Think that Unity is a “bad engine”? Here are a collection of games that’ll change your mind. Warning: Buckets of snark contained herein.
The whole “Unity has a bad reputation” debate seemed to rear its ugly head again this weekend and it’s time to change that perception.
The fact of the matter is that Unity isn’t a “bad engine”. It is, however, one of the most accessible and unfortunately, accessibility is a double edged sword. With the added usability, comes the increased production of “bad games” which, no matter which engine they’re built on, will still be “bad”. Unfortunately, because Unity is so user friendly and accessible with stability, documentation, source code, excellent tools, support platforms etc a larger proportion of the “bad games” get built on Unity. Games aren’t defined by the engine or tools that are used to build them. The designers using those tools define the game, how it looks, how it’s optimised and how well it plays. These 11 amazing games built in the Unity might go some way to persuade you on that;
There’s a reason why small studio Campo Santo won a literal tonne of “Game of the Year” awards in 2016 as well as “Best Indie Game” at the Golden Joystick Awards. That’s because it’s a masterfully written, beautifully scored and eye wateringly beautiful game. If you’ve not played Firewatch, stop reading this article and go and play it. Oh, and, did I mention, it was built on Unity.
2016’s Inside from developer Playdead is one of the most atmospheric, tense and eerie games this writer has ever played. It’s the combination of pacing and puzzles, suspense and mystery, art style and sobre score that helped it win “Best Independent Game” at the Game Critics Awards as well as “Best Art Direction” & “Best Independent Game” at The Game Awards 2016. Oh, and, yeah, it’s built on Unity.
SUPERHOT. SUPERHOT. SUPERHOT.
This innovative first person shooter will likely be among some of the Game of The Year 2017 discussions this year (and it’ll certainly be among ours based on our review) thanks to the VR and console release. In this game, time slows down when you stop moving. Ingenious right? SUPERHOT was already nominated for the Seumus McNally Grand Prize and for Excellence in Design awards last year and was nominated for 3 prizes at the SXSW Gaming Awards. Oh, no surprises here, it was built on Unity.
4). Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun is the sleeper hit of 2017 (although it did land on PC in 2016 before coming to PS4 and Xbox One this year). Similar to the Commandos and Desperados games, it’s an almost top down stealth ‘em up tactics game which picked up 3 awards at the German Developer Awards. The game has overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam (96% by 3,399 reviews at the time of writing) and, ha, well look at that, it was built on Unity.
Cuphead is the indie darling of 2017. With Microsoft’s considerable marking power behind it, it went on to sell more than a million copies across Xbox and PC in just 2 weeks. The challenging co-op gameplay and original (at least for a game) art style puts it in a league of its own. Please continue on with your “But all Unity games look the same” rant while I remind you that, Oh, Cuphead was built on Unity.
6). Pillars of Eternity
The huge sprawling Pillars of Eternity originally arrived on PC’s in 2015 to a chorus of rave reviews and subsequently arrived on PS4 and Xbox One this year. It was nominated for a number of Game of the Year awards (and won Best RPG at the Global Game Awards to boot) and is likely to feature on a number of “Best Of…” lists this year. And, yes, it was built on Unity.
7). Life Is Strange: Before The Storm
“But Life Is Strange was built on Unreal 3?” I can hear some of you chime in. And you’d be correct. Prequel developers Deck Nine switched to the Unity engine for the three chapter series “Before The Storm” as it already had functionality with their StoryForge tool – and I bet 99% of people couldn’t tell the difference either. The beautiful Before The Storm was, of course, built on Unity.
8). Night In The Woods
The colourful, humorous, well written, original and likely GOTY winning (It’s certainly in the running here at FingerGuns) Night In The Woods is a game unlike anything else. There’s a citch feeling to this game that gives it oodles of personality and, for the record, it was built on Unity.
9). Ori and the Blind Forest
Overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam (96% of 21,096 reviews at the time of writing). Winner of Best Art Direction at the 2015 Game Awards. Winner of 3 Outstanding Achievement Awards at the DICE 2016 Award. A Metacritic score of 88 on both PC and Xbox. Ori and the Blind Forest is a fantastic and celebrated game. Oh, FYI, it was built on Unity.
10). Cities: Skylines
4 Million copies sold as of September 2017. A Steam Sales Chart topper. Cities: Skylines is a city building game which stepped up to the plate when several other celebrated franchises failed to deliver the goods. It’s now Paradox Interactives highest selling game ever. And, awkward, but it was built on Unity.
11). Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty
More than just a remake of Abe’s Oddysee, New ‘N’ Tasty is a reimagining of the PlayStation classic. Visually and design wise, Just Add Water knocked it out of the park. It’s no surprise that it ended up with a >84 Metacritic on all platforms and a number of GOTY awards. In case you’ve not spotted the theme yet, yes, New ’N’ Tasty was built on Unity too.
So there you have it, but the list doesn’t end there. Thomas Was Alone, The Room, The Bridge, Gone Home, Wasteland 2, Verdun, Furi, ReCore, Super Mario Run. It goes on and on and on. Maybe, just maybe, the next time you the Unity splash screen you’ll remember these amazing games and prevent the roll of your eyes. And maybe the next time a developer says they’re using Unity, you won’t tell them that that’s a bad idea, they shouldn’t be using it and you won’t be buying their game. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll realise that an Engine isn’t what makes a game. It certainly helps, but It’s the developers that make the games.