Unreal Tournament 2007 serves two purposes: It continues the tradition of cyber-athletic quality FPS gaming, and it showcases the amazingly beautiful Unreal 3 engine,in development now from Epic Games. Evolutionary is the word for UT 2007: The graphics are better, the vehicles are bigger, and the online multiplayer is even more insane.
For the most part, UT 2007 is what you expect: The basics are not changing. And there's a good reason to keep things stable. A large number of gamers use Unreal Tournament as a platform for testing skills. It is one of the primary "cyber-athletic" games on the professional gaming circuit. None of its legion of fans would want to see UT 2007 change things too much.
But evolution has always been welcome. Unreal Tournament has always served as a showcase for the Unreal engine, which is used by numerous games in a range of genres. Unreal is more than a simple first-person shooter: It's a platform. This time out the Unreal 3 engine provides amazingly gorgeous graphics and detailed physics. The environments are gritty and dense, in great contrast to the expansive environments of UT 2004. The AI has also been enhanced, too, making computer-controlled 'bots much more talkative and responsive.
The other major change we've heard about so far is the addition of the "Conquest" mode to online multiplayer. Combining several popular team-based gameplay styles, in Conquest contestants battle to earn and hold territory. Gamers join a faction and fight in order to help it control as much energy and territory as possible. It has been hinted that Conquest might involve a persistant online world, which would bring Unreal Tournament close to MMO conventions. No major FPS franchise has made the leap into the massively-multiplayer online territory, so even a hint in that direction could be very interesting for UT 2007.
The next installment of Unreal Tournament is still largely an unknown. An Xbox 360 release has been rumored, but not confirmed, and the game has been discussed as a possible launch title for PlayStation 3. Keep an eye out for more about Unreal Tournament 2007, and in the meantime, check out the pretty, pretty screenshots below.