Nali Cash Cow Respawner
Epic's latest Unreal Tournament title is indeed a Nali Cash Cow. It will no doubt sell in volume, and the engine will be licensed to countless other games. Despite critics, the latest UT is sure to consume its predecessors in terms of the online population. [Ed: LordHavoc - Maybe eventually, but it hasn't yet] Regardless of the biting on the previous page, make no mistake, UT3 is a fun game, and adds a bit of the new to an old favorite. It's not what I was hoping it would be, they certainly could have done better, but the disappointment comes not so much because it isn't a good game, but because Epic has raised the bar so high with each release, that a moderate increment is a comparative let down. In the meantime, I'll be picking up UT3 every now and again, and looking forward to UT4.
- Sound - Gameplay - Depth
- Multiplayer || Reviewed
by John Del Percio|
The graphics are stunning as one would expect from Epic, as are the movies. Points were deducted simply due to the graphics not being as great as an improvement as would be expected from Epic's flagship title, but were the game not the formal unveiling of Unreal Engine 3 (Other titles have used the engine, but the games bearing the Unreal moniker have become the standard benchmark for the engine,) the graphics would be considered excellent.
The sound effects are pretty typical for a UT game. Gone is the Dolby Digital encoding that never really took off in the hardware world, but some new EAX work has been done on the sound. Positioning is quite helpful, as well. Unfortunately long-time Unreal music veteran Alexander Brandon didn't write the score for us this time, but the music is still engaging and fits the classic UT feel well enough.
The gameplay is great, as always. It's Unreal Tournament, would we expect less? Still, the loss of some of the diversity loses a few points. There's some great UT gameplay now lost to history.
There's very little depth to this. It's a shooter with a thin premise of story to tie together a bot ladder. The rest is an online game. The environments, while they lend to great open gameplay, are fairly barren, unimaginative, and unmemorable. There are no extraordinary strategies. It's a classic shooter through and through. This score will not count toward the overall due to general irrelevance.
It's hard to take away points from one of the foremost titles of multiplayer FPS gaming. UT simply defines multiplayer gaming. A perfect score by default.
If I were to suggest one thing to the designers at Epic, it would be to sit the whole creative team down in front of a bunch of Pentium II boxes running UT1 for a month. Then have them switch to UT3. If the magic hasn't been found, repeat the process. The new titles are great games, but there's a charm to the classic game that has yet to be duplicated by anyone, even Epic. While I certainly don't want to see a repeat of the classic UT, there are defining elements of it that would be wonderful to start incorporating into the newer titles again. If not whole game modes, at least those unique Unreal elements of map design that have been boldly missing of late. If I could make a second suggestion to the designers at Epic, it would be to leave the Earth maps behind next time, and return to the space ships, castles, WWII, and suspended city maps that made us fall in love with Unreal to begin with. Environment matters...even in a shooter!
Personal Notes from Forest Hale:
Overall I enjoy UT3 and consider it a worthy sequel in the franchise, some game modes are dearly missed but the graphics are fantastic and the gameplay is as solid as ever, additions like hoverboards add untold fun to the new Vehicle CTF and Warfare modes and add new skills to master (such as quickly toggling the hoverboard on/off while traveling at speed to avoid getting knocked flat by incoming fire), the Orbs make Warfare more tactically minded than Onslaught ever was, and the story is much more detailed than ever before (and attempts to integrate some Assault elements into a few Warfare maps). The addition of cooperative campaign play in the campaign is also a very nice addition - especially for LAN gamers.