The Titan feels overpowered, so I ask Polge about the balancing issues in creating a super-monster like the Titan. "At first, it does seem a little overpowered, because people don't know how to fight a Titan. But once you develop tactics against them, you realise they're still powerful, but it's not hopeless." Both sides can spawn Titans, so it might come down to a rocket match between the big guys. Just remember that when you kill a Titan, he explodes is a fairly nuclear fashion. Run away.
Then, it's time for lunch - and in a thrilling moment, Cliffy B walks past us, and into the lift, proclaiming that he's off to work on something that "won't be public for two years". I think about calling him a prick-tease, but decide that'd be too much like flirting. So I run around in tiny circles instead, with my fingers pressed to my cheeks.
The other new game type is Betrayal. In this mode - played only with Instagib rifles - you're randomly dropped into a group of three. Every kill you make adds a point to your personal score (more, if the person is beating you), and a single point to your group's pot. When that pot's tempting enough, you can alt-fire on a team member (who glow conspicuously blue) to betray them, and claim the pot. This will make you a teamless rogue member for 30 seconds, during which time your former team-mate will get a heavy bonus for killing you back. The back and forth - especially on the claustrophobic and wintry map, Koos Barge - resembles the cut-scene after level two of Pac-Man. A little. Perhaps not enough to warrant saying it.
Again, though: tactics were out of the window for the eight journalists in the Epic offices. Betrayals were made to claim an empty pot, with betrayal seeming fun enough to commit without cause or benefit. But a number of design decisions made the possibilities clear: the hunger for payback is strong when someone pips you to betrayal. And the decision to give the betrayal gun a different colour is a rudimentary stroke of genius. Normal shots are red beams, so if a blue beam sizzles over your shoulder, all loyalties should be considered dead. It takes a lot of discipline and misplaced trust to let that pot get to ten.
Other new features include turrets - the Stinger Turret is a new base-defence turret, and the Eradicator is a twist on the fixed artillery of the Hellfire. More interesting is the X-Ray Field - a crackling black and white area-of-effect deployable. If you enter it, you'll appear to everyone as a skeleton, which lets them know you're dramatically more prone to damage. Dropped in a choke point, they can make an ambush much more effective. The Slow Field deployable gets an upgrade too, with a power-up version of the bullet-time device that follows you around for a while.
We get to play every map, and although a single play on each isn't enough to get a comprehensive feel, here are some highlights:
The Morbid CTF map - a tiny map restricted to rocket launchers, with doors that can only be opened by a Titan standing nearby. When one character morphed again, into the Behemoth, taking up about 5 per cent of the overall volume of the map, it just became a comical farce. Polge admits that it's a novelty map, and it might not bear much repetition, but using the Titan to get through doors is something that could be taken up in other maps.
The least obvious tweaks have been to the game's AI - with enemies now more willing to make use of the self-destruct capabilities of some vehicles, and generally improved to deal with the tactics they've seen people use. Ours were mainly real people though, so it's difficult to comment on that from direct experience.
The Titan Pack is more than substantial. It's a generous package for both PC and PS3, that instantly makes the original game more desirable. Moreover, in terms of bringing mods to the masses, it's a gigantic leap forwards for the Sony machine. Compared to PC modding, what you lose in freedom, choice and anarchic democracy, you recoup with quality control and simplicity. And you can still reach around their new front-end, unclasp the bra, and install whatever (non-blacklisted) mods you like with that good old-fashioned Flash drive.
With the Make Something Unreal modding competition just reaching the end of its second phase, it's a big package that's only going to get bigger. And for a price-tag of diddly quid and squat cents, any attempt to calculate value for money will cause your calculator to fly out of the window.
The Unreal Tournament 3 Titan Pack is due out on 5th March for PS3 and PC. It's free!