|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Epic||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Midway||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 7, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2 (16 Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Pace of play in UT3 is off the charts. This is both a plus and a minus for the title. For starters, it does produce a frantic euphoria among combatants that definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat. Stringing three or four kills together definitely feels good, and the onscreen notification system that lets everyone know who's boss is very rewarding. However, accumulating frags tends to be more a question of twitch reflexes rather than skill. That's probably why many guns have an explosion or ricochet effect to help compensate for the uncanny speed (I've never seen anyone run that fast while going backward).
Moreover, though level design, on the whole, is very compelling, the lack of cover never allows players to stop running. Subsequently, frontlines and bottlenecks never really form except occasionally in the Warfare game mode. Finally, there's no consequence for dying. Sure, it will hurt your team's chances in Deathmatch, but players aren't publicly humiliated for their careless play and re-spawning antics. That's because only frags (kills) are tracked, not the amount of times the N00b died before they got their four measly kills.
Fortunately, the game is blessed by some amazing graphics. As one would expect, the creators of Unreal Engine 3 know how to use their tool. With the amount of action onscreen, it's amazing there isn't any shuddering, and the maps and environments are frequently breathtaking. The sounds are also quite representative of the varied guns and high speed action, but the voice over work is utterly forgettable. Thankfully, the controls are about as good as they can be for a console FPS. My only complaint would be that once mounted in vehicles, it becomes very clunky indeed. In fact, I always let fellow team members deal with the frustration.
Unreal Tournament 3 is a solid first-person shooter marked by exceptionally smooth multiplayer support. Plus, the community of players that gamers who purchase the game will be joining is outstanding. If you're looking for a simple title to get your blood pumping, then UT3 may be just what the doctor ordered. However, players looking for greater complexity and realism must look elsewhere.
CCC Editor / News Director