It's Counter-Strike in space!

User Rating: 7.5 | Unreal Tournament III PC
The closest thing I've played something like Unreal Tournament is the 2000 version of Counter-Strike, so UT3 presents a lot of wow factors in my point of view. Counter-Strike simulates a real-world counter-terrorist scenario with real guns and combat tactics, but that would be boring in the perspective of a sci-fi world. In this game, the weapons are one of the coolest gadgets I've seen in a shooter in terms of design and rendering, compared to Halo and Mass Effect, and their specific uses in combat tactics are well thought out and admirable.

I love the vehicles in this game, and controlling Darkwalkers here is bad-a** and feels liberating. Kudos to the developers for their idea of this War of the Worlds-inspired vehicle! In terms of gameplay design, I appreciate the variety of modes in this kind of Counter-Strike styled layout, where the Warfare scenarios really pump up my blood pressure, apart from the usual Deathmatches and Capture-the-Flags. But it provokes a lot of bad tempers too, as the chaotic level in UT3 Warfares is notorious, thanks to crazy maps and high mortality rates brought by super-powerful weapons and uncoordinated AI bots.

Actually, UT3 is annoyingly hard, and playing in Casual mode doesn't help in later stages if you're either playing alone or with equally inexperienced pals. However, UT3 shines if you're the veteran "pwner" in FPS and you'll really appreciate the efforts put into this game, both in terms of gameplay design and aesthetics. For me, my kind of reward for grinding through the single-player campaign is the exceptionally presented cinematics.