A graphically improved UT2004 with less mods and a cool hoverboard.
What's to like:
- Fast Paced Action
- Great Controls
- Great Graphics
- Great Cinematics
- Challenging Bots
What you may not like:
- Bad Menu Navigation
- No Tournament Per Se
- Few sound glitches on map loads
- Unfulfilling Single Player Campaign
- Smaller Multiplayer Community Than TF2 / COD4
Story ( ~5 hours )
There is a single player campaign in UT3. Though, unlike its previous installments, it doesn't really use the Tournament Ladder design. This time around, you will be asked to compete in different standalone matches (CTF, Team DeathMatch, etc.) in order to deal with the Necris threat (the enemy).
So you don't really walk in a world, but instead, you just play the multiplayer maps with enemy bots. This design unfortunately keeps the single player campaign from being taken seriously.
On the plus side, the CG cinematics are really well done. The facial expressions are nice and the textures are very vibrant and detailed. Though, it is a bit disappointing that the characters seem to have been ripped off from Gears of War, the female character (your sister), simply looks amazing.
Unreal Tournament 3 stay true to its roots by providing a very fast and nervous shooting experience -- which has still no equal in the FPS genre. Most of the weapons found in previous titles are back and, in addition to the Translocator to speed up movement, the Hoverboard has been added to the mix.
The Hoverboard is like a floating skateboard that allows you to move rapidly around and replaces the Translocator in maps with Vehicles. It is very useful and you will probably hope you could just use it on every map.
Aside from the mandatory Team Deathmatch and CTF game types, most of the mods found in UT2004 are missing in UT3. The developers are relying on the community to recreate some of the most successful mods found in UT2004 like BombingRun and Onslaught.
What you need to know about the matches is that, for the most part, you won't be competing alone. Matches are usually 4 vs 4 so you will sometimes have to rush for kills before the enemy kills your teammates (bots) enough times to win. This is especially true when your teammates aren't doing their share of the work.
With the Huge Success of Team Fortress 2 and the complete package Call of Duty 4 delivers, the FPS multiplayer market is divided. We end up with very few servers to play on. For each gametype, we could find at most 2 servers with enough (20+) players to make it an addictive experience.
UT3 is a really good follow up to UT2004 in terms of graphics and gameplay. The unique feeling is there, the pace of the action is the same and the hoverboard is a really nice addition. Still, it lacks the MP game types that were available in UT2004 and its single player campaign isn't just fulfilling enough to justify the investment.
Bottom line, get it if you already have a circle of friends that intend to play it, else, you might want to stick to COD4, Team Fortress 2 or even UT2004 (for the other mods), until its popularity increases and its price lowers.