Unreal Tournament 3 Review
Epic Games decided to give PS3 owners a much-needed present and crunched hard to get Unreal Tournament 3 out just in time for the holidays. Is UT3 worth spending your holiday dollars on? Or should you spend that hard-earned cash on a special someone instead of a game? (Yeah, right.)
How much you like UT3 will be directly proportional to how much you enjoy old school shooters. There’s nothing done here that hasn’t already been done countless times in previous games. Although, that’s not such a bad thing, especially considering how complicated shooters have become. The philosophy of UT3 is apparent in its campaign mode. Apart from a few one on one matches, it’s all team-based combat. You’ll be playing Team Death Match, Capture the Flag, Vehicle CTF (like regular CTF but with vehicles on the maps), Warfare, which has you capturing nodes to build a link to the enemy’s core so you can destroy it. The game play and speed of UT3 on the PS3 is just perfect, not nearly as hectic as its PC counterpart. The story is generic fare. You play as Reaper as you fight the Necris, an evil goth-like alien race, who’s destroying stuff. UT has never been known for its story and 3 doesn’t look like it’s going to break the mold. There are some great looking cut-scenes with top-notch graphics and some comical explanations to why enemies respawn (they have respawners) why you have to kill 40 enemies in a match (drain respawners) and how FLaGs power respawners.
The real reason to buy Unreal Tournament 3 is the multi player aspect, which delivers in spades. There’s an offline multi player that offers competent bots to play against and an online multi player mode, which plays exactly like it sounds. Even after playing the game for an hour, you won’t be able to have seen all the maps that are available. There are plenty of weapons to pick up and vehicles to ride that keep the battles interesting. There are a few flaws with the game though. UT3 was made in the vein of UT2004 and while 04 was a great game, the FPS world has evolve quite a bit in the last 3 years that makes the online offering here seem a bit archaic compared to more popular shooters available. There is a lack of game modes, which hurts it more in the single-player campaign than online but still one worth mentioning.
Also, there’s no split-screen, meaning you’ll either have to play with bots or online. I guess Epic thinks PS3 owners have no friends. (Even if that was true, we have enough money to buy friends, ha, eat that!) But the biggest offender is the fact that mods are not available for PS3 owners. Considering how often we heard Mark Rein praising the mod community and how great PS3's online is for allowing it, the fact that it’s not here is a real bummer. Though there are no mods now there are still plenty of levels on the disk to enjoy until someone makes a carbon copy of Blood Gulch (you know you want it). Hopefully the situation will be resolved shortly.
In a way, Unreal Tournament 3 is symbolizes the PS3. It’s a sleek looking game that rivals just about anything on the market and plays great but we’re more enamored with what it could do with mods, than what it currently does out of the box. Regardless, it's a must-own for PS3 shooter fans.
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The good: Old School fraggin fun
The Bad: Perhaps a bit too old school
Lack of game modes
The Ugly: Currently, no mod support