Unreal Tournament 3 Review
The Unreal Franchise has been the flagship title of Epic Games since its released. The engines used for the series are the most popular engine in the gaming industry, used in games from Bioshock to arcade games and more.
The Unreal Tournament games have never been known for their single player. Hell Unreal Tournament 2004 didn’t even have one! The story in Unreal 3 is about a man named Ronin and his allies who are after revenge against an evil army. The story isn’t really that well written, good or engaging. However, you don’t buy Unreal Tournament for story, you buy it for online gameplay. What the story mode does offer is a training mode for how the multiplayer maps/modes play. The story levels are the multiplayer maps using multiplayer modes. There is no go from point A to B to finish the level, instead you will be playing capture the flag, team death match missions etc. Like I said, its more for training you for the multiplayer than anything else.
The Unreal Tournament series is hands down the fastest most twitch heavy game series of all time. The gameplay is fast, intense and action filled. Its similar and different to the standard FPS formula. The similarity is, you point, you shoot, gun goes bang. Apart from that you can do double jumps, side jumps and there is no reloading making action more streamlined. The no reloading aspect of the gameplay really speeds the game up because believe it or not, a lot of time online is spent reloading. Now as I said earlier this game is based on twitch skills. What I mean is your ability to kill enemies, is largely based on your reaction time to shoot at the first thing you see. Many shootouts in the game are largely affected by this as the first person to shoot is the person to live. This game feels like the previous UTs which is a good thing, as based on the new, less playful engine, it doesn’t look like previous games in the series.. To add to the feeling the Ps3 version can use Mouse & keyboard inputs instead of the Dual Shock 3 controller.
The game uses the same online system 2004 did, meaning it does not use player ranks as most online games do but instead relies solely on a leaderboard. There are a variety of player models to choose from for customization sake, but it doesn’t match the variety and number 2004 did. The game also supports mods, which are user created modes, levels, etc that are added to the game to create new gameplay experiences. These mods range from changing the game to a third person shooter, new maps, and things of that nature.
The game uses the Unreal Engine 3, made famous in the Xbox 360 and PC game Gears of War. The engine is known for using dark pallet for colors to increase detail as using the dark pallets allows for increased polygon detail so everything looks better. I was a little worried about this because Unreal is known for its sometimes colorful levels (made in mods) and just arcadey feel that the more serious Gears of War does not have. However even with its darker pallet the game felt and looked like an Unreal game.
The announcers and smack talk are back and sound better than ever. That said, voice over work is subpar, dialouge poorly written and sometimes poorly executed and theres nothing that really stands out.
The single player in Unreal Tournament 3 is almost a mute point, as I said in the review, it is used solely for training and for that matter you can use offline bots. The real point of this game and where it excels is the multiplayer. It is fast, frantic and extremely fun. However the disapointing single player weighs this game down from greatness.