GDC 2001: Shogo 2 revealed?

Though a rolling demo of the new LithTech engine showcased a giant robot reminiscent of the robots featured in Monolith's first-person shooter, Monolith claims it's just meant for show.

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A real-time noninteractive demo shown today at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif., featured a giant anime-style robot presumed to be from a sequel to Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, Monolith's 1998 first-person shooter based on the original version of the LithTech 3D engine. However, Monolith's CEO Jason Hall stated plainly that the demo was designed to showcase the latest version of the LithTech engine, and he could not confirm that a sequel to Shogo was in fact in development.

The science-fiction-themed demo looked like it could have been a scene from an action game. It prominently featured a spiky-haired character armed with a high-tech pistol, lurking through the corridors of some sort of futuristic facility. The demo included many close-ups of the character's face that showed the impressive level of detail with which the LithTech engine can render realistic human features and expressions. In one scene, the character could be seen standing with his back against a wall, ready to whirl around the corner and start shooting. You could clearly see an expression of concern on his face, and when he stepped out from behind the wall and found he was alone, he was noticeably relieved.

The parts of the demo featuring the giant robot showed off the impressive scale and realistic texturing of the robot. A humorous sequence at the end of the demo once again highlighted the male character's realistic facial features, as a fly buzzed around his head and he swatted at it. You could clearly see the character becoming flustered because of the tiny bug.

The LithTech engine was recently seen in the highly acclaimed shooter No One Lives Forever, which also featured highly detailed character models. However, the faces of the characters in that game weren't animated with nearly as much detail as those in the LithTech 3.0 demo. Interestingly, though, the rolling demo was actually running using the No One Lives Forever executable, suggesting that the technical enhancements in the demo aren't necessarily contingent on the latest version of the 3D engine.

LithTech is an independent subsidiary of Monolith, and it focuses exclusively on developing, licensing, and supporting its proprietary 3D engine, for use in both games and other applications. Monolith Productions, meanwhile, is still dedicated to making games.

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