As a result of the tighter focus of the game, many changes from UT occurred. Gone was Assault, as it did not fit into the sports nature of UT'03. In its place, a new game was introduced: Bombing Run. It is much like playing American Football or Rugby combined with weapons, and it is poised to be an exciting, easy-to-get-into gametype. The ball starts in the middle. Two teams spawn around it and fight to gain control of the ball. A round goal sits at each end of the map and the object is to get the ball into the other team's goal. Running the ball through the goal will earn seven points, while throwing it through will net five. The action can get pretty intense as you can leap into the air, turn, and throw the ball to your team mate who makes a diving catch just before your torso gets blown off your legs from an opposing team's Rocket! When the goal is scored, the ball returns to the middle after a few seconds for everyone to recover. This prevents the other team from hanging around the middle (in anticipation of the returning ball) when they know they've been scored on. If the ball goes out of the arena, the ball goes back to the middle.

All of the returning gametypes have received some alterations. Domination, one of the more underappreciated and underplayed (IMHO) gametypes from UT, has changed its rules and its name (to Domination 2). The main complaint about UT's Domination was that it was too chaotic. Players translocating here and there, trying to touch a Rune to gain a point, as the score see-sawed back and forth. Granted, that was what some people loved about it, and clan matches were much more organized and were more similar to Team Deathmatch, but clearly rules needed tweaking. Now instead of three control points there are two, and in order to score a single point your team must control both runes for a full ten seconds. This gets pretty intense because when both points are held by one team an announcer begins counting backwards from ten and everyone on the team about to be scored upon begins a mad scramble to regain control of one. When the point is scored the runes disappear for several seconds to allow everyone to regroup and rearm. Also new to Domination 2, the translocator is off by default. This helps prevent people from translocating in from afar to reset the countdown, and it helps promote teamwork.

Capture the Flag was by far and away the most popular gametype from Unreal Tournament. There were a few issues that needed to be addressed, however; most notably, the translocator. Players mastered the translocator and changed the game in ways that Epic or Digital Extremes would never have believed possible. Again, to take away the chances of a single player or single weapon dominating the game and to help promote the necessity of teamwork, changes were made. The translocator now has an energy level that is slightly diminished every time it is used. When it is depleted it will not fire. When it is not being fired it quickly begins to regenerate. It does not prevent you from double translocating to a higher place (such as the middle ridge in LavaGiant 2), but it does force you to pick your translocations more carefully. More than once, I found myself misfiring because I began to teletrain without thinking about it. It does prevent the device from being used limitlessly, and again... it helps to promote teamwork. Teamwork... are you seeing a trend here? I asked about the scoring system and how it might have been changed as it was not implemented in the build I was playing. Pancho's response was that the scoring system was definitely being reworked to reflect teamwork and reward players who defended their flag. Not much more could be added though because it is still under discussion.

Despite the emphasis on teamplay, what would a first-person-shooter be without a Deathmatch? The rules are the same as before: a frag equals a point. But where Deathmatch (and other gametypes for that matter) will change dramatically is with the new moves that are possible. Most notably the Double Jump. This is a jump that can be performed by pressing the jump button, then pressing it again at the apex of the leap, in effect making you jump twice as high. This can be performed in combination with a dodge, shieldgun jump, or a lift jump. While playing a Deathmatch game with Checker on his own wonderful DM-Vidona (a tight industrial map with narrow catwalks above the action), he showed me a number of places where normally a player would be at a dead-end or limited in their choice of direction. Suddenly I realized what a huge change this will make in the overall gameplay experience. It should change DM as much as the translocator changed CTF.

Other gameplay changes of note include the Berserk and Speed enhancements. Both are gained by filling a charge bar at the bottom of your HUD. The bar fills a little with each kill or every time you pick up a Vitality Vial. When the bar is full, tapping three times reverse will result in going Berserk. That means that for several seconds your rate of fire is slightly slowed, but the damage is doubled! Tapping three times forward will give you significant added speed for several seconds. Both of these special abilities are balanced so that they will only be achieved a couple of times per map at most.

The biggest surprise to me was a feature that had just been added that very day: Co-op Multiplay. It was not functional, so I did not get to test it out, but Pancho explained that it consisted of the singleplayer game playable by 4 or 5 people via a modem connection. He said that it was a feature that people had been asking for and that it was very easy for them to implement. My best guess about how it would work would be a team of human players face off against bot teams in a ladder of challenges, possibly with the team-building and growing of skills that has been mentioned in other previews. But that remains to be seen.