Unreal Tournament 3 sticks to its roots, providing visceral fast-paced gameplay and does it well.
WizzyKid wrote this review on .
- Strong, competitive online community.
- Robust mutators and rules allow for very customizable matches.
- Warfare offers solid vehicular mayhem, with some strategic depth.
- Detailed graphics which scale well on mid-range machines.
The bad stuff
- Few changes to the game from past iterations.
- A clumsy, cluttered and featureless browser makes it awkward to set up and join matches.
Unreal Tournament 3 once again brings fast-paced, action-packed gameplay in well crafted and highly detailed maps. You've likely played it before, but Unreal Tournament 3 makes it feel fresh again. Fast-paced arena deathmatch shooters aren't as popular as they used to be. But Unreal Tournament 3 manages to thrive with a variety of maps, gameplay modes and a competitive community.
In Unreal Tournament 3, you aim to be the winner by racking up kills. There is a wide range of weapons at your disposal, each of which have two firing modes. Each weapon also feels completely different from one another. You could be holding the link gun which shoots out projectiles of plasma, or can shoot out a continuos stream which is useful for close-range. Alternatively, you can use the flak cannon which shoots out metal shrapnel in rounds, which spread out and can bounce of walls. Of course, there is also the sniper rifle for anyone who wants to hang back.
If you're not up for deathmatch, then you can partake in capture the flag, vehicle capture the flag or warfare. Capture the flag and it's vehicle counterpart are self explanatory. Capture the flag grants you the translocator, which allows you to teleport around the map. Vehicle capture the flag has much bigger maps, and allows you to control vehicles but not carry the flag in them. Instead, you use the hoverboard to go around which also allows you to grapple onto friendly vehicles. If you get hit by a weapon tough, you will fall off and be stunned for three seconds.
The main attraction to the game tough is warfare. Warfare has you split up into two teams, in which you battle across large maps and battling over 'nodes'. Nodes need to be linked together by your team, to capture the next nearest node. Eventually, you will link to the oposing teams core which will make your team victorious when destroyed. This can be done by capturing and holding the nodes, or by using the orb which spawns at your base to instantly capture nodes. There are also countdown nodes, which don't need to be linked to. These usually spawn extra vehicles, or cause damage to the oposing team's core.
There is a wide variety of vehicles, split up into 'Axon' and 'Necris'. Axon has your more conventional vehicles. There's a fast moving but weakly armored hovering vehicle called the 'Manta' which is great for scouting and dealing with infantry. There is also the 'Goliath' which is a very powerful tank, the 'Scorpion' who's projectiles lock onto very light vehicles and can self-destruct causing devastating damage and there is also the 'Raptor' which is a flying vehicle loaded with missiles. The necris vehicles are all very interesting, and are rather unique. The 'Darkwalker' is a huge walking tripod of death with twin lasers (a bit like from 'War of the Worlds'). There is also the 'Scavenger' which can scale walls and roll up into a ball and the 'Nightshade' which is stealthed and can deploy EMP mines, slow volumes and shields.
Unreal Tournament 3 looks great. It isn't a masterpiece, but levels and environments are highly detailed, even far beyond the playing area. What's even more impressive is that the game runs very smoothly, even on mid-range PC's with little graphical sacrifice. Vehicles blow up nicely too. They disintegrate and show damage when loosing health, and does the opposite when being repaired. At times, it's hard to not be distracted by the gorgeous environments.
If you want to play a match with bots, there are tons of customisable options. You can change the time limit, the amount of players, the score to win and you can select from a range of 'Mutators' which can drasticly alter the gameplay. You can set low gravity, the weapons involved, quadruple jumps, no power-ups and even enable the 'Instagib rifle' where one shot kills.
If you're looking for a fast-paced, adrenaline soaked shooter with a variety of customizable options and a strong competitive community, then Unreal Tournament is for you. It doesn't make many changes to the formula from it's predecessors, but it still feels fresh and provides a welcome change of pace.