Unreal Tournament 3 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Unreal Tournament 3 box art
System: PC, PS3, X360 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Epic Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Midway 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 19, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-32 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

You can easily hop on-and-off the thing by hitting the Q key. The hoverboard lets you cover ground quickly in larger levels where outrunning enemy vehicles on foot is impossible. It's necessary since you can't carry an enemy flag in a vehicle, but it's also great fun just to float around and attempt tricks. While on the hoverboard you can even grapple onto the back of a friendly vehicle and zip along for a ride. It's a great addition that's not without its drawbacks. Getting hit with any enemy fire - even a single shot - while you're on the hoverboard will send you face-planting into the scorched concrete, dropping the flag and giving the enemy a few extra seconds to sneak up for the kill.

Unreal Tournament 3 screenshot

Warfare is essentially an improved version of the vehicle-heavy onslaught mode of UT2004. Both sides will seek to destroy their opponent's power core which is protected by a force field. Capturing nodes for your side will begin to drain your foe's power core shield, and controlling all of the power nodes will make their core vulnerable to fire. Capturing certain other non-essential nodes on the battlefield will give you access to vehicles, turrets, spawn points, and other equipment which provides an advantage. You'll constantly be dividing your time between protecting your own power core, capturing nodes, fragging enemies, and trying to chip away at the opposing team's core. The inclusion of orbs makes this mode even more frantic. Both teams will have access to these helpful devices which allow you to instantaneously capture an enemy node by running into it with an orb in hand. With the orbs in play, you'll be required to keep a better eye on your captured nodes if you want to keep them intact. If an enemy drops an orb, you can sacrifice yourself to take it out by jumping on the thing like it was a grenade, which is pretty sweet.

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Another major area where UT3 has made excellent gains is in its vehicles, which have doubled in number since the last game. There are some carry-overs from UT2004 such as the Goliath, Hellbender, Raptor, and Manta, among others. These older vehicles are given a slightly fresh look, and a few minor changes have been made to their weaponry and function. The Axon faction also gets a few new machines in the form of the heavily-shielded and destructive Paladin, a long-range self-propelled mobile artillery unit (SPMA), and the airborne Cicada. The best new rides can be found on the dark side. Aside from just looking badass, the Necris vehicles are a great addition to the action. Some of the Necris vehicles have similar functions to the Axon air and ground machines, but there a few which are insane. An early favorite is the Darkwalker. This behemoth is mounted on huge legs, and it's armed with slow-but-devastating twin laser cannons. The Nightshade is a cloak-able support vehicle capable of laying mines and other traps. Essentially a strange orb with tentacles, the Scavenger is a small and versatile ground walker which can deploy a protective drone.

Unreal Tournament 3 screenshot

It's quite possible to derive a good deal of enjoyment from playing UT3 on your own without ever setting foot online. The A.I. of the enemy bots can be manually adjusted - it's unfortunate the same can't be said for your teammates - to suit your ability level. On their easiest setting, the bots bumble around like morons practically waiting to be slaughtered. On their higher settings, you'll be swallowing mouthfuls of shrapnel. Still, UT3 is really meant to be played against human opponents via local LAN matches or online multi-player frag-fests. This is what the game's entire design is all about, and it's where you'll spend some quality time.

UT3 is visually stunning and the action is non-stop. It's hard to find much to seriously complain about once you drop in and start annihilating opponents in the huge number of high-quality maps with awesome vehicles and a variety of decent play modes. Epic doesn't reinvent the wheel here, but it does give players a fresh update on a classic old-school design that will keep you fragging long into the night. After a three year wait, fans may be a little disappointed by some of the changes (or lack thereof), yet on the whole UT3 delivers the goods. And it's damn good.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Unparalleled graphical and physical realism from the award winning Unreal Engine 3 Technology delivers the most compelling first-person shooter experience to date...online and off.
  • Vast arsenal of weapons. Unreal Tournament has always been known for brutal weaponry, and now the arsenal is even bigger and badder. Detonate your opponent from a distance with the ever popular Shock rifle or blast away at close range with the Flak Cannon. Over two dozen weapons and vehicles have been upgraded and enhanced for maximum killing potential.
  • New single player campaign. This is Unreal Tournament like you've never seen it before! The Necris invasion has begun, and your clan was one of the first to be slaughtered. Head to the front lines and join this Epic battle to defend humanity while taking your revenge.
  • New and Favorite Characters. Fight side-by-side with or compete against new and returning characters from the Unreal Universe, all with enhanced abilities, extremely detailed designs, and distinct personalities.
  • Enhanced popular game types, including: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and all new Warfare mode, and more.
  • Online innovations. Unreal Tournament 3 brings back all the award winning online features of previous Unreal Tournament games, plus seamless loading on servers, improved matchmaking, and co-operative play on-line.
  • PC version bundled with the award winning Unreal Engine 3 Toolset. Build your own levels, game types and more, or download the latest mods from the massive Unreal Community.


    RATING OUT OF 5
    RATING DESCRIPTION
    4.9
    Graphics
    Unreal Tournament has never looked this great.
    4.7
    Control
    Smooth and responsive controls make high-speed firefights a delight.
    3.5
    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    The music is so-so, the voice acting is solid, and man do I love hearing the announcer yell "Killing Spree."
    4.0
    Play Value
    It's more of the same UT excitement with a few upgrades. More could have been done to make the game stand apart from its predecessors in terms of actual gameplay, yet it's still quite enjoyable.
    4.3
    Overall Rating - Great
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images
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