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4x4 Evolution 2 Preview

publisher: Gathering
developer: Terminal Reality
genre: Racing

ESRB rating: E

release date: Nov 14, 01
» All About 4x4 Evolution 2 on ActionTrip

We managed to speak with some of the people working at Terminal Reality, regarding their latest Xbox off-road racing title. The interview includes the developer's opinion on the XDK's and the way they're utilized to make game-designing more easier. Also, it shows some details on the enhanced engine the game will use, and so on. Enjoy!

Action Trip: For starters, let's talk about everyone's favorite gaming system - the X-box. How do you see its future?

John O'Keefe: The future looks very good. Xbox promises to be enormous.

AT: Are you happy with the XDK? In view of the fact that the XDK offers a PC-based developing system, do you find it familiar and easy to use?

JK: The XDK has been very easy to work with. It's been so easy for our programmers to convert, rework, and push the engine to heights even we were skeptical about. And the power available just keeps letting us reopen doors we'd thought were locked tight. We're very excited about this platform.

AT: To divert from the subject slightly, you have a team seriously devoted to developing racing games. It's probably too early to ask, but are you planning to commit to any other game project other than 4x4 Evo 2?

JK: While the 4x4 team has traditionally done racing games in the past we are open to any type of game. We have an extremely strong outdoor engine that would ideally suit many different types of games. We've got some really fascinating things on the drawing board right now. You never know what we may come up with!

AT: As the game announcement states - "Just like the original game, 4x4 EVO 2 will feature a realistic physics engine and cutting edge graphics. Please explain a bit further about the game's so-called Nocturne engine and its possibilities.

JK: We actually use the "EVO" engine for 4x4 EVO2. I cannot divulge a lot this early but I can tell you that we are totally rewriting several major systems in the engine. We really want the game to shine on Xbox and show off it's true power.

AT: Since we're chattering about the engine, do you consider it more compelling to use the Xbox technology as opposed to PC? And what are the advantages that come with the use of that technology, and how does it apply to the game's physics engine?

JK: Xbox allows us to target a stable and consistent platform. We can optimize the game so that it uses every ounce of Xbox's power. Every gamer will have the same experience because they are all using the same hardware. Due to the infinite possible combinations of an individual's PC setup, you have to make several compromises in order to have the game run on as many systems as possible. We can roll all that "blanket" programming and design back into what really matters: game development!

AT: Can you specify for us a few components that are significant to the in-game atmosphere, such as various weather conditions and other background elements (small obstacles on the road, like gravel and fallen branches etc.)?

JK: All I can say at this point is we are totally rewriting the physics engine and making astonishing graphics improvements to give the player an amazing true outdoors experience.

AT: The PC version of 4x4 Evo was pretty impressive, both from the graphics and gameplay point of view. Regarding the PC as well as the Xbox version, what are your team's main goals when it comes to improvement of gameplay?

JK: Our biggest focus on EVO2 is in the gameplay realm. We want EVO2 to have the best single player experience. Gameplay comes in many different forms. One of those is in realistic physics. We also plan on having gameplay that is a lot more in depth than what was available in EVO1. The gameplay in EVO1 was basically in being able to upgrade your vehicles parts. The races were very linear. In EVO2 we are going to stir things up to keep them interesting. we're going to include real, hardcore offroad adventures that encourage loads of "off-the-beaten path" exploration. That's in addition to the greatly improved racing. We plan on having several different types of competitive events and different teams that the player can join. When a player joins a team he'll will get access to special parts and vehicles. Getting on a team is not as simple as you would think, though; to get on a team you have to be invited to join and then you have to pass a test. If you are successful you will become a member of that factory team.

AT: Personally, I realized that one of the most central constituents of 4x4 Evo was the optional adjustment and adding of vehicle car parts. This was also broadened the gameplay, allowing you to improve the truck's efficiency; speed, handling balance, and so forth. How does 4x4 Evo 2 look upon this feature?

JK: For Evo2 we plan on having even more parts than were available before. We also plan on adding parts that will help you out in single player missions.

AT: The first game, 4x4 Evolution, kinda lacked a more exciting and rousing single gameplay conception. As you mentioned in the announcement for 4x4 Evo 2, the game is projected to have a set of single-player missions. Could you highlight the most important innovatory elements of these missions?

JK: The missions will really immerse the player in off-road adventure. Missions will not be linear and will give players many different things to do and places to explore.

AT: What are your plans regarding multiplayer? Up to how many players will be able to compete in the Xbox version, and what features will you incorporate in the multi-player that will improve gameplay?

JK: Right now we are concentrating on single player. As we learn more about what the strategy is going to be for online play on the Xbox we will implement it. Regardless of the online situation, we'll still include all the standard split-screen options.

AT: We've found the previous game to be quite an off-ride racing thrill, especially in multi-player. Speed and realism were its main characteristics along with cutting edge graphics - all of these attributes make 4x4 Evo 2 one of the most greatly expected Xbox titles. With Microsoft's advanced technology gaming system, a team of creative and experienced game designers, it seems you're on your way. To conclude is there anything you'd like to add for our readers?

JK: For EVO2 we are putting forth a large effort to take the game to at least two new levels: better racing and incredible adventures. Every aspect of the game is being rebuilt from the ground up, and we're tweaking it for maximum fun. Fans of the first game will be very surprised when they actually get a chance to see the improvements we're working on.



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