The first concrete details of Unreal Tournament 2007 have hit the web, courtesy of gaming website 1Up
The shooter is currently penned for PC and next-gen consoles, and will arrive in 2006. However, the game will be significantly different from its previous incarnation, which warrants the two-year jump in nomenclature / development time.
Epic Games mention that they are working hard on the gameplay right now, rather than focusing on the art - and that their levels are currently being built with no texturing or detailing whatsoever. Each level 'shell' is used to fine-tune and perfect the flow and the balance of the level, and then once each level is playing exactly as it should, detailing and artwork gets stuck on top of that - putting gameplay, not prettiness, at the centre of the 07 experience.
The engine itself is Unreal 3 powered, and that means normal maps ahoy, as well as vastly upped polygon counts and full DX9 effects. By developing using the level shells, it gives the artists the increased time needed to work to the level of detail that the Unreal Engine 3 can power. Whether or not Havok will make a return for the physics engine, we don't know, with the devs merely saying that they're playing with some of the physics gameplay mechanics right now.
Epic say they're focusing a lot on improving the single-player experience, by adding more depth to bots - including more banter and more inter-bot interaction - as well as pulling together the disparate levels a little more, to create a single-player game that feels a little less disjointed.
There are a kaboodle more screens at 1Up, which appears to have the exclusive scoop. You can view those here
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