GDC 2002: LithTech shows NOLF2

We catch a glimpse of the forthcoming sequel to the acclaimed shooter No One Lives Forever. Details inside.

At the ongoing 2002 Game Developers Conference, LithTech was demonstrating its proprietary 3D graphics technology with a number of different games, including the sequel to the hit 2000 shooter No One Lives Forever. While LithTech's exhibition was primarily focused on its technology, we did manage to get a good look at the currently untitled sequel to NOLF to bring you these new details.

Visually, the game is a marked improvement on the original, and it actually looks at least as good as or better than any currently available shooter. Using what LithTech is calling the Jupiter game engine, NOLF2 is able to produce much more richly detailed environments than its predecessor. In particular, we saw several different samples of levels from the upcoming game, including a Japanese village, a vast snow-covered area, and a riverside estate. Each of these sported crisp, detailed textures and impressive effects, including realistic ambient lighting and, in the latter level, some incredibly natural-looking water. All these levels were being used to show off Jupiter's potential for creating terrain, and as such were mostly deserted and thus not representative of the action from the actual game.

We did get a chance to see a bit of combat, however. In NOLF2, players will once again reprise the role of the beautiful secret agent Cate Archer, and we saw her sporting a hand crossbow, a silenced pistol, and what looked like a taser. The only type of enemy we saw was a female ninja, whom Cate quickly disposed of with her crossbow.

In addition to the overall level of visual detail in the environments, each of the levels will apparently be quite interactive. As evidence of this, we were shown a scene in which Cate opened and shuffled through a file cabinet, apparently searching for an important document. This seemingly mundane activity was rendered in an acutely true-to-life manner previously unseen in a first-person shooter.

The version of NOLF2 shown at the Game Developers Conference betrayed very little about the actual game, though it did offer a tantalizing sample of how the next No One Lives Forever game will improve on the original. Stay tuned for more information on this highly anticipated sequel. For now, check out our three gameplay movies showing off the engine being used for the sequel.

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