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|You can almost see the secret smile cross the face of 4x4 owners as they reach the end of the asphalt. They know they can take their trucks or Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) where no other cars can go. They can plow up mountainsides, splash through gullies, and climb to the top of mesas. And while they know they can go practically anywhere, they also know that going off-road is the fastest way to rack up countless car repair bills. So they do the sensible thing and remain on the road. Well, it’s time to say goodbye to doing the sensible thing. With 4x4 Evolution 2 ™ all those dirt-covered racing desires can finally be fulfilled without scratching the bumper one little bit.
The original 4x4 Evolution was all about the battle between machine and mud, and the sequel takes this conflict to the next level. All the mud caked messiness that populates off-road racing has found its way into 4X4 EVO 2. The game puts you behind the wheel of real-world trucks and SUVs and lets you barrel over jaw-dropping environments such as the high desert, junkyards, military airbases, and an airplane graveyard. And you don’t have to worry about staying on the course. Each environment sports enough humps, trees, massive rocks, and car-swallowing mud bogs to keep you guessing where the finish line is.
4X4 EVO 2 improves upon the real-world dynamics and cutting edge graphics from the original game and adds a variety of new twists and turns such as an adaptive artificial intelligence system and a completely reworked physics model. Developer Terminal Reality leveraged the power of the next generation of new graphics hardware to add real time lighting and fog effects, real time terrain reflections, as well as mud textures that and bump mapped streams. 4X4 EVO 2 features lush, photo-realistic environments, high-resolution textures, and a fleet of masterfully detailed, high polygon SUVs and trucks.
Every popular truck and SUV you can think of is in this game, from the Dodge Durango to the Jeep Wrangler. The game’s hyper-accurate physics model takes into account each vehicle’s weight, equipment, and handling. So if you’ve ever wondered what your shiny new 4x4 could really do off-road, it’s time to fire up 4X4 EVO 2 and find out.
We talked to the development team at Terminal Reality to get the skinny on the next evolution in off-road racing.
What’s new in 4X4 EVO 2?
We have new cars from new manufactures and we’ve introduced a huge variety of licensed third party manufactured parts to the career section of the game such as the Safari snorkel, the ARB bumper, and the Warren winch. The winch has turned out to be a very popular addition to the game, allowing players to get over those tough hills and difficult obstacles.
How many different environments are there in the game? How large is the average off-road map?
What were you able to do with 4X4 EVO 2’s game engine to take advantage of the latest technologies offered by GPU’s such as the GeForce3?
What effects were easier to implement using pixel and vertex shaders as opposed to standard techniques?
The raw power of the GeForce3 allows you to push a lot of polygons without your computer coming to a screeching halt. What is the highest amount of polygons an end-user could see in a given scene?
4X4 EVO 2 can push about 200,000 polygons in a scene with all effects turned on.
With all the high quality models and detailed textures 4X4 EVO 2 is stunning. What are you doing to efficiently handle the incredible loads needed to feed these high polygon models and huge textures?
We do several different things to handle the heavy graphics loads in 4X4 EVO 2. First, we judiciously use one of our own custom texture compression algorithms to load one-third the amount of data on average. Once a level is loaded, all the textures are created in video memory and kept there so all the bandwidth goes to rendering. Finally the model geometry is batched and then cached to video memory after the textures get loaded.
Because you are offloading the Transform & Lighting, Vertex Shaders, and Pixel Shaders to the GPU, what have you done with the extra CPU cycles regarding the game’s physics and AI?
How realistic is the game’s physics model?
Tell us about 4X4 EVO 2’s adventure mode?
4x4 Evolution was lauded for its innovative multiplayer, why did you choose to focus so much attention on the single player experience in the sequel?
4x4 EVO 2 Copyright 2001 Take-Two Interactive, Inc.