Unreal Tournament 3 Preview
Editor's Note: Epic and Midway did not allow members of the media to take screenshots during our playtest of Unreal Tournament 3 nor did they offer new approved screenshots. The shots in this article have been previously released.
When Epic Games blew gamers away with the release of the original Unreal back in 1998, no one had any inkling that the first person shooter series would evolve over time to encompass three different lines. Unreal's single player emphasis was continued in Unreal II (developed by the now defunct Legend Entertainment) while the console-oriented Unreal Championship series (the first developed by Digital Extremes, the second by Epic itself) was yet another offshoot.
But the biggest selling and most highly regarded Unreal series is the multiplayer-oriented Unreal Tournament.
The original, released in 1999, won tons of Game of the Year awards that year with its attention to level design, tons of maps, and more. Epic released Unreal Tournament 2003 in 2002 and further refined their multiplayer action with UT 2004 (an add-on/expansion to the original game) which added vehicles and a deeper gameplay mode called Onslaught (all of the PC Unreal games can be bought in one package called Unreal Anthology which was released in 2006 by Unreal's current publisher Midway).
In 2006, Epic proved it could move away from the run-and-gun style of shooter with Gears of War, an Xbox 360 exclusive third-person action title that sold millions of copies and once again netted Epic a boatload of Game of the Year awards. However, Epic hasn't forgotten its roots nor its PC gamer fan base. Next month, Epic and publisher Midway will finally release Unreal Tournament 3 (formerly Unreal Tournament 2007) to an awaiting audience.
In an unusual move, Epic has created the next addition to this franchise to not only be a solid multiplayer experience (both online and offline) but this time there's an actual single-player storyline and campaign as well rather than the threadbare plot of the previous games that was an excuse to put in bot battles in multiplayer maps. At Epic's offices in Cary, North Carolina on Tuesday FiringSquad got a chance to play some of the game's multiplayer maps and even got a glimpse of the single player campaign.
Currently Epic plans to have over 40 maps in the final version of Unreal Tournament 3 and the developers promise that this time people won't be playing just a few of the levels; they have made an emphasis to make all of the levels fun to play. The levels we got to check out were certainly well designed and having Epic's own Unreal Engine 3 combined with some incredible art design and textures will make this game stand out from any other shooter out there.