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Monday, January 14, 2002
Unreal Tournament 2 Design Q&A
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

As confirmation of the current development of Unreal Tournament 2 spreads across the 'Net, GameSpot managed to grab some time with Digital Extreme's Pancho Eekels, the Lead Designer for UT2, and uncover some juicy details regarding the upcoming sequel to what is one of the most popular FPS titles of all time.

One of the things Eekels mentions is that this time around, the designers wish to reward skill-based gameplay rather than overwhelming firepower. To this end, some of the weapons making the transition from the first game are being modified, while others are being removed entirely. For example, the sniper rifle, a source of cursing for many a frustrated UT player, is being replaced with an instant-hit lightning gun that will make it much easier for opponents to spot the gunner. The flak cannon is also being scaled back a bit so that its shards have less bounce.

Further adding to the idea of skill-based play, players will now spawn with all weapons, minus the "superweapons," though the ammo counts will be low for each. Eekels hopes that this will allow respawning players to immediately enter combat rather than run around looking for a more powerful weapon.

When players run low on health, ammo, or shields, they must now recover lost resources at recharging stations. While gamers have already pointed to the stations as possible camping zones, Eekels stresses that their design prevents that:

This is because each recharging station has an initial holographic icon floating on top of it, which has a charge of, say, 25 percent. It takes time for that to reappear again after you've zipped over it and picked it up (just like a regular pickup). But if you are greedy, you can stay on the station for a full refill. This causes the station to get drained, and it takes time for it to fully recharge; you can't camp on top of it.
UT2 also sports changes to both its single and multiplayer modes. The single player mode now features a team-based tournament, wherein the player becomes the captain of a team. As gameplay progresses, players will be able to hire, fire, and assign improvements to their teammates. Fighting styles, positions, and the like can be assigned before and during gameplay as well.

As far as multiplayer goes, UT2 currently has five modes, including Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Domination 2, and Bombing Run. While the first three modes should be more than familiar to UT fans, the last two present some interesting new twists. Domination 2 is a spinoff of the original Domination, though this time there are only two domination points. When a team assumes control of both points, they must defend them both for a certain amount of time, whereupon they will be awarded a point. Both domination points them revert back to neutral again for a certain amount of time before once again becoming controllable. As for Bombing Run, both teams must race for a bomb, which will spawn in the middle of a map, and then detonate that bomb within the opponent's base. The clincher to this one is that the bomb can be passed between teammates while attempting to deliver it.

The rest of the article discusses more UT2 details such as its graphics engine, myriad new races, and vehicle implementation. Those interested in the full story can find it at GameSpot. As of yet, we have no definite news on a Mac version, but you can be sure we'll keep you informed.

Digital Extremes
Epic Games
GameSpot: Unreal Tournament 2 Preview

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