Red Eclipse 2 brings massive changes to all facets of the game, and the numerous improvements and changes are too numerous to list individually. The broad brush changes to the game are instead enumerated below:
The modern, deferred pipeline Tesseract engine replaces the elderly Cube 2 engine used in all prior versions of Red Eclipse. Tesseract brings myriad improvements to the visuals, including the following:
- Realtime dynamic lighting and shadow
- Ambient occlusion and global illumination
- Vastly improved mapmodel lighting
- HDR, bloom, and tonemapping.
- Dynamic, procedural vertex colour animation
- Volumetric lighting
- Water screenspace reflection
- Glass and water refraction
Significant work has been exhausted in making the Tesseract engine accessible to lower end computers. This is done by changing the lighting and model population on lower map effects levels, allowing high end rigs to use all of the engine's eye candy while still being playable on Intel integrated chips (HD 4600 and newer).
New UI system
The new new new extended UI system (nnnxui) brings significant improvements to the menu system as well as increased modularity to the heads-up display. With this system, it is easy to design customizable HUDs to suit particular players. The menu system also benefits from a significant performance increase from the rewrite.
Unlike prior versions of the game with huge quantities of maps, Red Eclipse 2 focuses on providing the best possible levels to play on, at the expense of map volume. There are seven main deathmatch maps included with Red Eclipse 2 and one race map; this is multiple times fewer maps than RE 1.x has shipped.
There is also a focus on making the core gameplay more accessible to new players, with a tutorial level and interactive setup menu to get players to understand the interfaces of the game better. In addition to this, the user interface has been simplified to get players to quickly be able to play standard modes without having to know too much about the sausage making behind the scenes.
The weapons in Red Eclipse 2 have also been significantly revamped compared to 1.6. While the same number of weapons remain with similar names, the weapons have all been retuned to better suit the changes in physics and the addition of pickups. The inclusion of pickups allows for more potent weapons that can be put at a disadvantage by their ammo dependence.
Red Eclipse 2 launches from Steam, a platform few open source games manage to launch on (and no prior Red Eclipse game, for that matter). In doing so, Red Eclipse 2 is easier to install than ever and reaches a broader base than the Linux-heavy community that Red Eclipse 1.x drew upon. With Red Eclipse's permissive licensing scheme, the GPL conflicts with proprietary integration do not exist and it is possible to provide a well integrated game with the Steam ecosystem.