Parrot, I agree with ya with overall and I love each and everyone of those and even more cerebral games, but I think it’s important to point out that the Unreal series was never meant to serve that end. UT has always been about gaudily colorful rock’n’roll shoot-em-up action. Its depth then is not thematic, but tactical or physical. Being able to enjoy both styles in the proper contexts, I think, is important.
In short, I’m saying it’s simply non sequitur to use narratological criteria to judge ludological games, and vice versa. These screenshot ARE nothing but a tech demo. Bersega is very wrong, most of the core gamer group at whom UT style games are aimed at DO turn down the details after the novelty has worn off. These games are just not meant to be anything but visceral lightspeed checker games with rail guns and rockets, and even eye candy takes a second seat to victory.