E3 '07: Unreal Tournament 3 Hands-On

It's big, it's bad, and it's coming to the PlayStation 3 this November.

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As part of Sony's annual press conference here at E3 2007, the company revealed that Epic's Unreal Tournament 3 would be coming exclusively to the PlayStation 3 this November. While that sounds like a real bummer for PC owners, you need to remember that, for whatever reason, the console makers seem to forget that the PC exists. So the game will be releasing on the PlayStation 3 and the PC this November. Regardless of all that, Midway brought the PlayStation 3 version to Sony's press conference, and we got a chance to play this long-awaited first-person shooter on its new console home.

This first-person shooter appears to be running quite well on the PlayStation 3, with plenty of graphical detail from top to bottom, all running at a good, firm frame rate. The demo station we saw was running a standard deathmatch against bots, allowing us to get a good feel for the controls. R1 and L1 handle your primary and alternate fire. R2 is used for dodging, something that required you to double-tap the movement keys on the PC. Epic's Jeff Morris, who was on hand to talk about the game, commented that he's been dodging much more frequently on the PS3 because of this easy-to-use controller mapping.

Click to enlarge!
Click to enlarge!

Aside from the PS3 version looking to be on par with the PC version, the other key thing to know is that the PS3 version of the game will have support for mods and other user-created content, in a way that sounds like it will be a first for consoles. Mods built for the PC version will work on the PS3 version of the game. Right now, Epic is testing this functionality by copying the content onto a memory stick and then copying that to the PS3 hard drive. But they're hoping to get the PC removed from that equation to make mod and map downloading a part of the PS3 version. To speed up the loading process overall, the game can be completely installed to the PS3 hard drive, but you'll still need to have the disc in the drive for copy-protection purposes.

To hear Epic describe it, there are only a few differences between the PS3 and PC versions. And aside from the controller differences, the two versions do look quite similar. For one, the game will implement Sixaxis tilt control for steering the hoverboard or piloting the redeemer missile, which is a superweapon that you can steer into targets. Game speed and the size of collision areas are also being adjusted a bit to better tune the game for gamepads.

Overall, the PlayStation 3 version looks impressive, and the idea of mod support just might make it a viable alternative for a series that's primarily thought of as a PC franchise. It'll be interesting to see how the two versions stack up when they hit stores this November.

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