The planet of Taryd is not a happy one. The government of Earth is distant, and the planet’s precious resources are controlled by three giant, evil corporations in a constant war of attrition. You’ve got the Axon (rugged, traditional sci-fi stalwarts), the Liandri (cyberpunky creators of the “Unreal Tournament ” competition itself) and the Izanagi (oriental, pagoda-loving artistes). It’s for the latter that your muscle has been hired.
Rather than the simple tournament structure of yore, the single-player missions, whether they boil down to deathmatches or Warfare matches now link together to form a branching narrative. The plot will see you doing stuff like stealing technology from another corporation, laying claim to an area important for the refining of Tarydium or simply pushing forward with a military campaign.
What missions you embark on and whether or not you defect to a rival corporation will remain up to you - Epic is designing the game so you’ll be able to see the ramifications of your decisions in the world at large. This whole shebang is controlled from what’s currently a global view - a beautiful Earth-like planet with clusters of white spots marking specific map/mission areas. It’s from here, or a screen very like it (Epic’s still fine-tuning) that most of your decisions will be made as you play through the game. The 35-40 dots spiral up and over the globe alongside the story arc, eventually leaving terra firma for a few orbital frag-fests, then to another planet entirely for the final set of face-offs.
The Necris faction, you see, with their devastating Darkwalker tripods and flying Furies aren’t just sitting around the multiplayer maps looking menacing. Partway through the single-player campaign they invade the planet of the bickering corporations and start transforming it to their own needs, hungry for Tarydium.