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Member since May 2011 · 2484 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Unreal Tournament 3
I didn't like the first Unreal Tournament.  I liked Quake 2, and I couldn't bring myself to like that other game.  Years later I tried the demo of Unreal Tournament 2003, after it received rave reviews, and I was totally hooked: It was fast, gorgeous, and even in Japan there were lots of low-ping servers to play on.   I bought the next release, UT 2004, and loved it just as much.

[Image: http://nfggames.com/grafx/UT/gal07.jpg]
Unreal Tournament 2003 - lookit the colours!

So I was very eager to buy Unreal Tournament 3.  I played the demo though, and was unimpressed - it looked the business, but it was really boring to play...  It wasn't as captivating as 2k3 and 2k4, but I thought maybe the full version would be good.

Recently it was made available on Steam, and I bought it for $29.99, a very nice discount over the Australian regular price of $89.

And it sucks.

[Image: http://nfggames.com/games/grafx/UT31.jpg]
Unreal Tournament 3

I'm sooo unhappy about it.  The game is boring, totally dull, and I can't quite put my finger on why.  It's got all the things I love, but tweaked so far they're broken.  The rapid-respawn fast-action mayhem I adore is toned down a little, it seems to be running a little slower than the last 2 games.  Strangely, the menus run much slower than the game itself, so there's mouse-lag when you're setting up a game, but not when you're playing it.  Tabbing out is quick, but it takes a full 30+ seconds to tab back into the game...  When a game's borderline fun it doesn't really help that trying to play it is irritating.

[Image: http://nfggames.com/games/grafx/UT32.jpg]
Unreal Tournament 3

What's really disappointing is Warfare:  the old Assault and Onslaught modes are rolled into one single game mode which takes all the good parts of the two modes and throws them away.  What's left is a frustrating and unremarkable experience.  Where Onslaught had large maps and multiple ways to achieve victory, the maps are now small with single paths from end to end.  Where Assault had delicious scripted levels with actual plots and advancing team v team action, Warfare now has similar triggers on the map without any real rhyme or reason.  The object is to connect your base to the opponent's by first seizing control of the linked nodes between the two:  Pushing your control forward against the opponent's attempts to push theirs is where the fun lies... 

Except now the maps small, narrow, often with only one node between bases, and there are scripted mechanisms - often for one side and not the other - that make matches even shorter.  There's no ability to wage tactical war on such small maps.

The game is gorgeous - sort of.  Epic's really caught the monochrome bug...  Like Gears of War the levels are largely monochromatic.  They're very well detailed, but lack the energy and variety of 2k3 and 2k4.  Where I'd go on screenshot rampages in the last two games, I find myself basically unable to give a shit in UT3.  Compare the first screenshot with the next three...  Colourful -> monochrome. 

And it seems the worldwide consensus is similarly negative: There's basically no servers.  Barely six months after release there were only 2 CTF servers running tonight, and less than two dozen of most other game modes.

[Image: http://nfggames.com/games/grafx/UT33.jpg]
Unreal Tournament 3

Wow, what a failure.  It's a good thing Epic makes their money by licensing the engine to other developers, 'cause this game's a real dog.  =(
BLEARGH
This post was edited on 2008-05-17, 23:23 by NFG.
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Member since May 2011 · 2484 posts · Location: Brisbane
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I found a new map today that went some way toward addressing the failures of UT3.  It's gorgeous, and it's fast - it uses a custom 'mutator' that cranks up the game speed a few notches.  The only problem is, like most UT3 servers, it was totally empty.  The one player who was actually human gave me shit "wtf d00d its not dodgeball" when I zigzagged, avoiding his shots.  Uh, what?

Then it was just me and the bots, and man...  fuck dat.

But wow, did it look good!

[Image: http://nfggames.com/games/grafx/UT34.jpg]

[Image: http://nfggames.com/games/grafx/UT35.jpg]

[Image: http://nfggames.com/games/grafx/UT36.jpg]
BLEARGH
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