I have always been a fan of the Unreal Tournament series. Running through levels frantically blasting anyone you ran into was a ton of fun. The latest Unreal Tournament is no exception, the usual arena structure and fast paced run and gun were all present. Vehicles are even present again as they were first presented in Unreal Tournament 2.
Graphics in this game are astonishing to say the least. The guns, the textures, and the player models are all beautifully rendered, and there is little to no decrease in frame rate during intense battles making the game run smooth as butter. Sound is well produced and contains less senseless chatter and more strategic calls from the AI. Blasts from weapons and explosions both look and sound great.
The controls are pretty standard to most shooters making it easy to pick up and play as long as you have played an FPS on a console before. Aiming isn’t bad although at times I found it hard to get my crosshair where I wanted it especially when going for a headshot with the sniper rifle.
Game play is as fast and furious as the previous Unreal Tournaments and left me saying “just one more match”. With 5 different game modes there are plenty of options to keep anyone from getting bored of the game too quickly. The game modes include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Vehicle Capture the Flag, and Warfare. I’m not going to describe every mode since most are pretty self explanatory and similar to other Unreal Tournament games, but one I enjoyed was the Warfare mode. It is a mode that pits the players in a battle for base nodes. Once a line of base nodes is captured and held by one team they can assault the other team’s main base and destroy the generator inside. Once the generator is destroyed the game ends and the team that destroyed the other team’s generator wins. This was probably my favorite mode as it felt like something at least a little different from the usual Deathmatch and Capture the Flag found in every Unreal Tournament.
That being said there is a ton of replay value in this game because of the 5 game modes, multiplayer online, split screen online or offline with a buddy, and the campaign mode which attempts to add a storyline to the arenas. Unfortunately, I found that what little story line was attempted to be worked into the campaign lost my interest as after the intro movie they hardly ever revisit the story. The campaign has a card system added to it which allows the player to “play” cards that do something special right before the match. Although it did seem like earning the cards was rare and there was little rhyme or reason as to how they were earned. One of the cards I got reduced the number of opponents in the next match I played by 2.
Unreal Tournament III is a great game that fans of arena shooters will all appreciate. On top of everything else this version includes 2-player split screen, 2 exclusive characters, 5 exclusive maps, and an exclusive Gears of War 2 video making this the most features packed version of the game released.
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