LONDON, ENGLAND, March 15, 2007 - Empire Interactive have released today some brand new in-game screenshots from their eagerly anticipated Arcade Destruction Racer FlatOut Ultimate Carnage, releasing exclusively on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, which highlight in stunning detail the level of technical and graphical expertise the developers, Bugbear Entertainment, are displaying in the next-generation debut of the FlatOut series.
The sequel to the multi-award winning FlatOut 2 which saw off a number of its higher profile rivals in various awards in 2005, FlatOut Ultimate Carnage now features 12 cars on track in each race up from the 8 vehicles in FlatOut 2, making proceedings much more competitive and far more destructive. In addition there are also five new single player game modes and two new online modes.
Upon initial viewing, the most noticeable aspect of the screenshots is the massive increase in texture resolution in every aspect of the game in comparison to the previous iterations of the series on Xbox. FlatOut Ultimate Carnage uses normal mapping on all surfaces seen in-game as evidenced by the cracks in the dirt tracks, by the pock marks and texture in the tarmac streets, and the overall 3D appearance across all the circuits. This aspect of FlatOut Ultimate Carnage stands out next to other driving games in which the surfaces the cars are driving on appear much flatter with little or no textures.
The following screenshots highlight some of the brand new graphical and technical features which appear in FlatOut Ultimate Carnage.
FLATOUT 2 (fields1B_1.jpg)
FLATOUT ULTIMATE CARNAGE (fields1B_2.jpg)
Both of these screenshots highlight the phenomenal increase in the level of water rendering between FlatOut 2 on Xbox and FlatOut Ultimate Carnage on Xbox 360. The water areas in FlatOut Ultimate Carnage feature real-time, full-scene reflections including buildings, surrounding landscape, grass, trees, cars, dynamic objects with animated water ripple effects which consists of flat planes of triangles combined with complex mathematical algorithms on top to generate a realistic, surface ripple effect. These techniques along with diffracted sunlight give the surface water a 'wet' look.
FLATOUT 2 (desert1A_1.jpg)
FLATOUT ULTIMATE CARNAGE (desert1A_2.jpg)
HDR lighting is a processor-intensive means of simulating the vast range of luminescence perceptible to the human eye. Usually, this range is hopelessly reduced on conventional and flat screens, as illustrated from the FlatOut 2 screenshot at the top of the page, but HDR lighting allows a greater contrast in extreme conditions, letting the player pick out scenic details in very bright environments, such as searing sunshine as exemplified in the FlatOut Ultimate Carnage screenshot above, and very dark ones.
The above screenshot illustrates perfectly the level of shadow-mapping in the game, with shadows cast from the surrounding scenery falling dynamically across the surface of the car, track and ground level foliage. All vehicles and objects in the game are highly detailed and dynamic, with real-time shadows that accurately cast on their surroundings.
The improved level of Car Shaders in FlatOut Ultimate Carnage for 3D objects such as metal, glass, rubber and chrome is highlighted in the above screenshot. The unified pixel and vertex shader architecture gives the cars more realistic reflections, better lighting and shadows, richer and more varied colours. There are now four times as many polygons per car from the original FlatOut, 20,000 up from 5,000, which is the same number used in most rendered images. This is in-game! Headlights and wheel arches should now appear perfectly curved and not jaggy.
The addition of Parallax mapping in FlatOut Ultimate Carnage is illustrated perfectly in the above screenshot, showing the highly detailed skid marks on dirt tracks. This 2D effect simulates the 3D bumps and indentations of uneven surfaces. In FlatOut Ultimate Carnage these deep grooves remain throughout the entire race and are made by all the racing vehicles skidding and sliding through the dirt, mud and gravel.
FlatOut Ultimate Carnage is released exclusively on Xbox 360 at the end of June 2007.
- ENDS -
Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox Live are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
For further game information, materials or interviews, please contact;
Tel; +44 7867 514554
About Empire Interactive:
Empire Interactive is a leading publisher of interactive entertainment software that has been established for 18 years. Headquartered in the UK, Empire Interactive also has offices in the US, Germany, France and Spain. The company develops and publishes a varied range of titles for all current platforms in the US, Europe and Asia. Games such as Starsky & Hutch, Big Mutha Truckers, Ford Racing and FlatOut have all enjoyed success across the world. Its budget label, Xplosiv, is one of the fastest growing in Europe. Further information about Empire Interactive and its products can be found at www.empireinteractive.com
About Silverstar Holdings:
Silverstar Holdings Ltd. is a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: SSTR), focusing on acquiring controlling positions in high-growth retail-driven and fee-based electronic game businesses that stand to benefit from the economies of scale generated by the Internet and other technology-related platforms. It currently owns Empire Interactive PLC and Strategy First Inc. as well as a stake in Magnolia Broadband.
Strategy First Inc. is a leading developer and worldwide publisher of entertainment software for the PC. Magnolia Broadband is a fabless semiconductor company and innovator of radio frequency (RF) solutions for the cellular industry.
The statements which are not historical facts contained in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to risks associated with the uncertainty of future financial results, additional financing requirements, development of new products, regulatory approval processes, the impact of competitive products or pricing, technological changes, the effect of economic conditions and other uncertainties detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
About Empire Interactive
Empire is a leading UK quoted computer games developer and publisher, specialising in innovative video games with mass-market appeal. The Group is one of the most established in the industry now in its 19th year of business. Its portfolio of titles includes Starsky & Hutch, FlatOut, Big Mutha Truckers, Space Invaders 25th Anniversary and Starship Troopers. The Group's value division, Xplosiv, continues to increase its market share across Europe and has experienced success with its first PS2 titles.
Headquartered in the UK, Empire has offices in the US, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Further information about Empire and its products can be found at: http://www.empireinteractive.com
About Bugbear Entertainment Ltd.
Bugbear Entertainment Ltd. is an award-winning Finnish game developer focusing on immersive and advanced driving games. The company's international breakthrough was the critically acclaimed title 'Rally Trophy' in 2001. Bugbear released 'Tough Trucks' in 2003. The innovative and much-awaited 'FlatOut' on Playstation 2 ®, Xbox ® and PC CD was published in November 2004 with great success. An N-Gage exclusive story-driven arcade racer 'Glimmerati' was published in July 2005 to outstanding reviews. The company is currently working on FlatOut 2 and other unannounced console and PC projects. For more information please visit www.bugbeargames.com
About Xbox 360
Microsoft revolutionized the gaming industry with the November 2001 launch of Xbox ( http://www.xbox.com), its first-generation video game and entertainment system, now sold in 26 countries. Microsoft introduced its next-generation system, Xbox 360, in the 2005 holiday season in Europe, Japan and North America, and launched the system in Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan in 2006. Xbox 360 ( http://www.xbox.com) is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming service, and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers.