updated 01:40 pm EST, Fri March 16, 2001
Daily Radar has published an interview with Legend Entertainment's Mike Verdu, studio head at the company developing the highly anticipated Unreal II. While the game will take place in the same fictional universe as the original Unreal, Unreal II will feature a new main character, new game locations and all-new action and gameplay.
As the player, you will take the role of a Terran Colonial Authority Frontier Marshal -- a civil servant responsible for the safety and security of colonists and civilians in a remote sector of space that is in the early stages of colonization. Your employer -- the Earth-based Civil Government -- is weak, a bit player in a Terran political scene dominated by corporate factions and the infamous Terran Military. You are the 24th-century equivalent of a sheriff in the old west, the lone representative of the law in a rough-and-tumble frontier.
You patrol your sector in your creaky but serviceable starship Atlantis, a Spirit class patrol vessel built 50 years ago and retrofitted for civil government service after the Military decommissioned her. You are accompanied by a support crew of three - a Navigation Officer (your ship's trusty pilot), an Engineer (who keeps the ship running and maintains the armory) and an Intelligence Officer (your "spook").
Things are quiet... until the sector erupts in a violent series of battles between five alien races, multiple mercenary armies and shock troops from the Military. The source of the conflict is a set of ancient artifacts discovered on seven of the planets in the sector. You are caught in the middle of the fighting and must juggle your responsibility to protect your charges, prevent the artifacts from falling into the wrong hands, and solve the mystery of the origin and power of the strange alien objects.
The single-player game takes the form of a series of missions linked by the narrative framework of the game's story. Missions are preceded by a detailed briefing - and in most cases, a narrative cutscene.
The story unfolds through the briefings, cutscenes, in-game dialog with NPCs (mainly your crew), and the action contained in the missions themselves (e.g. combat, special encounters, scripted events and the attainment of mission goals).
One of the important goals with Unreal II is to create a game that has fast-paced, high-intensity combat and yet tells a real story -- with interesting characters. We intend to do most of the storytelling and character interaction on the Atlantis, between missions. We will also have "slow times" during the combat missions where NPC interaction and story telling become the main focus of gameplay.