Unreal Tournament 2007 Impressions

Epic has remained quiet about its new first-person shooter, but we make time at this year's Leipzig Games Convention to talk UT2007 with the developer.

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LEIPZIG, Germany--What with all the fuss over Epic's Gears of War, little has been shown of Unreal Tournament 2007 since this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo. In fact, the only news that we've had about the game since May has been disappointing, with the release date pushed back until the first half of 2007. While the demo shown to us at Leipzig wasn't markedly different to what was shown at E3, the German convention did offer a chance to talk to Epic's Jeff Morris. We didn't firm up that elusive release date, but we were able to see the latest build of the game, as well as more of the new vehicles in action. And with the conversation even straying to the PlayStation 3 version, we certainly didn't stop the talkative Morris from spilling as many beans as possible.

While we've previously reported on some of the new machinery in the game, the Leipzig demo gave us a chance to see how the two character races differ from each other in more depth. All the vehicles from UT2004 have been tweaked and upgraded for UT2007, and they now form the basis of the Axon Corporation team. With recognisable military roots and suitably high-tech additions to its arsenal for the modern battlefield, the Axon machines will be familiar to UT veterans. One of the Axon vehicles is an air-combat vessel called the cicada. This craft isn't going to do much damage to other air vehicles, but one of its coolest abilities was inspired by military attack helicopters. The vessel is equipped with a weapon that can home in on any land target and automatically fire rockets at the exact spot targeted. Even if you fire rockets in an opposite direction, they'll spin around in midair to bombard the selected target.

The epitome of Axon design is the leviathan, an enormous five-man war machine that's driven by one combatant with up to four other people manning turrets on the side. Drivers sit inside the hulking shell of the tank and are mostly immune to enemy attacks, and they have access to a basic energy weapon that can be fired on the move. Gunners, who sit on the outside of the tank, are more susceptible to enemy fire. Luckily, the turret features an energy shield that can deflect incoming fire, and each of the turrets fires a different type of energy projectile, so you can adapt to each situation. If the driver can't find anyone to occupy these seats, he can switch the vehicle into deploy mode, which basically turns it into an enormous energy weapon that has unlimited range and can devastate anything in the game. The only problem is that the vehicle has to stop to prepare the weapon, and it must remain stationary while the weapon is being used.

The other team in UT2007 is the Necris race. While it would have been tempting to build exactly the same vehicles for the Necris with only cosmetic changes, Epic has built completely different machines for them to use. The most impressive vehicle at this team's disposal is a three-legged tripod called the dark walker, which moves like the alien creatures from the recent War of the Worlds movie. Sadly, this tank can't pick up human players and toss them around like the aliens from that movie, but it's still a serious killing machine, and its legs let it climb hills quicker than any tank. The dark walker's main weapon is a laser beam, which can fire for short bursts, and the articulation in the walker's legs lets the machine bend down and pop up for surprise attacks on the enemy. The Necris also has a smaller vehicle called the viper, which Epic wanted to design as highly manoeuvrable, like a futuristic version of the F-14 fighter. The cool thing is that if you fly the ship toward an enemy and jump out, you turn it into a flaming projectile weapon that can inflict significantly more damage than the craft's turrets offer. The last Necris ship that we saw was the nemesis, which has snakelike treads that adapt to the terrain as it moves.

With all these new vehicles, Epic had to design maps with enough space for them to be used. However, traversing these maps on foot is a bit of a nightmare, which is why Epic has introduced the hoverboard. Though you won't be able to use a weapon, travelling on a hoverboard is much faster than going it on foot, and you can even hitch a ride from passing vehicles via an energy beam. Apparently, the team was nervous about putting in such a feature, but after trying it out, the hoverboard sat perfectly with the fast-paced style of the game. In fact, the hoverboard was so popular that it was perhaps inevitable that a basic trick system would be added into the mix. While it's nowhere near as complex as SSX 3, pulling tricks adds another level to Unreal Tournament's notorious taunting.

The amount of time between Unreal Tournament 2004 and 2007 has let technology catch up with Epic's dreams for the game's weaponry. Considered to be the main 'character' by the designers, this time around the weapons have a much more tangible quality, while still retaining their outrageous functionality. The weapons are now made up of 40,000 to 50,000 polygons, which is nearly as much as an entire level from the last game. The extravagant design for the new rocket launcher, which can fire up to three rockets simultaneously, has been fleshed out with great animations that make you believe that the weapon could actually exist. The rocket launcher can now also fire three grenades. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait and see what other weapons Epic is including in the game.

UT2007 features more realistic gravity, which in turn should limit some of the more acrobatic movements that could be made by advanced players in the previous game. Epic was concerned that novices didn't know how they were being killed, so they wanted newer players to at least be able to see who's firing at them before they die. Epic is also aware that around 50 percent of Unreal Tournament players never took the game online, and even though broadband adoption has increased dramatically since 2004, the company still wants to cater to the offline market. To that end, the artificial intelligence has been improved to better mimic a human player. Previously, the AI was programmed to deliberately miss shots, but it will now think in a much more advanced manner about hunting you down. Geis joked about a Turing test for the new AI, to see if regular players would be able to tell the difference between real players and the UT2007 AI. Also, offline players will be able to bark orders to their AI-controlled teams if they have a headset, and individual computer-controlled enemies will hold grudges and make taunts after kills.

One-on-one matches also proved to be a very popular mode on UT2004, but because of the problems in setting a game up and waiting for just one other player, it was rarely practical online. The answer has been to adapt the mode for UT2007, giving it the new name of survival. Survival mode will create a lobby for players to drop into, and a winner-stays-on scenario will commence, where new challengers can come in and take on the reigning champion in a one-on-one scenario. Also, the full Unreal Engine 3 toolset will be shipping with the game to let people customise the game and release mods online.

We also asked Geis about the PlayStation 3 version, which is being developed alongside the PC game. The Dell XPS system that was used to demo the Unreal Engine 3-powered game was certainly no slouch, but we can hopefully expect even more graphical effects when UT2007 reaches the PS3. Geis commented on how the two versions differ in control. Controlled with the mouse on the PC, fast movements with sudden stops are possible, but vehicle control on the keyboard isn't all that smooth. On the PS3, the opposite is true--vehicle combat is much more refined with two analog sticks, while the shooting control is not quite as quick or precise as a mouse. He was bullish about the PlayStation 3 game's quality, though, and although we didn't see it on show at Leipzig, he said that played against other PlayStation 3 users, he feels right at home.

While Epic's lack of a definitive answer on a release date for Unreal Tournament 2007 is annoying, the developer is notorious for its stringent quality control. The it's-done-when-it's-done mentality will hopefully maximise the game's chance of success. We just hope that all the new additions will enhance the gaming experience, while still delivering dependable first-person shooter thrills.

Discussion

99 comments
dbeddow
dbeddow

joeypui: Your card has SM2.0 (Shader Model) and the new Unreal engine requires SM3.0. I know this as i have already researched it and i had the same card. You can buy any card as long as it has SM3.0. A good buy right now is x1900gt. I got mine open box for $129 at newegg.

bache_vel
bache_vel

joeypui you cant run this game your ram is very good but your grafic card......I am sorry you buy fx 7800 gtx

joeypui
joeypui

I'm gonna buy this game for sure.. A must buy with the new Unreal Engine 3 :P.. Do you think an ATI Radeon X800 with 4GB DDR2 RAM can run the game?? I hope so.

joeypui
joeypui

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Glordit
Glordit

:D SM 2.0/3.0/4.0 Support Daul/Quad Core Support! unreal engine 3! and some of the most amazing visuals around! UT2K7 FTW!

beardedd123
beardedd123

Wow... Epic Games... these are the same people developers that made Gears of war and the suit look the same also... but this game will for sure will take the leading stand.. with as much room is a blu-ray disc this game will have endless possibility's so now what to go for Xbox360 or Ps3... well i personally go for Playstation 3. YOU?

shadow_X_16
shadow_X_16

Well if unreal Tournament 2004 i'm still stuck to it!! i'm one of the best on it!! that's why i never loose AGAINST ANYBODY!! well UT2007 i Will SURVIVE THE FISTS!! But First i need to Upgrade my pc In this christmas so i can pay that Huge upcoming game that will for sure be the best Unreal Tournamnet FRANCIXE! TELL THE DATE!!! THE REAL OFFICIAL DATE!! and whats Q1 2007?

blackhammer77
blackhammer77

I hope it has the melee stuff like unreal championship 2 for xbox.

dreadsirius
dreadsirius

Well, Personally I believe that PC is better. I'm an FPS and RTS fan. And booth geners play PERFECT in PC, and in console... well in console FPS are sloooooooow as hell. I don't know about PS3, personally i dont want it seems like a waste of good money for me, money that I can use in buying and AGEIA, UT2k7 and maybe even the Wii who is a completley different thing, nor PC, Xbox, PS3 or anithing else in the market is like it but well thats and other topic. For the amazeing cuantity of $600 bucks you can up date your PC to run for a grate time. Yes I know that PC is expensive, but with PC you have all the game geners: Action, Sports, Raceing, RPG, FPS, RTS, etc. and some of them (like RTS) are exclusive to the PC. And even now that oooohh yes PS3 has amazeing graphics thats completly true, but just wait for the next year and the new Video card GPUs from Nvidia and Ati to arrive and then star to cry cause those graphics will be... good but not Holly s#1t amazeing!!! Conclusion: I love my PC. I will always have PC for serious gameing and for working. I will spend my money wisdomley on my PC. I hate console for FPS and the aberrations they call RTS. PC ROCKS!!!, Xbox 360 is grate (Come one I don't like FPS on console but Halo 3 definitively is the exception), Wii will be something TOTALY DIFFERENT IN GAMEING FROM NOW ON.... and PS3.... poor PS3.... well I hate PS3... too expensive for what, just playing "Resistance: Fall of men" No way!!! Unreal born in a PC... and Unreal Tournament 2k7 should be play in a PC not in a console. Period

renock
renock

Alright Kane04, first of all it doesnt cost a rediculous amount of money to update your PC all the time. If you spend the right amount of money in the begining your PC will be good enough to run most games for a very long time. At least 2-3 years (even the new games that come out then). And you can always play your old games. You said "can you still be playing it 6 years down the road?" Yes infact you can still play it six years down the road, and if you follow how systems come out you will be buying (god-forbid) PS4 around that time. If you spend the right amount of money that is two-three good upgrades for PC, and two systems to buy in that time span. Although the PC will definatly cost more, think of the money you also save on things such as controlers, and other console related things. Also Im glad you have to pay for Xbox live, it makes sure that online the service isnt **** I mean Im sure that the big titles for PS3 will run online for the most part pretty smooth. But some of the less big games that have online mode wont really have the money to make sure that the online gaming is flawless. Now then I will most likely be the first Xbox 360 kid to admit that yes the PS3 has better graphics definatly, but other than Unreal Tournament 2007, you really dont have that good of games. Most of the games come out for other systems as well. You lost your GTA series, and some of the Final Fantisy, and we still have some games that are just for Xbox. However I will also give to you that "Resistance: Fall of Man" looks pretty cool.

AFWorm
AFWorm

It was nice to get an update. But a month later and still no new news!!! They are driving me crazy!!!

DevilD2005
DevilD2005

I just hope it has the same engine and flow as the original game with not too much changed in terms of gerneral play. It could be the one game to blow HALO out of the water. I am not a fan of Halo but I mean in terms of general populace oppionion (I might have just amde up a phrase.) I think this game, with the PS3's free and wireless internet, could be the best FPS ever developed till the next one. At the same time, it has the potential to be a big letdown.

DefiledChronic
DefiledChronic

if you ask me well their going with the best system. The PS3 Has got alot of tricks up its sleeves and everything ive seen for 360 could be better alot better but if you look at what ps3's titles and how everything looks well its pretty polished so far no ones really pushed the 360 yet and ps3 is going to be big because everyones pushing it.

Jair_Mejia
Jair_Mejia

durial117, you are not an fps fan if you play on a console, Gears of War is not an fps, and Halo is not the best fps ever.

durial117
durial117

damn... all the other Unreal games were for the PC and Xbox what the hell happened? PS3? WTF? What the heck were these people thinking? Thats just stupid a FPS game on a PS3 when they could obviously have made more money by releasing it on the 360 with the rest of the FPS games like Halo 3 and Gears of War... all the FPS fans have Microsoft systems so why not put this game on a Microsoft system? Its just screwed up thats all I know...

Ninja_RaVeN
Ninja_RaVeN

Bah ali_g_84uk PCs are allways ahead of Consoles... they would allways be better in every way.... Why spend 400 to 600 dollars for a new console when you can buy a new video card for 300 bucks and get better graphics and better performance... yeah they do say to upgrade you video card every 3 years but you dont have to... games wont look better then they look now

ali_g_84uk
ali_g_84uk

Yeah i do hate the unpredictability of a pc...certain cards can perform **** on certain games which doesnt make sense. Thats why so many people have consoles, its a safe bet for 5 years of gaming and well theres only about 5 decent releases a year on the pc, mostly fps or mmorpgs. I have a 3400 athlon 64, an x800 and i still get some jerks on hl2 ep 1...Still disillusioned with sony right now, bought my 360 last friday after sonys wednesday european release date announcement and im really enjoying it, particularly live. So i guess i just see how it goes and maybe hang on for a price drop on the ps3 and the better games.

ruffles123
ruffles123

i cant wait no more i want it now !! i whant to try the demo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! im crazy for this game. if i dont have it i will kill someone!!!!!!!!!!!! im not a killer. :P

AJay25
AJay25

The news on the PS3's release set back for Europe made me think about either getting the Wii at the end of the year (if it's released) or grabbing a cheap X360 off of Ebay. Then i watched the video's of UT07 and thought, balls i can wait !! This is one game that will sell the PS3 no doubt about it.

Murpheus007
Murpheus007

A definite "must have" title for any prospective PS3 owner. Like me.

olavie
olavie

I'm sure going to buy this game

masterofTS
masterofTS

Looks about the same graphic quality or maybe even better as Gears of War. People who PS3 dose'nt have a chance are idiots and fanboys.

Kane04
Kane04

everybodys saying that "this is a PC game, don't botter making it", well news flash, console gamers don't have to buy new pc parts every year to play the latest games, PlayStation 2 came out in 2000, and i don't have to botter about the hardware to play the games that are going to be released now. as "andrew_ribbons" said down there "if the PS3 is actually released, and when it is, if anyone bothers to even buy it for that OUTRAGEOUS release price" well grab a calculator, if you buy the 600$ PlayStation 3, 6 year's from now you'll still be playing with her, can anyone say the same about PC? no, no one can, unless of course the nerds that don't have anything else to do with there money and don't bother giving it away in PC parts... PC are much more expensive, and you can never tell if what you got is going to be enough to play "The Latest Game", best hardcore games come out on PC, but with much less money you can play great exclusive games on consoles (think Final Fantasy, Halo, Metal Gear, Resident Evil, Gran Turismo) they all sonner or later come out for PC, but by that time they are "old", no fun. and for "#$% sake, stop saying that PS3 is to expencive, much more than Xbox360, "360 is 400$, PS3 is 600", yes, the PS3 is 600$, THE FULL PACK, with 360 you still have to buy that HD-DVD player and you have to pay the Xbox Live. i'm sick hear people saying that PS3 doesn't stand a chance,. remember the Dreamcast?? when it come out every one say's that PS2 was doomed, (deja-vu), yeah thats right, when PS2 come out, a few months later they stop making Dreamcast units and SEGA said they'll never make another console, (Rest In Peace), i'm not saying that is going to be the same this time with Microsoft, but i bet PS3 is going to rule the market (maybe not 75% as the PS2, but is going to rule it).

hye_03
hye_03

I cant wait to see how it would look like on the ps3

noblethedon
noblethedon

i was waiting for this game a years now !! i cant wait no more i want it now !! - UnReal SNiper -

fingerhead
fingerhead

i cant wait with my new comp this game will pwn :P

GaaraZanta
GaaraZanta

mrzuzzlespleen, I agree completely, the assault rifles are near useless but I used to love getting kills with dual enforcers, fun times

GaaraZanta
GaaraZanta

andrew_ribbons, not a very good inside joke, since so many people have seen it, haha, we're over it. PS3 gamer's will only buy those games right? Seems like you know a lot of PS3 owners.

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

That is...if the PS3 is actually released, and when it is, if anyone bothers to even buy it for that OUTRAGEOUS release price. UT2007 will always sell the best for the PC platform, because it's a good game. PS3 gamers won't buy good games, they'll buy Rayman, and Tombraider, and Ridge Racer, Riiige Racceeeerrr! Haha, you'll have need to have seen the Sony E3 conferance to understand that previous randomness :P

vlsi0n2156
vlsi0n2156

Sounds great. But a PC game like this should be a PC game; IMO PS3 version = pointless. The same for a 360 version if they ever decided to make one. This looks great for the PC :D.

mark_unix
mark_unix

the engine even runs fully native in OpenGL on OSX/Linux ;)

toxicmog
toxicmog

Which ever nobber said you will need a Dx10 card to play this flawless is full of BS, seeing as no console has a DX 10 graphics GPU inside it. It will always be a PC shooter,

webdoom
webdoom

dang.. this game, is.. yummy, but seriously.. a PC game on a console? why even bother? waste of time money and more time... Demo plz.... and i will be playing this game everyday for at least a year. UT2004 demo i was on Torlan all the time, it kicked ass.. now UT2007 will KICK ARSE!!!

Romanticide
Romanticide

psshht. Consoles can't even dream of running this properly. Huzah! I can't wait for UT2k7

STARS_Splinter
STARS_Splinter

Ugh. My computer is going to die running this. Think I'd better stick to the 360 version.

grouser22001
grouser22001

too bad ur going to need vista and a directx10 card to play it flawless just like crysis.

Somian
Somian

why does everybody write about PCs asif there are no Gamepads to plug on them, and it is impossible to show their video output on a TV screen?

mrzuzzlespleen
mrzuzzlespleen

YESSSS! THE ENFORCERS ARE BACK! I was getting tired of the wuss assault rifle. Can't tell you how many headshots I scored with those babies back in the day. Too bad i don't have a sweet comp…the leviation looks so cooool.

bigbadwolf86
bigbadwolf86

This is the main reason why I am buying a new PC.. Of course I am truely excited about the editor. I can't wait to make some amazing maps..

edgefilm2001
edgefilm2001

DocX: Firstly, they are supposed to come out around the same time. No confirmation on whether that will be the exact same date for both systems. Secondly, this [PS3 players and PC players in the same server] will most assuredly not happen, unless Sony releases a PC OS that is at least as widely accepted as Windows. Microsoft's Live Anywhere project is a huge leap and bound for connectivity, and more specifically, gaming, and it is only possible because MS holds sway over the PC market. MS would have to literally allow Sony to do this and I just don't think that's realistic at this point. Alsha: Noone knows yet, but seeing as though Epic tends to have no console bias, it might just be a question of melding the already established and well-loved UT UI into the xbox live software. Even still, no one has confirmed anything, but if you believe the rumors, then yes it will. PeeWeeShift: I couldn't agree more.

alsha3er78
alsha3er78

anyone know if this game is coming to the xbox360 ???

DoctorXtreme10
DoctorXtreme10

I have 2 questions. First will the PS3 and PC version come out at the same time and will PS3 players and PC players play online in the same game. Like someone playing UT2007 on the PS3 be able to vs. someone playing it on a PC. Sryy if these questions are dumb.