Unreal Tournament 2007 (PC, Xbox 360, PS3)
Out of all the games at the event, Unreal Tournament 2007 probably drew the most interest despite the fact that the game was clearly still in the early stages of its development. Unfortunately, of all the games present, Unreal Tournament 2007 was the only game that we as the media were not allowed to take pictures or videos of. To compensate I took fairly extensive notes during the presentation. When the presentation started we were told up front that what we were seeing was still early in the development cycle. From the footage and in game demonstrations we were shown, there wasn't actually any combat with the AI or a human player. The game, like all the others was displayed on the giant screen on stage. Unreal Tournament had the distinction at the event of being the only game to be played on the large screen during the presentation; videos were shown for all the other games.
When presentation started one of the first things we were told was that this version of Unreal Tournament 2007 was being run on four high-end video cards. Right after this statement was made we were reassured that the final release of Unreal Tournament 2007 would not require four video cards, only one. The presentation started with a tour of one of the levels that Epic Games is currently working on called DM-Carbon Fire. The level itself was giant robot factory on a generic Liandri Planet. The level itself looked highly interactive, though the games' producer who was leading us through the level didn't actually interact with anything in the level. As we toured the level we could actually see that robots were being constructed piece by piece in the factory by massive machines. The level itself had a highly detailed ultra futuristic look to, though everything in the level had a worn gritty look to it. The representative from Epic Games actually referred to this aspect of the level as Grungification. The producer was telling us that when they started texturing the levels, the levels looked a little too perfect so all of the textures were altered to give each and every level a more realistic gritty look.
We were only treated to a few weapons during the presentation, and we never actually saw the weapons being fired at enemies. The weapons shown were the standard UT weapons: the Link Gun, the Shock Rifle and the Rocket Launcher. Each of the weapons primary and secondary fire modes were displayed. Unreal fans should be happy to hear that the Rocket Launcher's grenade function will make a return in Unreal Tournament 2007. Until previous Unreal weapons, the weapons in Unreal Tournament 2007 were very mechanical; when the guns fired or reloaded you could see a series of moving parts working in connection with other parts, both inside and outside the weapon.
In the next section of the demo, we were treated to three new vehicles: the Paladin, the SPAM and the Cicada. The Paladin is a defensive vehicle it can create a large purple shield in front of it that looks like it will be able to protect squadrons of men. The SPAM was fairly interesting weapon that allows players to use a camera system to launch artillery strikes. We were told that the old system from UT 2004, which involved using arrow keys to target with the camera system will be exchanged for a mouse based system in UT 2007. Finally, the Cicada proved to be the most interesting and potentially devastating vehicle in Unreal Tournament 2007. The Cicada is a kind of flying airship that has the ability to target an enemy, maneuver and then fire. Once you have targeted an enemy you can hit it regardless of where you move as long as you are still in range of the target.
In the next portion of the demo we were treated to some of the player models that will be present in the game. The two teams that were shown were Twin Soldiers, decked out in Red and the Iron Guard in black and yellow. The models were very impressive and highly detailed; we were told that these models had a poly count of 5 to 6 million each. Every thing on the models was highly detailed, from the light scaring and facial hair on some models, to the ammo clips and boot strings on other models. Finally, we were shown a short demo of the Power Core the centre of UT 2007's onslaught mode. The Power Core looked like a giant fusion generator surrounded with metal plates. As the plates were shot at they fell away from the Power Core. It wasn't explicitly said, but it seems that in order to destroy the core all of the plates needed to be removed. This was not the most impressive section of the demonstration. The core itself didn't look as impressive as the other visual features in the game and plates didn't seem to have any kind of physics engine attached to them as of yet as when destroyed they fell away from the core as if they were light as a feather.
Overall the presentation of UT 2007 was fairly impressive, but not overly so. The game still looks like it is in its earliest stages of development, and although some of graphics looked fairly crisp, others like the power core and some of the textures in the levels we were shown still looked like they needed a lot of work. The game ran incredibly smoothly, but it was running on four video cards, which really doesn't give any kind of indication of how it will run once it is released.
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