Unreal Tournament 3 review by Honorabili
One Sentence Review:
“One of the greatest, fastest FPS games out there”
9 out of 10
Overview & my history with this game:
Unreal Tournament 3 (UT3) is based on the 3rd generation Unreal engine, hence the title. The gameplay of all the Unreal Tournament games are based upon speed, skill, and pure reaction. I could see people getting fatigued from playing this game, maybe explaining why it’s not as popular as some current first person shooter games.
There are many different game modes, which keep the game fun and entertaining. The game modes include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture The Flag (CTF), Vehicle Capture The Flag, Warfare, Greed, and Betrayal. Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch are all about killing enemies, whether as a free-for-all or as a cohesive team. The Capture The Flag modes are about doing whatever you can to enter the enemy base, steal their flag, while making sure they don’t take your flag. You can only score if your flag is planted in your base. Warfare is about assaulting the enemy base and trying to destroy their generator/strategic objective. Greed is about collecting enemy’s skulls for points. Betrayal is a mix of Team Deathmatch and screwing your team mates over (and THEN trying to survive).
The story of the game is pretty generic and what does it really matter since this is designed to be a carnage-fest anyways. Story goes something along the lines that these megacorps that run everything decided to hold contests to determine disputes (like the original Rollerball movie) and also to have it as a show (generate revenue from the show, advertising, bets, whatever). The single player has its own story where your group of mercenaries get hired/screwed by the corps/military to deal with some alien problems. Anyways, let’s get back to the meat of the game, not the b-movie storyline. 😀
You can play the single player campaign, which is like the training tutorial for the real game: competing online against other players. The game uses Gamespy to connect with other players, which to me is not the best system for connectivity, but one has to live with it. A really annoying thing I found with the UT3 Gamespy component is that if you forget your password, you’re pretty much screwed. When you reset your password at the Gamespy website, it only resets your password for entering that website, which has nothing to do with the password you setup for your UT3 account. So my warning is that you write that password down somewhere and never ever lose it, or you will have to buy another copy of the game, like I did.
Continued from Unreal Tournament 2004, UT3 has vehicles, except the ones in UT3 are much sicker than the ones in UT2004. There are some alien vehicles that are a lot like vehicles and robots from movies like War of the Worlds but with much deadlier death rays.
What’s different in UT3 from the previous games is that the speed has gone up and they added a hover board like the ones in Back to the Future 2. You use the hover boards to move faster while you are trying to get to a combat zone but they do make you much more vulnerable to damage.
UT3 is available on PC, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360. The PC version is by far the fastest and you can’t play cross-platform against each other. They are allegedly releasing UT3 also on Mac OS X and Linux but that has yet to happen.
As far as I go, UT3 is one of a handful of FPS games that I regularly play. The Unreal Tournament games since UT99 have always helped me sell a lot of computers. For many years I used them to showcase the systems I built especially since they are designed to run on most gaming hardware and they scale insanely well along with superior components.
Check out this video so you see how hectic the action in this game is:
Fun Factor & Replayability:
Games that inspire and cause epilepsy are a lot of fun to me. So are games that will make you think that you will die at any second but give you enough of a time window to react and counter an enemy if you’re good enough.
I’ve been playing UT since 1999 and I still fire it up often when I need my speed FPS fix. I can’t say that about every FPS game and overall UT is my favorite as far as replayability goes.
Ever since the first game people have been modding the living hell out of these games and creating their own maps. Having a lot of maps is important for an FPS game. They keep the game fresh. It’s almost as important as having new tracks made for a racing game (one of the things that makes a game like Trackmania a classic).
I just have played so much of this game that I give Fun Factor and Replayability both a score of 8 out of 10.
Difficulty & Difficulty Versatility:
UT3 is one of the hardest games out there. It is probably too hard for most players, even for FPS junkies. Most gamers these days are used to easy games so they will probably play this game a little bit and then claim “Oh it sucks” when it’s their lack of skill that sucks.
The game offers a wide variety of difficulties for the bots and single player mode but the real challenge comes in trying to dominate human opponents. It takes a lot of training and losses to become good enough these days to rank high against a group of players.
Because of the variety of difficulties, I give Difficulty Versatility a score of 10 out of 10 because you can customize it really accurately. Difficulty itself is challenging as all hell and that’s a great thing, in the settings I play it at. The A.I. for the bots if tuned correctly will play like a really good player. That’s impressive. Difficulty I also give a score of 10 out of 10. If playing online is too hard, I would say keep it up as much as you can, if not train in single player until you gain enough skill.
The best price at the time of this writing I found is on Impulse which sells the game for $11.99.
To me that’s a really good price for an FPS game that’s a classic that will give you at least 100-1000 hours of gameplay. Value gets a score of 10 out of 10.
The sounds are a very important part of this game. The weapons all have their own unique sound and they are important because they can help you identify what the enemy around the corner might be carrying so you can switch to a weapon (if you’re quick enough) to counter their attack.
The characters in the game have a lot of taunts and insults which help add to the aggressive nature of this game. “Die bitch!” is a very common thing to hear.
I also love the announcer shouting stuff based on how often you kill things: “multi-kill!”, “monster-kill!”, “dominating!”, “head-shot!” It reminds me always of the announcer from Mortal Kombat.
Let’s just say that this is a game which is very loud and is meant to be played at very high volumes. Sound gets a score of 9 out of 10.
The Unreal Tournament games have some of the unique music in FPS games I’ve heard. They remind me a lot of the music from amiga games, especially UT99 that had music by Skaven. The music in UT3 was composed by Rom Di Prisco & Jesper Kyd Skylab. Some of the songs are remixes of the music from the previous games, which is all great. Some songs will get your adrenaline pumping right away, and others will be more chilled but can still create enough beats to make you want to keep running and shooting.
Here is an example of what I’m talking about:
The music for all the UT games are among some of my favorite songs for video games in general. I listen to them often, even while working. Music gets a score of 10 out of 10.
UT3 is extremely stable. I have yet to have this game crash on me since I bought it the first day it came out. You can alt-tab to your heart’s content as much as you want and the game will respond well to it. Stability/Reliability get a score of 10 out of 10.
The controls are pretty much the same as all the previous versions except that they added the key for you to pop out your hover board. To me, these controls are standard and not complicated at all. You can customize the reaction of doing double-taps, mouse sensitivity, etc. which is vital. Controls get a score of 10 out of 10.
Graphics & Performance:
Like all Unreal games, the game engine is simply amazing offering both jaw-dropping graphics and flawless performance. UT3 continues with the reputation and legacy of the previous games in that when it comes out it becomes the standard for graphics in gaming. Since the game engine is fast as hell, as well as beautiful, it sets the new standard for what we expect games to look like.
Although I heard that the UT engines are getting more expensive over time, a lot of game developers buy the rights to use the engine for their latest game. I wish Epic Games would still let people use their earlier engines, especially UT99 for a lower cost as this would allow much smaller game studios to still put out great games that might not be able to because of licensing costs.
I vow down to all Unreal Tournament games in terms of graphics and performance, especially. Graphics and Performance get a score of 10 out of 10.
If you like the speed of the previous Unreal games but want something faster, along the lines of the Descent games and the original Aliens vs Predator, UT3 is for you.