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| A Truely "Epic" Game: Unreal Tournament 3 Review (4 comments )|
by: Discobiscuits (63) | Posted in cluster AMD Contest Group
Posted 66 months ago ( edited 66 months ago ) in category DEFAULT
Flooding the shelves after years of anticipation, Unreal Tournament 3 has finally surfaced. The third (technically fourth) installment of the UT series is now arriving in the sweaty hands of PC gamers. Epic Games went back to their roots with UT3, and included an array of elements from the original Unreal Tournament and mixed it in with their newest engine, Unreal Engine 3 (respectively.)
|» MEDIA (8)|
The whiplash effect of the Shock Rifle is highly amusing.
Words cannot describe the beauty of UT3's maps. Amazing.
Warfare brings a more hardcore teamplay aspect out of UT3.
What an amazing view...
Do not stare at the beautiful skyboxes for too long!
Redeemers produce a deadly psychedelic effect.
Post Processing Comparison (Muted/Default/Vivid/Intense)
Texture/World Quality Comparison (1-1 vs. 5-5)
Unlike alternate shooters coming out this holiday season, UT3 is sticking to the old-school premise that had made classics, including Unreal Tournament 99, a fun experience. A vast amount of elements seen in the 200# series have been replaced to create a faster-paced environment. For example, Epic has decided to not include the Shield Gun this time around. Players will be now finding the fast paced nature of the game as their primary way of dodging and withstanding fire. Epic has also boldly merged some of the old with the new. Dodge-jumping from UT200# is out, but the double-jumping is still present along with wall-dodging. The six rockets that could be loaded into UT99's Rocket Launcher is still MIA, but the secondary fire will provide users with the chose of spiraling loaded rockets, or launching a set of grenades which can prove deadly around corners.
Sure you could call previous Unreal Tournaments, “Epic”, but is the hybrid of the series in Unreal Tournament 3 going to be another stunner? Does that even need an answer? Hell yes it does. UT3 sticks to the basic formulas present in Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag. UT2004 fans begone, as flag-running and fragging in UT3 revolves around the original Unreal Tournament more than anything. Even if you are stacked on health and armor, you’ll often find yourself getting fragged instantly by three rockets to the face, or cratering from the flight path you just took from the hit. Running the flag requires your teammates to be present at all times, which seems to be the basic nature of the game.
Yeah, that classic Unreal goodness is still present, but where the game really excels is the array of vehicles included. The vehicles have now been separated, faction-wise. There are now Axon and Necris vehicles present, Axon revolving around previous UT2004 vehicles. In total, we’re looking at over 15 vehicles, all unique to their own tastes. The more basic humvees and tanks have been included along with strong, unique Necris vehicles. What’s more intriguing is the Hoverboard included in UT3. Both Vehicle CTF and Warfare allow you to spawn in automatically with this beast, allowing you to just hover around doing tricks and grapple on to faster vehicles in a true “Marty McFly” fashion. And yes, the Manta is back. Vehicle Manslaughters-aplenty, UT3 gives you hours of enjoyment out of crushing noobs with the deadly twin blades of the Manta.
Unreal Tournament 2004’s staple gametype was Onslaught. The community was large, and that’s the game that was being played by most of the game’s owners. Assault was also included, but just seemed weak by itself. Unreal Tournament 3 seems to have taken those two ingredients, and created a whole new gametype referred to as Warfare. New additions to Warfare which Onslaught didn’t have are the addition of unlinked nodes and countdown nodes. Unlinked nodes are pretty much an extra spawn point that players can capture. Countdown nodes, on the other hand, are more important. These nodes trigger events that provide teams with an event or vehicle that makes killing the Power Core possible, or easier in most cases. "Orbs" are also available for each team to carry to a power node, which instantly captures the node, this in turn adds up to a new sense of strategy and planning in comparison to Onslaught.
Warfare is the only new light that Unreal Tournament 3 sees gameplay-wise. But that is what great about the game; UT3 remixes what made the game so much fun. The game is no longer slowed down with weapons like the Shield Gun, and additions like the Hoverboard allow for everyone to move fast across the maps in the game. Classics like Deathmatch and Capture the Flag still retain a fun factor unseen from other fast-paced shooters.
For once, there is a true “campaign” included this time around. Epic Games constantly noted how “50%” of the community never played online. I found this hard to believe, and apparently Epic did, also, as the campaign contributed nothing to the game whatsoever. Take original gametypes of UT3, add in some cutscenes and a weak revenge story, and you’ve got the campaign of UT3. The campaign definitely wins no points for innovation, but it is a nice introduction and warm up to the gameplay and graphics to come in the multiplayer aspect of UT3. And about the graphics… oh, the graphics.
We’ve seen what the Unreal Engine 3 could offer through Gears of War early on, but I think everyone knew what the engine’s main predecessor was going to be. When I first loaded up UT3, I checked in on deathmatch, and the classic deathmatch map, Deck 16 (now called Deck.) Every UT has seen remakes of this map more than any other, but this one is really something new. The beauty of the map expands from the hazardous sludge pits to the peak of the map, where a sniper’s nest can be attended. The contrast provided in the maps of UT3 gives not only a next-gen feel, but it just feels absolutely fresh and relieving. The design of the maps is relentless, and I cannot fully enjoy the beauty of it, due to me being limited on a 19” CRT monitor. The game still pleasures my senses to a point beyond what I’ve seen before in any game. Skyboxes, depth of maps, particle effects, everything visual-wise is here and more intact than ever.
Sticking to senses, it’s safe to note that the sounds of Unreal are spot-on. Classic Unreal music has also been re-done along with the maps, and flawlessly might I add. I often find myself turning music off in most first-person shooters, but UT3 really set the bar for music as far as shooters go. Not only are the tracks brilliant, but they also gain momentum and pulse whenever you encounter any action. The bass beat intensifies as you strive on, achieving killing spree after killing spree. Sound effects are gruesome and can arguably be said to be the best of any sci-fi shooter of our time. Devastating shock combo explosions will thrill you to the core of the game, while the ambient effects will chill your spine and set the mood of the maps perfectly. I was expecting Epic to achieve well in this area, but they have excelled beyond my belief.
I’ve had a share of headshots and double kills to this day in Unreal Tournament 3, and I believe it is going to continue through the years to come. Minor gripes and glitches limit the game, but only to a point that you could care less about. Obviously, being shared on consoles this time around, the game feels like it was focused on a console, which is kind of sad considering the reputation Epic Games hold. Needless to say, a patch has already been announced which is going to fix a nice chunk of mishaps the game has had. These include some of the server browser issues, player-height, and other minor problems found on the release.
As you’d expect, Unreal Tournament 3 delivers yet another engrossing shooter which takes place in the Unreal universe. The revamped classic gameplay makes this Unreal Tournament 3 feel fresh regardless of how old the gameplay’s formula is. Superior technology in the game adds on to the gameplay, as this is the most beautiful shooter out right now. Some may say Crysis bests UT3’s graphics easily, but I can only point out the fact that UT3 is about a hundred times faster than Crysis is. Not to mention the game easily scales on older machines, as well as newer ones. This shooter is going to hold it’s shield for years to come. The real coming of Unreal Tournament is going to be the community. Endless replay value comes from a secondary .exe file called “UnrealEd.” Not only is the Editor feely available to anyone who purchases the game, but the Collector’s Edition of the game included a vast amount of tutorials to help start out anyone interested in undertaking the editor. Community drives this game. Killing sprees and double kills will become your future for the next coming years once you purchase this game. New to the series or not, Unreal Tournament 3 needs to be on your hard drive if you enjoy first-person shooters.
My Computer (used in this review)...
Gigabyte DS3 Rev 3.3 motherboard
Core 2 Duo E6300 @ 3.29ghz
2x1gb pc-6400 (940mhz 5-5-5-12)
The game runs beautifully in 1280x960, maxed out. Compared to what I’ve been dealing with in Crysis, UT3 offers more “bang for buck” hardware-wise. You’ll appreciate the quality of the game and how smoothly it plays for the years to come, especially with the 8800gt being offered for less than $200 to this day.
I included comparisons of low quality vs high quality detail, as well as the different “post-processing” methods Epic Games included in the Video options. Basically low quality gives me a constant 100fps while high quality retains the beauty of the game while running above 60fps at most times. If I had an LCD, the game would be running flawlessly, I’m sure. Post processing is just a technique used to achieve a different look to the game. I personally enjoy the vivid preset, as it brings an amazing contrast to the skies and textures in the game.
http://www.upupmedia.com/ut3review/beautiful-map.jpg - Beautiful CTF map showcase (Check out that light-burst… amazing skybox quality)
http://www.upupmedia.com/ut3review/warfare.jpg - Warfare; charging a node
http://www.upupmedia.com/ut3review/what-a-view.jpg - Looking out a window at the skybox… again.
http://www.upupmedia.com/ut3review/quality-11vs55.jpg - Low quality vs. High quality (1/1 vs. 5/5)
http://www.upupmedia.com/ut3review/quality-mutednormalvividintense.jpg - Post processing comparison
http://www.upupmedia.com/ut3review/skyboxx.wmv - Analyzing the beauty of a skybox in UT3.
http://www.upupmedia.com/ut3review/shockrifle.wmv - Shock combos RAPE in UT3.
http://www.upupmedia.com/ut3review/redeemer.wmv - While shock combos rape, the redeemer defines it. Notice the aftereffect when you get hit by it, but are shielded by a wall.
Thanks for reading the review, I enjoyed being a finalist ;)
|4 User Comment(s) • 4 root comment(s)|
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