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Unreal Tournament 2007 (Pre-E3 2005)

Developer: Epic Games | Publisher: Midway
Players: 1+ Player Game | Genre: FPS

Release Date: 12/11/07

The original Unreal was one of the most delayed titles of the late 90's. When it came out, it revolutionized the genre by providing graphics that were unbelievable whether you had 3D Acceleration or not. I recall reviewing Unreal and being blown away by the graphics and gameplay. Epic evolved the franchise into Unreal Tournament and online First Person Shooters have never been the same since. In fact, UT 2004 is so much fun, that I have yet to enjoy another online FPS as much. It even puts Halo 2 to shame. Instead of releasing a new yearly follow-up to UT 2004, Epic has decided to take some time with their next version known as Unreal Tournament 2007.

Unreal Tournament 2007 is being developed from the ground up in the Unreal 3.0 engine. Shown last year at E3 in a demo form, this game engine is stunning to say the least. In fact, it is head and shoulders above anything Valve or id have shown the public. What makes this engine so special? If you are one of the few who haven't seen a screenshot or demo of the Unreal 3.0 engine, it has incredibly detailed environments, characters, and the best lighting effects I have ever seen. While I am sure that it will take a next-generation Video Card to run games that use this engine, the next-generations consoles will be able to run it with ease.

With the power of the engine, it is a no-brainer that UT 2007 will look amazing. But how will Epic change the gameplay? For starters they do not plan on throwing out the current gameplay. They get many requests for tweaks and features that fans want and they are looking at ways to better balance weapons and make it easier to quickly travel across large maps. Because nothing is worse if you are on a big map, die, and have to get back to the other side where the action is. Currently Epic isn't talking specifics about how they will do this but if you look at how games like Planetside have handled this, you can probably guess how they will handle it too.

Fighting outdoors in big open areas is a lot of fun and UT 2004 excelled at this. While Epic will continue to tweak the gameplay and have many large outdoor maps, they also want to go back and include more close quarters action but not include any of the melee elements that have been included in the Unreal Championship series. This should provide a whole new set of skills for players to develop. You will have to adjust to your surroundings and play a different style.

Epic isn't ready to talk about which weapons are staying, going, or what new weapons may be introduced. But what they are ready to talk about is the AI. Epic wants to make your teammates much more intelligent when playing offline so it feels like a real match. Instead of being told that an enemy has been spotted, your AI controlled team members will tell you exactly where the enemy is, how they are handling it, and if they require further assistance. Pulling off advanced AI like this has always been difficult in the past. However, if they can pull this off, I may enjoy playing UT 2007 offline when my buddies are not online for a game.

There is currently not a set release date. However, as the title suggests, we won't be seeing this one in 2005. Hopefully sometime near next E3, we will be approaching the release date to what should be a most excellent First Person Shooter.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 05/16/05
ESRB Details: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Mild Language

Screenshots for Unreal Tournament 2007 (Pre-E3 2005)

2005 Nintendo E3 Press Conference

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