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March 13, 2009 | by  | in News |
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Unreal Tournament 3

Iam going to be completely honest. While I can fake sophistication in real life, I cannot do it while playing computer games. You will never see me discussing Company of Heroes tactics with shinigami or receiving Cooking Mama tutorials from Ryback. I like my games gruesome, brutal and lacking in a cumbersome storyline. First person shooters, along with cheesy 80s pop bands, are my bread and butter.

The one game series which has always been the most gruesome and always lacking any semblance of a storyline has been Unreal Tournament. Hundreds of hours were logged on the original game by HansMoleman2.718 playing Facing Worlds with one goal in mind: MONSTER KILL. There was something so satisfying about headshotting 20 bots in a row. The forgettable UT2003 was followed by the awe-inspiring UT2004, which introduced the orgasm-inducing Onslaught mode. It is the MOST underrated/underplayed multiplayer experience ever. Get that mofo installed bitches.

It was thus with great anticipation that this reviewer finally managed to pick up Unreal Tournament 3 to give it a spin.

Two hours in. Facts attained about UT3: No Facing Worlds, No Onslaught, a Chinese opium den music on one of the maps (I am not shitting you) and the worst fucking storyline to ever grace my computer screen. The whole charm of Unreal Tournament is that there is next to no story line, apart from some bullshit about the Liandra Corporation and a futuristic space world. Within five minutes of playing UT3 I am confronted by a crap attempt to be Gears of War, without any of the cool characters and the Marcus Fenix equivalent being possibly the worst voice actor in history. His colony has been taken over by aliens and now he has to participate in Capture the Flag (except they aren’t flags, they are FLaGs) in order to kiss some ass and become a respected commander. Tell somebody who gives a fuck. I would advise you to avoid the campaign mode like you’d avoid Shooters/Coyotes on a Saturday night.

In many ways, this is a superior game to Unreal Tournament 2004. The graphics are a step up and the gameplay still manages to retain that hectic feel that made the previous titles so great. There are more vehicles to choose from, plenty of new beautifully rendered maps filled with typically UT gothic architecture, and the range of weapons are balanced to near perfection.

However, in many more ways this is a step backward for the series. While one was spoilt for choice in games mode in UT2004, UT3 offers only Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, CTF, Vehicle CTF and Warfare. Gone are Domination, Assault, Bombing Run and Onslaught. With Onslaught and Assault being the stalwarts of the previous title, UT3 seriously suffers without them. The UT3 answer to both of these modes is Warfare, which is kind of like the incestuous son of the two. He means well but you can’t help wondering why he has certain attributes and not others. The power cores are still there to take over but some are no longer necessary to reach the final enemy power core. There are now also auxiliary cores which can be used for strategic advantage. Sounds good in theory, but when you actually play the mode you can’t help but wonder: Why the fuck did they change something that was near perfect?

You can’t have Unreal Tournament without Facing Worlds. For some reason Epic decided to be all edgy and remove this staple while adding vehicles to CTF. Sounds good in theory, but this also doesn’t really work. There are new hovercrafts, which allow quick transport around Warfare/Vehicle CTF maps. This is sadly perhaps the only great new feature on this version of Unreal Tournament.

After being thoroughly unimpressed by the new modes and abysmal campaign mode, I decided to go back to the roots of the franchise: Deathmatch. They got this one right. As mentioned previously, the weapons are top notch and seem to have been equalised somewhat in order to create a more even playing field. If you just want to fuck shit up, this is certainly the best mode to do it on.

Sadly, Unreal Tournament 3 changes the formula a bit too much to be a great game like its predecessor. Without the classic CTF maps and the bewildering omission of Assault and Onslaught, the overall gaming experience seems a tad shallow. While the game is still aesthetically pleasing, it lacks the same charm as the previous outings of this well-loved series.

Final word: Install Unreal Tournament 2004 and have a couple of beers. 7/10

Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: Epic Games

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  1. Guido says:

    Get patch 2.0 installed and get the titan pack upgrade. You’ll get two new innovative game modes (Betrayal and Greed), Facing Worlds, and 15 other maps. And the titan mod is really fun – titans are incredibly powerful, but can’t capture flags or do basically anything beyond killing stuff. But, they’re really good at killing stuff :)

  2. Johnny Vegas says:

    UT99 still remains the best in the series by a long way. Many a fun match I had with instagib mode there.

    2K4 was a fun enough game, but its still logged a fraction of the hours I spent on UT99. Onslaught was definitely the best mode, but it really felt all about the vehicles in terms of what attracted people to it.

    My old computer seems to barely run Team Fortress 2 (goooood times, now that’s a fun multi FPS.) so I’m not qualified to speak on UT3, but from what I saw on a friends rig, I wasn’t overly impressed.

    Final Word: Have a UT99 Lan Party, preferably with instagib somewhere thrown in the mix.

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