New Unreal Tournament's Slick-Looking Concept Level Shown Off in New Video

Epic's art director talks about making the game's look more like Batman Begins, and less like Tim Burton's Batman.

As part of Epic Games' most recent Unreal Tournament live stream, the developers of the new shooter showed off a look at what art director Chris Perna calls a "working concept art." Effectively, we get a tour of a work-in-progress level which shows off some gorgeous artwork that stands out from many of the shooters that currently dominate the market.

Perna says he was "try[ing] to come up with a look that can kind of drive direction across the project." It's by no means a finished project, and consists of pieces from previously created work, but Perna says, "I think the overall look is clean; it will allow characters to pop off the background.

When checking out the video (jump to the 1:31 mark to see the level), keep in mind that the game is still very early, hence the great deal of screen tearing that can be seen. Also of note is the fact that what's seen in the video is not necessarily indicative of what the rest of the game will look like.

"This is not the look for the entire game," Perna says. " This, in my mind, represents kind of the sci-fi/industrial look. We could go grimier with this."

Perna also talked about the overall look he wants to have in the game, drawing on the Batman films to illustrate his point. "To me, Unreal--and the entire franchise--has always been, I used to use this term a lot, a Tim Burton Batman-type of caricature of itself," Perna explains.

"And where I'd like to go with the new franchise is more of a Chris Nolan kind of Batman Begins… just something a little more polished, a little more realis[tic], but without going over the top and doing kind of like what we did with Gears [of War] or [Unreal Tournament 3] and making everything dark and grimy and grungy. I think you can still have detailed environments that look amazing, and add color, and have visual clarity--and have your cake and eat it, too, basically."

The new Unreal Tournament was announced back in May. It will be developed by a small team and will be completely free when it's released. To make money, Epic will take a cut of sales through a store it will offer that allows modders to sell content to players. Epic has been doing regular live streams featuring discussions with its developers, who are working with the game's community to design the game.

What do you think about the look of this map and what Perna's vision is for the game? Let us know in the comments.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

79 comments
Tranula
Tranula

I don't see how comparing this to Batman helps show his point.

Lykanthropie
Lykanthropie

first UT ist still the best, 2004 is great too but nothing more then a better engine and other levels.


UT3 isn't really good, i can't say whats not good, but its just not like the first 2 games, maybe the colours and lighting but i guess gameplay changed a bit too.


Games changed a lot since then, shooters went tthe console way and ihe whole genre feels destroyed now.

The level part in this video looks good and even a bit like some of UT2004s levels, but somethings wrong with the lighting ... these levels have to shine in different light - like red and blue ...


This setting simply doesn't look like a death match arena of of a furturistic violence loving sociciety.


Tim Burton - Chrotopher Nolan ... i like both of their Batman Films but when you compare these films with UT they are more like UT3 then UT1&2 - and if you want something more like the first UTs go for the Joel Schumachers Batman movies with Val Kilmar and George Cloney, while i am not sure what they even talk about ... Tim Burton worked on 4 Batman movies ... the darker films with meachal keaton and the very collourfull batman movies from the 90s with Kilmar and Clooney.


UT99 was only 2 years away from 97s Batman Forever Movie and a darker artistic style became more commercial after the coulourfull 90s guess now we have more like a mix of both ...


When you really want to make Art dont do what the others do or did ... or talk about what they did, just do your own thing - feels more fresh and authentic ...

coolguyhero
coolguyhero

unreal tournament 2 & 3 i miss both.fast awesome gameplay.why not these developers make such game again.

Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

Tim Burton Batman is much better than Chris Nolan Batman, not a good analogy.

ue_m3nt0r
ue_m3nt0r

Games like these do not need "fancy". All i can think about watching is screenshot is: 

- I hope we can disable the coronas again, 

- I hope we somehow can disable the reflections on the floor, 

- Less detail textures would be nice.  


IMHO we might aswell play UT2004 again. It still looks pretty damn good with everything on High and some driver tweaks for AF/AA. They should just make a "UT2004 HD" if they want to bring it back, because the existing gameplay is perfect. We don't need a rewrite, just some fresh paint. Of all the "HD" reboots, UT is one of the few that really deserves it.

oflow
oflow

Sweet. The next hype. I'll have a new rig by then  Maybe getting money from the modders will open up more modding for these next gen consoles and get rid of some of this DLC. AAA games with all the DLC are $100. 

xantufrog
xantufrog

Really nice. Excited they are offering this game for free

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

It can LOOK like the original UT, for all I care, as long as it PLAYS like a proper UT game -- that's what counts.

korn16ftl3
korn16ftl3

i hope UT4 turns out a lot better than UT3.....UT2004 is still by far THE BEST UT game to date. I'm not sure what it was about UT3 but it just didn't seem right to me for some reason...it felt really off and not like a traditional UT game

gamingfriendly
gamingfriendly

Miss the old days where it was raining frags 24/7 and where skill levels were through the roof where you go against players so skilled you just feel impressed.

DeadlySinz86
DeadlySinz86

Damn ... those reflections are pretty impressive.

Travian1
Travian1

Just make sure the ending in the single player campaign is better than UT3!

ALC
ALC

I know I shouldn't, but I can't help but get excited for a new UT.  UT3 was a disappointment, but UT99 and 2k4 are still two of the best games of all time (IMO).  Hope this ends up being closer to the original rather than how modern shooters are.  I always felt unrealistic, fast-paced action was way more fun than "realism" in video games.

blackothh
blackothh

One of my favorite shooters growing up =D 


I always thought the unreal engines were the most efficient engine to make things look nice and run smooth at the same time.

Bleak5170
Bleak5170

So sad this is only on PC. I know that's where the series started but my days of gaming on PC are long over and Iove UT so much.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

Really have fond memories of the sheer diversity of the maps shipped with the game, as well as weapons and maps you could download easily. High flying action coupled with that amazing soundtrack...easily one of the most fondest memories in gaming. Miss the original UT...

ACWH
ACWH

Llandri Core was one of my favourite stages in the the original UT.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

This is looking so awesome and its so early! I just love how the project is being worked on by the fans who care and love the franchise since it came out as well as veteran developers to keep things in line. Really, I feel for such a big franchise, I see little to no corporate hands lending to the development for this. Love it!


This might lead to a whole new way of development for future games as well, again PC giving the freedom of choice and flexibility to do so.

l_skipper
l_skipper

Perfect ! I like the style.It's gonna be fun making a mess with gibs flying all over that shiny and clean looking environment.

seanwil545
seanwil545

@Lykanthropie 

Epic was doing Gears at the time, so they figured what works for one will work for the other. I think they pretty much know they ruined UT3 with grungy environments.

bigrod69
bigrod69

@Ultramarinus This is true, Burton's Batman was much more fun to watch - although Nolan's Batman movies are very good also, in particular Batman Begins since it explains how the hell he got all his stuff.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

@korn16ftl3 Big open spaces without the right "flow" of previous UT games, I'd say.  But you're exactly right -- something wasn't quite right.


[edit/add]  One other thing, now that I'm thinking about it:  It lacked a certain "hurry up, get back in there!" momentum, including game setup (and also the aforementioned maps). That's perhaps the best aspect of Titanfall -- they embraced that PACING.  That classic "Hurry up and frag!" vibe.

sanchango
sanchango

@gamingfriendly wrong, I was flipping tables and yelling at how much I sucked/at why I didn't think of that idea after being killed. lol XD

nt00mdnrkist
nt00mdnrkist

@Travian1 I for one agree with you. The SP campaign was a surprising addition I also wished for a bit more continuation to that story.

korn16ftl3
korn16ftl3

@Travian1 UT3 was not impressive to me at all im still a UT fan but UT2004 in my opinion is still by far the best UT game to date

bjghani
bjghani

@Travian1 If you are playing Unreal Tournament for the story and single player campaign you might be missing the point of the entire game. It's a sports arena with insane fast paced, "lets bend the laws of physics a bit" and shoot em up mayhem. 

pignugget
pignugget

@ALC That's an aesthetic choice. Some like a more cartoony look, others don't. I think that Perna is playing with a mix of both. UT will always be an exaggerated reality because that's what UT is. I always try to adopt the mentality that the devs are trying their best to improve upon the previous versions, even if a franchise goes in a different direction than I personally enjoy. It's all an experiment.

gamingnerd121
gamingnerd121

@ALC Considering the feedback and talks going on at the new UT site, i'm confident that it won't be some generic shooter. Not to mention that modders will make sure it's varied.

nt00mdnrkist
nt00mdnrkist

@b74kd3th This mentality is, IMO, toxic to gaming. Plenty of games that are or have gone F2P are good. To limit yourself to a preconception of just because "F2p = FAIL!" is asinine.

Cleave83
Cleave83

@b74kd3th That's the thing though. It's free but it won't have levelling up (well it bloody better not..) so it won't be the grind that most of the other F2P games are. It's a fantastic business model that gives players what they want and will also make Epic (and modders) plenty of money.

Setho10
Setho10

@b74kd3th It's actually 100% free. No DLC no microtransactions. Everything developed internally at Epic is yours for no cost whatsoever. I can't see any downside to that.

seanwil545
seanwil545

@b74kd3th 

So it would be a "better PC game" overall if Microsoft or EA published it as a AAA title?

I think not!

Bleak5170
Bleak5170

@blackothh 

Yeah but don't forget it was also infamous for crazy amounts of pop-in. Plus anything over 30 fps would often stutter, (at least on consoles). 

ecurl143
ecurl143

It belongs on a PC - you cannot, I repeat CANNOT play a game like this on a console with a gamepad - just not possible.

seanwil545
seanwil545

@Bleak5170

If this was being published by say MS for console, then everything community related would be gutted. People would have to pay for map packs and there would be no Editors of any sort made available to the public.

No...UT is right where it belongs, on PC.

Hopefully, this will help console gamers see how foolish they are for things like...paying Respawn $10 for 3 maps.

What a Joke!

korn16ftl3
korn16ftl3

@Pyrosa well im glad im not the only one that felt it was off and ya id have to agree it didn't seem as fast paced as previous games did i mean ya it brought really cool things to the series some of the vehicles were great but they really did lack in the traditional UT feel....i think UT is still an FPS that stands out on its own as its no halo or CS or even COD but they lost something that made UT feel like UT in the third edition, i only played through it once (on 360) ill go install it on steam and give it another run thru and see if i can pinpoint exactly what's missing. I just hope epic does not let other projects like gears and such (also a favorite game of mine) interfere with the development of the new UT, tho last i checked epic hasn't been making gears games since MS bought exclusive rights to the title and gears judgment was released

seanwil545
seanwil545

@Setho10 @b74kd3th 

Epic will make a percentage of what community modders sell from what I understand. Either way, I've given myself a budget of what would be a AAA game, $60. I don't expect to spend that much in DLC, however sense the game is free, it'll be very hard to complain. 

blackothh
blackothh

@Bleak5170 @blackothh 

No pop-ins problems or shuddering to my remembrance,  It was always the smoothest running, highest performing engine for PC for me when compared to a similar FPS game made by a different company of the same time frame.


I never played them on consoles so I cant compare my experiences there.

Bleak5170
Bleak5170

@seanwil545 

I see your point but I would gladly pay for any extra DLC, (this is a free-to-play game so you're going to be shelling out $ regardless of platform). Don't forget all the DLC on the PS3 version was free and it supported mods. 

ecurl143
ecurl143

@korn16ftl3 @Pyrosa Yes - I stuck with the Unreal series right up to UT3 when it just seemed to fall apart, visually, as well as gameplay-wise. It just didn't look or feel right and the games DNA had disappeared, along with all the awesome community websites that sprung up with their releases, such as Nali City, Unreal Ops to name a few.

The community aspect is what gave me the greatest joy with the game and all the hundreds of maps & mod content, most of which, exceeded the professional creations that shipped with the original games.

It was huge back in the day but unfortunately, all that is left from UT vast legacy is a few dedicated sites that somehow carry on.

seanwil545
seanwil545

@Bleak5170 @seanwil545 

That's fine...I've given myself a budget of $60 for DLC if need be, since that would be the AAA price. Somehow I suspect this money will get me more bang for my buck though.

The community modders and mappers can choose to give away their work for free as well

Paying for maps clearly fragments the player base, we are seeing this yet again in Titanfall.

korn16ftl3
korn16ftl3

@ecurl143 @Pyrosa yes this is what makes me sad....im not a huge fan of the FPS genre...not even the FPS western RPG's made today (they piss me off more) but there are a select few FPS games i would throw down in any day UT being one all the way up until UT3, it makes me sad that we wont ever experience UT as we did when it was in the limelight and that now people would rather play COD or BF and keep buying the same game over and over with additional DLC's rather than get involved in a truly unique part of the FPS genre where the community created the "DLC" where we could make anything happen the way we so chose. I played and chose UT3 for the PS3 platform (even tho i previously said i completed it on 360 it doesn't mean it was the only platform i had played it on) simply because not only sony but epic themselves allowed the use of mods skins and map creations on the PS3 as well as the PC version. I just hope that UT4 some how revives the series and the UT feel, i would LOVE to relive the days of UT2004 and feel the same sense of control action and empowerment that i seemed to lack in the UT3 game.

blackothh
blackothh

@Bleak5170 @blackothh Thanks for the info, its a shame that the consoles had that problem, but like I said all my unreal engine experience is from pc gaming so I never came across that before.

nt00mdnrkist
nt00mdnrkist

@blackothh @Bleak5170 The only other engine that could possibly compare with that smoothness was Source. Had an architecture course that taught us how to develop a full 3D experience using game engines. They were deciding between the two and went with the UE.