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Friday, July 26, 2002

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Unreal Tournament 2003 First Impressions
6:00 AM | Seth Scott | Comment on this story

The Adrenaline Vault has posted impressions of Unreal Tournament 2003 from the Cyberathlete's Professional League's 2002 championship. The newest installment in the familiar FPS series is due from Epic Games later in the year.

In gameplay terms, the title looks similar to the 1999 release, Unreal Tournament, with single-player deathmatch modes, tournament mode, LAN and Internet play. As you might expect, there are improvements -- in graphics (higher polygon counts), AI, and even in "death physics," which allows fragged players to take realistic tumbles down stairwells rather than just lying on a step and protruding out into space.

The graphics look most impressive, and they are put to good use in this "98 percent code-complete version," as written in this snippet of the article:

Visually, the game is stunning, due in part to the new engine's ability to render many, many more polygons per scene. This has allowed the designers to pump an impressive amount of detail into the maps. Our favorites are an outerspace level surrounded by an asteroid belt and topped with detailed communications equipment, and a map that can only be described as a Dante-esque rendering of hell. Digital Extremes and Epic Games actually out-id id Software with a devilish castle outlined with skulls out of which lava pours. The thing that caused our jaws to hit the floor, however, was the towering wall of fire surrounding the entire map, creating a palpable sense of dread. Also impressive are the castle's walls, which are not flat textures but appear to be large, individual stones laid on top of each other and jutting out from the surface. The map flows extremely well and supports different play styles, from tight passageways for close encouters to plenty of opportunities for long distance exchanges.
The article also states that Epic Games seems interested in licensing its engine -- good news for those of us who have enjoyed other UT-based games such as Deus Ex, although there is no announcement as yet if there will be a Macintosh version.

Adrenaline Vault: Unreal Tournament 2003 Preview
Digital Extremes
Unreal Tournament 2003
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