Great for newcomers to the series! Disappointing for the rest of us.
The first thing that struck me about this game was obviously the graphics, UT3 is vastly superior to it's predecessors, for the first time character models look very realistic and the highly detailed scenery makes you want to drop to your knees and cry. The level design maintains it's usual high quality with cleverly laid out levels suited for various different types of gameplay.
Ah the gameplay. Remember the various gameplay modes from the original games? Last Man Standing? Assault? Bombing Run? Domination? Invasion? Mutant? All gone. Some may argue that none of these games suit the focus of the campaign/story mode... wait a second, Assault isn't suitable? have people gone mad? Assault was the most versatile game mode of the lot and would have given missions far more potential for originality. Despite this, it would still have been a nice addition to include these modes outside of the campaign mode.
So a lot has been cut from UT3, this means a lot has been added right? I'm afraid not, there are two main focuses on UT3, the vehicles (which are both wonderfully designed and original, but often leaves the battles sorely unbalanced) and the story mode, which let's be honest is not so well thought through, it gives you the illusion of choice but often leads you to merely play the missions in a different order and even frequently replaying missions. The brand new Warfare game mode is simply a new name given to the Onslaught mode in UT2004 with a few Assault aspects thrown into it, all in all a poor substitute for the forgotten content.
In summary, UT3 has failed in all of it's new goals. The vehicles could have been implemented better and the storyline is terrible, it basically involves a rivalry between two soldiers in two different armies who face off in the beginning and never really meet again until the end with a load of superficial, pointless lead up throughout the rest of it. So if you're really narrow minded and want graphics over a fast, fun game with plenty of extra game modes, get this game... it still maintains the fast and fun elements, but when you consider that you can get the Unreal Anthology for less than a tenner (which includes both the original UT and UT 2004), offering the same fun game experience with lots more to offer (let's not forget that UT is 9 years old and has more gameplay options) but has limited graphical capabilities, there should be no contest and furthermore highlights some of the serious problems with the gaming industry today. Shame on all of you.