CVG ran a preview of Epic's upcoming Unreal Tournament 3 recently, commenting on new details, features, graphics and play modes available for the online shooter.
A key new feature separating the title from predecessors is a surfboard-like vehicle that will allow players to zip around the map without hopping about on foot. The preview says no combat was integrated into this mode because it would change the game's dynamics too drastically, but the change is somewhat akin to the Battlefield series transition toward squad leaders and spawn points.
New vehicles are also revealed. The Viper is a speedy bike with serious lift and the ability to drop several team mates onto enemy territory. The Paladin borrows heavily from a tank-like vehicle introduced as part of a mod pack with Unreal Tournament 2004, and can deploy a forward-mounted shield.
A new map mode called Warfare combines Assault and Onslaught for hectic node-based action, with only two nodes in play at any given time, forcing combat into specific zones.
The preview notes that the series' trademark over-the-top antics are still in full force, with no concessions to more "realistic"-minded competitors.
To this end the developers have introduced a new deployable object that slows down any person or vehicle caught inside it. Described as "a big jelly cube of slow time that you can deploy from an engineer vehicle" it slows motion to a crawl even for weapons fired inside.
The game is due out for the PS3 this year and the 360 first quarter next year.