Review by zyrolasting
"Unreal Tournament 3: maintains strong ground, but seeming to slip in minor areas."
I've been an Unreal Tournament fan for a long time, so I had great levels of excitement when I picked up my copy of Unreal Tournament 3. The overall point of this review is to inform early on of the major changes that can be dealt with, but may mark the beginning of the end in a series.
The Unreal Anthology began as two releases simply named 'Unreal'. I myself have not played them, but I'm to understand they hold the original story of the game. The Tournament games that followed did not hold any plot importance, with the exception of 'Assault' missions reenacting great battles fought in the plot. The main point however, is that plot held very little importance to the Tournaments.
UT3 has a mildly entertaining plot, but I gave it the score that I did to send the message that game developers should only stick with what worked in the past. Adding a story was bearable, but unnecessary. I expected mindless gut-ripping action and endless futile attempts to protect myself from death. Think about this... If they eliminated the cut scenes, the story map screen, the story...
The developers would have had extra space to add features to improve on Tournament familiar portions. New weapons, more new/classic stages (I emphasize this), and even more menu options!
Gameplay 9/10- Met every expectation for the average UT player, but I have a few complaints. Campaign Mode offers you a team of the most incompetent and ignorant bots I have ever seen. I don't have to see their actions to know they are pitiful, I just see the results. Here is an example.
If you play a Team Deathmatch in campaign on normal difficulty a few missions in, you'll notice you are doing most of the work. Enemies fall before you, and you're doing well. A press of 'F1' for score revealed that although my team was in the vicinity and have fought, they have not exceeded
5 kills each. The other team has a very promising combination of kills. An example estimate of what I have experienced would be this:
Me - 16 kills
Teammate #1 = 7 kills
Teammate #2 = 5 kills
Teammate #3 = 9 kills... etc.
Opposing team had 30 climbing at a considerable rate, and each member had nearly even shares of kills. The climb was reducing the spread quickly, so I did a little experiment for the sake of this review.
I duck out of the way like the snake I am and avoid combat. We lost miserably, with the spread essentially inverted. I repeated with other missions, still failing. I gave commands to try to structure whatever actions they are performing, no difference.
This tells me that your team is pretty much useless. You're doing most of the work, and of course you get devastated taking on a horde of enemies alone! It takes a lot of effort to complete one mission as babysitter, so I quit. Just plain quit Campaign, and moved to Unreal Multi-player goodness.
Another thing about AI... Based on the game type, the bots seem to lose their mind. Not in the insane kind of way, I mean lose their mind. They become blank slates.
My prime example comes in a Capture the Flag game, in an oriental mall setting.The stage is called Coret. I'm not sure if this was patched or not...
I'm running to grab the opposing flag and a bot passes me by and fires away. I retaliate and miss, but as the bot passes me alongside, he turns tail and no longer acknowledges my existence. Not kidding, I followed close enough to tap him on the shoulder, and he does not respond. He just maintains his set path to my flag. So I blow his brains out and walk back.
This is not varied by part of the stage. Every bot I passed fought me until they were closer to the relative position of the flag than I was. So all I did was walk, turn around and shoot. So I'm always guaranteed clear passage to the flag. Thankfully the trip home is still challenging.
Sometimes bots get crammed in one area on their path, and their stuck in that area jumping in an infinite loop. Coret map again being my first encounter with that.
However, despite AI issues in campaign and certain maps, the game simply radiates challenge, and I was not disappointed by any other game mode.
...Well, look at it. I'm not too crazy about stages where everything is metal, since things seem to blend into each other. I've read in other sources about the lack of anti-aliasing in this game, but I think it's not a horrible absence. The sound is fine, but as always taunts just get annoying.
Play Time/Replay- 10/10
It's unreal. If it's Unreal Tournament and you are a fan, you want to continue to experience the mindless violence and intense combination of battles, massive stages and tactics.
My take on it's value:
I don't even need to recommend. You like Unreal Tournament? Go and get this baby! I would advise not wasting your time on Campaign... If you can unlock anything from there, it wouldn't hurt to cheat and grab the unlockables and head on to a host server and hurt somebody!
Overall the game series deserves another consistent high score: 9/10. If I have anything to say to the developers, it's to be cautious of future major changes. As a branch off example, Metroid Prime 3 getting voice acting may have been the beginning of the end for it. Major changes mark lost spirit.
Grab a gun and shoot away. Maybe I'll see you on a server... Through my crosshairs >=)
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/11/08
Game Release: Unreal Tournament III (US, 11/19/07)
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