with license at no additional cost)


  • Client-Server
  • Advanced game networking capabilities with years of refinements
  • Support both small LAN games and large-scale, server-based Internet games
  • Network code tolerates low-bandwidth connections with up to 300ms latency and 15% packet loss
  • Gamers can travel between Unreal servers much like browsing web pages, with teleporters providing links between servers
  • Automatic downloading of new content (levels, textures, sound, models, scripts) while browsing Unreal servers
  • Java-style client-side scripting (simulation) enables high performance even over high latency connections
  • Comprehensive script-side TCP and UDP networking support, as well as game-relation functionality such as replication, priority management, reliability and remote procedure calls

Artificial Intelligence

  • Pathfinding
  • Decision Making
  • Finite State Machines
  • Scripted
  • Built-in state-based AI support for advanced creatures and bots
  • Bots know how to use all player movement options, weapons and inventory.
  • Bots know how to use switches, ladders, navigate past platforms, use doors, snipe and more.
  • Physics-based AI makes complex actor movement straightforward
  • Animation system ties into AI via notification system, with animation playing, blending, tweening, looping, and other triggers, such as footstep sounds.
  • Pathnode-based AI navigation system supports complex route evaluation, alarm points, and more.
  • AI properties are exposed to level designers for setting up patrol routes, individual creature moods and more.


  • 2D Sound
  • 3D Sound
  • Standards compliant OpenAL-based audio subsystem on Windows, Linux and Macintosh, DirectSound3D-based on Xbox.
  • supports 3D spatialization, attenuation, pitch and Doppler shifting
  • supports EAX 3.0 effects on compatible cards
  • Ogg Vorbis streaming sound and music support on Windows, Linux and Macintosh
  • includes OpenAL wrapper with 100% software fallback path

Tools & Editors

  • UnrealEd is a real-time level design tool based on constructive solid geometry, optimized through its use in multiple released games for building real-time 3D environments. It fully integrated into the Unreal engine: the camera views are What You See Is What You Get. All lighting, texture placement and geometry operations take place immediately
  • Built-in UnrealScript profiling, as well as comprehensive game, engine and networking performance counters
  • Separate UnrealScript debugging application eases testing of complicated scripts, including breakpoints, variable watches and more


  • Built-in UnrealScript and C++ support for externalization of all text, enabling non-programmer translation
  • Programming APIs in C++ and UnrealScript, an interpreted, object-oriented language similar to Java


License Name Price in $US Source Code Included?
Proprietary Free No
For non-commercial and educational use only. Development of games for distribution is not permitted.
Proprietary Unspecified Yes
For commercial use.


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0 of 0 people found the following review helpful

UDK Primer

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Anonymous Feb 14, 2011 at 19:13

Despite the many shortcomings of the Unreal Engine 2, the forethought and artistic masterpiece that is the UDK can force newbies to revisit it's roots. Navigation is rudimentary in comparision to the UNIX-based CTRL Z navigation of the UDK.

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0 of 0 people found the following review helpful

Simply the Best Engine Ever ! ! !

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 y58011 Jan 31, 2009 at 00:43

I have never found an easier engine to use. The quality in the engine is totally surpassive! It is easy to use, and has your time totally worth it. More documentation, though, but the interface really actually is simple and straight foward.

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0 of 0 people found the following review helpful

Unreal Engine 2 is unreal

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Sonicphreak Dec 22, 2004 at 03:06

Unreal Engine has more than proved its itself through MANY commercial games. It includes a vast amount of proffesional features and tools, most notibly, the UE editer which allows you to create and preview any game in an easy to use WYSIWYU type environment that allows real time previews and one button level tests. UnrealScript is an extreamly powerful scripting languaged that can be used to program just about anything imaginable. Its java-like syntax, OOP style, and massive quantity of functions makes it very versitile. The support of UnrealEditer and UnrealScript is awsome. Not only is there official support but there is a huge network of unofficial websites and resources available specific to the Unreal Engine. There are some downsides however. In order to utilize this engine, you must either purchase a license from epic, which is well beyound the reach of any non-commercial project, or utilize the engine through the alteration of Unreal Tournament (called modding), or through the use or the UnrealEngine Runtime. Mods, however, can only be played on systems that have Unreal Tournament, but there is a massive network of modding sites, groups, contests, etc, and distribution of a mod is far from difficult. So while getting the official Unreal Engine Source is unreal, everyone else can use this fabulous engine through modding, for about the cost of a $30 game. The Unreal Engine Runtime is from non-commercial projects only, and isn't optimized for games. Also, what you create CANNOT be distributed whatsoever. So untill Epic releases a standalone exacutable of the engine so games can be run on any system, modding is the best way to go.

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Last edited Dec 28, 2011 at 13:11

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