The following games will most likely see final release sometime in 2002 or perhaps beyond--your guess is as good as ours. As of this writing, the high-tech advances behind these games (listed alphabetically below) have been reported already or are based on informed speculation.
Developer: id Software
Check latest prices
What's so high-tech about it: A brand-new 3D engine from id Software will render an amazing amount of character and environmental detail in real time.
Id Software surprised the industry when it announced that its next game would be a sequel to its demon blaster Doom. Many people felt as though id were taking a step backward. Then, at Macworld Expo Japan in late February, id founder and legendary programmer John Carmack showed what had been done so far on the third installment of the Doom franchise. The purpose of the demonstration was to show the Power Macintosh G4 and Nvidia's GeForce3 graphics processor, and what was shown in the video footage of the game looked tantalizing. As with the first Quake III video demo, which showed off a few highly detailed 32-bit character models and a few environmental models with curved surfaces, id showed the modeling of enemies, especially player characters, as well as lighting effects. Moving like prerendered animations you'd see in a computer-generated movie, the demons and the player character looked highly detailed and much more lifelike than the character modeling in id's previous games, but the difference is that this game will render such models in real time.
Click for full size
Developer: Valve Software
Publisher: Sierra Studios
What's so high-tech about it: Real-time voice communication, coupled with synchronized mouth animations, will raise a new standard in multiplayer gaming.
The original Team Fortress was one of the coolest and most extensive Quake engine mods, expanding upon cooperative team-oriented play. The follow-up, which will be a stand-alone game, has been under development for what seems like forever (since 1998) at Valve Software and was to be powered by the company's Half-Life engine. Not anymore. "The fact is, TF2 is far more ambitious than we've previously discussed," says Genevieve Ostergaard, Sierra's director of public relations. So now, TF2 is being built on a new proprietary engine. One of the biggest deals about Team Fortress 2 is that you'll be able to talk and listen to your teammates by headset. Your voice will be heard in real time, and the lips of player models will move in sync to the spoken words. Well, that's what the game's developers are hoping--it's anybody's guess if Valve can really pull off this complex technology.
Click for full size
Developer: Legend Entertainment
Publisher: Infogrames Entertainment
What's so high-tech about it: More polygons means facial animation of player models and ultimately a higher degree of realism in a computer game.
First, two clarifications should be made, because there has been some confusion: Legend is in charge of developing the gameplay and design of this sequel; Epic Games (the developer of the original Unreal) is concentrating on the Unreal engine itself. Also, Unreal II and Unreal Warfare are not the same--the two are completely different games. The speculation is that Unreal II will be the direct sequel to the original Unreal, focusing on the single-player game, while Unreal Warfare will be the follow-up to Unreal Tournament. Now going back to Unreal II: Since it has already been reported that the latest version of the Unreal engine is powering this sequel, it's unlikely that it will match the features of the Doom III engine, which is currently in development. But since it'll be a very long time before id's latest game is released, the graphics technology behind Unreal II could dominate the first-person shooter genre for quite some time. Mark Rein, vice president of Epic, has said that the game will have "150 to 200 times more polygons than what users saw in Unreal Tournament."
Click for full size