Midway's big show in Las Vegas came to a close today and there were plenty of good action games being shown off including the new Area 51 game BlackSite, Stranglehold, and of course, the PC version of Unreal Tournament 3. The big news about the name change from Unreal Tournament 2007 dropped yesterday. Epic's outspoken Mark Rein explained a bit of the name change citing that the new UT isn't just another game, but a step forward into the next generation of Unreal.
While the level shown off at the event certainly showed off the next-gen graphical prowess of the powerhouse Unreal Engine 3, the gameplay stayed a little more traditional to UT. The level corruption is a vehicle-based capture the flag map pitting the alien Necrid up against the Izanagi who use the Axon model vehicles. The story behind this map has the Necrid corrupting the area with their special brand of alien technology. It's infusing itself into the environment. Tentacles can be seen the back of the Necrid base along with tubes running through the level. The fight will determine whether the corruption continues unabated.
The map itself is pretty narrow providing several pathways through the map at various levels. The canyon style layout provides ample opportunity for players to clash in vehicles and on foot. In fact, it's near impossible to avoid it. Since players who've grabbed the opposing flag often have to hoof it back to the home base on foot or on the new hoverboard, the level also provided a bit of cover via smaller man-sized tunnels inaccessible by vehicle. While the tunnels criss-cross many of the larger pathways that can fit vehicles, flag bearers still will have plenty to worry about when scooting back home for a score.
As usual, infantry combat is a trigger happy twitch fest thanks to the fun weapons that have been revamped for the new UT. You can expect all sorts of great toys like the Link Gun, Stinger, Shock Rifle, and Flack Cannon.
While the infantry combat was fun, our focus during our gameplay time was with some of the new vehicles of the Necrid. Three different types of rides were found scattered around the Necrid home base including the swift Viper, tank-like Nemesis, and huge tripod Dark Walker. Each of these vehicles had special abilities. The Viper for instance, was speed as can be but had the ability to basically jump. The vehicle's secondary firing option would cause it to self-destruct if activated when in the air. Because of its speed and jumping ability, it could launch off of terrain and fly fairly long distances over otherwise tricky obstacles and pathways.
The Nemesis took a tiny bit of getting used to because of its three states of readiness. The neutral state allowed the vehicle to move along the ground at medium speed and fire at medium speed and allowed a decent firing cone. The "crouched" mode allowed for faster speed, but caused a slower firing rate and smaller cone of fire, most notably the inability to fire at the foot of the vehicle. The most difficult bit about this mode was controlling the vehicle properly. While it's absolutely going to get better with practice, we found ourselves crashing into rocks with regularity when using it for the first time. The third mode propped the tank up one more time past the height of the neutral mode allowing an even better cone of fire and hugely improved rate of fire.
Lastly, the Dark Walker provided the big guns for the Necrid. This behemoth sat crouched beneath the home base waiting for a pilot. Once inside, the tripod stretches its legs and towers above the battlefield offering a huge view advantage over other vehicles. The Walker comes equipped with incredible beam weapons that dismantle enemy vehicles with ease. The tripod was surprisingly adaptable to terrain as well. Because of the flexible legs, it can simply walk up and over some obstacles while its crouch ability allows for passage under low hanging bridges or overhangs. The main drawback of this awesome weapon is the slow speed of movement and inability to track targets very quickly. It takes a while for this beast to move around so a fast and coordinated group of smaller vehicles could potentially circle around to deal out some serious damage should the tripod travel unsupported.
Overall, we had a good deal of fun with the game checking out the new vehicles and getting another awesome look at the power of Unreal Engine 3. The Corruption level was highly detailed and had a nice flow. Hopefully before too long we'll have a chance to play a bit of the new Warfare mode of play which is the successor to the very popular Onslaught from UT 2004. Epic felt the event wasn't conducive to really learning the mode of play which is why they showed off CTF instead. Mark Rein did tell us that Warfare would provide a lot of depth to players that spent the time learning it, but they've made it a bit easier to understand for beginners not as familiar with Unreal Tournament.
Keep an eye out for more info on Unreal Tournament 3 as the year progresses. It's one of those "when it's done" titles, though during the press conference presentation, the screen showed it would be a second half 2007 release. Hopefully Epic will be able to hit that mark.
^^graphics is definately like that n f**k the graphics anyways i dont play unreal tournament games for graphics i play it for fragging people n this time there's gonna be more fragging yeah bitch love to say that word
TG Daily could tell right away that the game was really tailored for the PS3, even though an Xbox 360 version is slated for next year. For example, a new hoverboard is controlled using the controller's motion sensitive Sixaxis technology, and allows the character to move at twice the speed of foot travel.
"I don't even know how we'll do mods on the Xbox," said Morris. He said the PS3 online network is very developer-friendly. Mods could even be downloaded directly from the PS3 via the Internet browser, or brought over from a PC by way of a Memory Stick. Xbox Live has a very closed system, and takes around two weeks for a developer to get a new piece of content on the Xbox Live Marketplace."