The original Unreal Tournament, first released in 1999, launched with a slew of maps, most of which ended up in history’s trash can for a long time. However, there is one very simple map that has stood the test of time: Facing Worlds.
It’s easy, basically Broken Map, one with two stone towers connected by two small land bridges, a symmetrical murder rock that’s wildly unbalanced, favoring snipers above all else and wouldn’t even get on a whiteboard, let alone on it, in a brainstorming session by today’s standards the retail release of a game.
And yet! And yet. We still love it because as broken as it is, it’s beautiful. It’s easy. It captures everything about the game it was a part of and everything we loved about shooters back then.
All of this and more will be explored in this excellent video about Noclip’s mapwhich rightly criticizes its shortcomings (by 2022 standards), but also rightly points out that like so many other games and moments from the dawn of the 3D age, they have survived and are considered classics due to the technical limitations that created the time a kind of purity, a distilled experience that emerged from both what the developers couldn’t do with these new 3D spaces and what they could.
If you’ve gotten so sentimental about the map (and the game itself), You can read more about it in this 2014 feature we ran on the website:
Above us the moon. Below us the earth. In front of us a massive three-story tower. Overlapping beeps and bloops emphasize the eerie calm. We’re launching into orbit, and you may know where we’re going. Never before or since has Capture the Flag been this much fun.
https://kotaku.com/facing-worlds-unreal-tournament-ut-epic-games-multiplay-1848946987 Facing Worlds is one of the greatest multiplayer maps of all time