The press demo presentation showcased some of the game’s more interesting aspects. One of them was the use of Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 as its graphical basis, which Zombie is using to full effect with some highly detailed character models, impressive art textures and special effects. In the shipbreaker yard demo we saw vehicles take on specialized damaged when fired upon, including firing at the gas tank only to blow up a truck. Unfortunately there will not be drivable vehicles in Rogue Warrior although Zombie team members said they would be in for any potential sequel. The level itself was fairly large as we saw huge shells of the busted up vessels along with other building and emplacements. As big as the press demo level was, we were told that it was only one quarter of what the actual level in the final game will be.
Due to the large maps the game itself won’t be strictly linear in terms of accomplishing tasks one by one Players will be able to take one of several routes in each level to achieve their goals, whether to kill a guard, blow up a car or something else. The demo also showcased the AI of your three other teammates along with your enemies. For your fellow SEAL teammates, you can order them to move or issue other commands as you can in other tactical shooters like Rainbow Six or Ghost Recon. However the team at Zombie have also created AI that will hopefully turn your SEAL members into more that just sitting ducks in a firefire. If they “see” a threat they will fire and will instinctively go for cover. Likewise the AI of your enemy seems to be pretty sharp based on the press demo. They will see if something is amiss and go to investigate.
This latter feature comes in handy for one of the cool things seen in the Rogue Warrior demo. After you initiate a swift kill on an enemy, you can actually set a bomb on your unfortunate bait. When a fellow guard goes to investigate, BOOM. You get the idea. While we only saw a portion of an early level, Zombie team members assured us that there will be a variety of missions and locations in Rogue Warrior (including an underwatrer mission; this is a Navy SEAL team we are taking about after all).
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Rogue Warrior at this stage is the game’s plan for multiplayer. Most multiplayer games have anywhere from 10-30 multiplayer maps out of the box but Zombie and BethSoft are taking a different approach on how maps are handled in this game. Simply put instead of a number of fixed levels, the multiplayer maps are handled via a tile system. Each of the game’s two teams picks one of six or seven tiles that will be in the final game. Each rectangular tile is a different kind of location (North Korean temple, warehouse, etc) that is essentially a mini-level in of itself. Then the server picks the middle tile. When the game begins each team only knows which tile they picked for themselves; they have no idea what the other team or the server has placed there for the match. The result is that the map they finally play on has a degree of randomness to it; Zombie team members told us that there could be as many as 200 different combinations of multiplayer maps (allowing for both daytime and nighttime versions of the tiles). The final screenshot in our gallery section for the game shows an example of what a Rogue Warrior multiplayer level looks like from above.