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Devastation Preview
(hx) 11:38 AM CET - Feb,17 2003

Digitalo busily finishing work on Devastation, an Unreal Warfare and Math Engine powered (Unreal Tournament 2003) action game for the PC for publishers ARUSH Entertainment, Groove Games and Nova Logic (UK). ARUSH recently sent us a press build of the game containing a four single player levels and one transition cinematic from the final version of Devastation, so here are my first impressions.

For those who never heard about this upcoming game, Devastation is a dark and moody, realistically styled post-apocalyptic first person shooter that focuses on team combat. It throws you into this really messed up version of Earth seventy-two years from now, where you and your NPC teammates go up against the menacing forces of an evil empire and mega-corporations. The main objectives are simple, expand your team and get more people on your side, divert the enemy in any way you can and with all your tools and weapons, and uncover the nature of the shadow government's dark agenda and try to expose the conspiracy to anyone who will listen.

Graphically, the game is very strong. It moves quickly, yet there's plenty of detail and special effects like enhanced particle effects for water, smoke, and fire. Textures on most objects are well done as well. The dirty, gritty, post-apocalyptic urban warfare feel is unique and exciting. I must admit that Digitalo's designers really deserve commendation for their attention to detail. For example, most of Devastation's environmental objects have real mass and weight, so even the cans on the ground have mass and inertia and make noise when they're moved. It's really pretty strange feel to see so many weird personal belongings, and little bits of somebody's life - look at screenshot #42, the pink thing on the picture...In Devastation is many places like that.

Barrels, bottles, boxes, gas cans, oil drums, and other items can be kicked, knocked over, dropped on, pushed into, picked up, carried, moved and even shot at and they will respond accordingly and realistically. The game has also many realistic effects, the entire limbs go flying- arms and legs, feet, hands etc, you can even decapitate your enemies with melee weapons like the Katana sword. That's really sweet! :)

The game also has two very different game settings- arcade and simulation, and they let you experience the game in two very different ways. While the arcade mode allows you to play the game as a typical first person shooter (similar to UT2K3 but not at quite the frenetic pace), simulation mode makes the game more realistic: you select weapons at the beginning of each mission, you're not as fast, there's friendly fire, etc. Needless to say that this option adds some replay value.

The AI of both the enemy and your teammate bots are surprisingly good (though I bet they're still working on it). A couple of teammates will always prefer to cover you, some will hang back and make sure to defend your base camp, while others have aggressive personalities and tend to head out on their own. In some cases you can even walk up to a teammate and press your "interact" key and see if they have any suggestions to offer up, you can also trade weapons with them. I should mention here, that the game's user interface, HUD and controls are also familiar from other FPS games and should be easy to use and understand for both veteran and new FPS players.

Devastation offers you many different weapons, there's everything from melee weapons like knives and swords to pistols, two shotguns, rifles, three types of sniper rifles, SMG's, heavy weapons, futuristic weapon prototypes, several types of grenades (smoke, fragmentation, gas) ,explosives, mounted weapons, drones, etc. Sadly there's no flamethrower :( But I very liked Rat Drone (screenshot #4), which is real device that lets you control a real rat via a brain implant in the rat's head. You assume the view (screenshots #7, #49, #73) and vantage point of the rat and see through its eyes, as you control the rat's movement though the world. You can use it as a spying or scouting weapon, and check your routes for your teammates before you take them. It also works well to pre-plan an attack if you are not sure of the terrain ahead, or if you suspect an ambush. The best part about this weapon is the explosive charge. You can remote-detonate the charge that is equivalent to a small fragmentation grenade.

As I mentioned the build I played included four levels. While the first two levels, Chinatown and South Urbia, were more linear, the last two levels, Zangai and Transit with destructible spawn points were much more interesting. These "spawners" are small prototype machines that can instantly create a new clone the second an existing one dies. That's mean you'll need to neutralize your enemies and destroy their "spawner" before they can respawn and attack you again. According to developers, these singleplayer levels will also set the player up for the team-style MP gametype that will ship with Devastation called Territories.

Mod makers will be happy to know that this partial build also contained a version of the game's modified Unreal level editor (called "DEd"). Those with any experience with building levels for Unreal and UT will able crank out some incredible looking maps in a short time. I bet we will see many MODs after the game's release.

The build I got to play was an internal beta version so a few problems did present themselves such as a couple of crashes to the desktop and really poor - yet unfinished sound effects, but Digitalo has plenty of time to go bug hunting, polishing and fixing before its scheduled release date. Devastation feels really post-apocalyptic and pretty depressive, that's what I expected and what I like. The game is targeted to hit US shelves in mid-March, and will have a MSRP of $39.95.


genre: post-apocalyptic FPS
release: March 2003
developer: Digitalo
publisher: ARUSH Entertainment


last 10 comments:

gagasposted - Feb, 17 2003 - 13:14
yes i have this game

aposted - Feb, 17 2003 - 14:51
This game seems pretty nice , Ut2k3 engine rules :D

salesmanposted - Feb, 17 2003 - 19:29
Judging from the ingame videos I've seen of this game it yet another screenshot-shiner but when playing it seem really rigid and boring, like all those low budget value FPS etc. Looking good for screenshots is the easiest task for a game, remember that.

bartposted - Feb, 17 2003 - 21:36
true same goes for Doom3. Over rated, made by a developer who is over rated. True screenshots mean nothing. But they are nice to look at.

Super Dadposted - Feb, 17 2003 - 22:01
Hope you re wrong, dude. Babes are awesome, guns are awesome. Would be wonderfull if game could be addicting too.

JMK-1975posted - Feb, 17 2003 - 22:21
Have any of you guys even played this game or are you just dissing it because the screenshots look good?

Saadposted - Feb, 18 2003 - 07:25
The people who have written comments over thr game Im preety sure they have never even seen the cover of the game...

Shamsposted - Feb, 18 2003 - 08:48
Arush did a pretty good job with DN:MP...and even thought this Devastation is only published by them...they'll do a good job when it comes to Quality testing. I have faith in this game _b

Your Motherposted - Feb, 18 2003 - 09:47
HTF can you say Doom3 is overated? It isn't even released yet!

Lard Assposted - Feb, 18 2003 - 10:19
The way i see it Devastation is the sequel to Tactical Ops. Although of the original plot it should be good fun multiplayer mahem just how i like em. Guns, more guns, nice maps, more guns and loads of players, cant wait 4 the rat bomb !

Tomposted - Feb, 19 2003 - 03:46
ummm, there's no such thing as the Unreal Warfare engine, unreal warfare is an upcomming title using the Unreal Tournament 2003 engine. Same goes for Unreal 2.

Captian Crunchposted - Feb, 19 2003 - 16:04
Hey do you think that maybe more than one title can use the Unreal Warfare engine? Get your head out of your a$$ before you decide to write a response. This game is going to kick a$$.

eimbobposted - Feb, 19 2003 - 16:07
I read your comments about, tatical ops... your a fucking moron!

MrGadgetposted - Feb, 19 2003 - 17:09
Screen shots look ok but that not whats inportant, it's how well does it play and does it keep you wanting more. I have 3 levels of DOOM 3 that was leaked over the internet. Now this game _ucken ROCKS. Talk about awsome graphics you should see the shadowing and how well the creatures move around and the blood. Crap the sounds of the creatures eating zombies made my 7 year old leave the room because it was too scary. Can't wait for full version.

Ashposted - Feb, 19 2003 - 20:22
Hey Tom... Do your homework man. Unreal Warfare was the name of the engine until recently. Here is a direct quote from PlanetUnreal. "Is Unreal II the same as Unreal Warfare? No. "Warfare" was the name of Epic's next-generation Unreal engine which is being used in UT 2003, Unreal II, Unreal Championship, and other recent Unreal-engine based games such as America's Army or Splinter Cell. But to avoid confusion (or possibly just cause more), this version of the Unreal engine is now just referred to as "Unreal Tech." Unreal Warfare is also the working title for a game Epic Games is currently working on, but almost nothing is known about it at this point other than it'll have guns. Don't expect to be playing Unreal Warfare until late 2003, at the very earliest."

Tomposted - Feb, 19 2003 - 20:51
It's the UT2003 engine, man. During it's conception it was called Warfare. That was over even before America's Army was supposed to come. I don't get your point. The fact is Unreal Warfare is not an engine, it is all UT2003. :| Point is. There is no Unreal Warfare engine, it was a codename used during development and is now being referred as the Unreal Tech engine, otherwise known as Unreal Tournament 2003. Your post is something that was known quite a few months ago actually. Not recently. Only just recently posted because of the same question and assumption being made for a long time. That was an official response to the public of what is and isn't.

Ashposted - Feb, 20 2003 - 00:14
Tom, I don't want to get into a flame war here, and actually, I will not even visit this page again. My only point is that if you are going to give someone a hard time about getting the name of a game engine wrong, then you ought to get it right. UT 2003 is a "game", Unreal II is a "game", but Unreal Tech is the "engine". You clearly state that the engine is UT 2003 which is just not correct. I know that it has been called Unreal Tech for months, but I guess that "recent" is a pretty relative term. I would also like to apologize to you. I thought that your post was a response to the post below yours, and after looking at the dates, I can see it was a response to the preview article.

steve-oposted - Mar, 12 2003 - 00:49
group hug!!!!!

frankposted - Mar, 26 2003 - 04:42
sex is the same thing as a group hug rite? shit... I got some angry woman on my ass, I knew this would get me into troubled ARGH GOD

Fahadposted - Apr, 23 2003 - 17:19
dont believe anyone that this game is not good.If you are a blood thirsty zombie for FPS than this game is your choice with cool chicks and some kick-ass graphics and guns.

posted - Aug, 04 2003 - 00:29
unreal 2 is too similar to the previous version. so why bother playing it. i want something new and creative not something i already got with a renamed title.

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