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Denny Markovic
03 Jul, 2008

Unreal Tournament III Review

360 Review | Keeping it real.
Unreal Tournament has been around for nearly a decade now, and is widely regarded as one of the top competitive first person shooters. Unreal Tournament III is the latest in the series, and attempts to carry on the legacy, this time on Xbox 360. We quite liked the PlayStation 3 and PC versions, so how does the manic shooter fare on Microsoft's console?

Thankfully, extremely well, as Epic have clearly spent a substantial amount of time optimising the game to run and look its best on the 360. On the gameplay side, Unreal Tournament III plays exceptionally well. The controls have been mapped comfortably on the 360 controller, with the right and left triggers triggering the primary and alternative fire modes respectively. Switching weapons is quick and simple with the tap of the right bumper, and dodging has even been implemented, working like the PS3 version where you hold the left analogue in either the left or right direction, and press A to dodge. Dodging is an important tactic in the Unreal universe, where battles constantly rage at breakneck speeds, and one must have the ability to dodge vehicles, bullets, and everything else that comes at you with brutal force.

And the battles are the core of UT3, and it's segregated into several different game modes. Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag are fairly self-explanatory, and have always been standard in the UT series. UT3 mixes things a little though with the addition of three extra modes, namely Duel, Vehicle Capture the Flag and Warfare.

How unrealistic.

How unrealistic.
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Duel is essentially Deathmatch but restricted to one on one, where a certain frag limit is set with a timer. This was added in due to the immense popularity of high-tier competitive play in the previous UT games, and is sure to attract the veteran players. Vehicle Capture the Flag is the same as Capture the Flag however with the addition of vehicles. It surprisingly isn't a mode seen often in many multiplayer games, so it's more than a welcome addition and is extremely fast paced and intense, especially with a full house of sixteen players. Warfare is the most large scale of the game modes, and is very similar to Battlefield's Conquest mode, where two teams fight for supremacy on the map by capturing nodes. Each node you capture produces more vehicles and weapons for use, and also links up to enemy nodes, which allows you to destroy and capture theirs and so forth. Once you've linked to their main base, the team must destroy their main node in order to win the match. The twist in this mode however is that both teams have a special 'orb', that when carried and inserted into an enemy node, instantly captures that node. This gives the losing team a strong chance of turning the tide, especially when all the odds have been turned against them, so there's an excellent level of balance in Warfare. Add in a large and varied amount of vehicles, hover boards that you always have making on-foot movement much faster, and several different maps to play on, and you've got yourself a total war zone. It's a fun game mode and will most likely be the popular choice on Xbox Live.

The best part about this image is the guy can probably take out that tank.

The best part about this image is the guy can probably take out that tank.
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On a visual note, UT3 looks outstanding on the Xbox 360. Epic certainly know their own engine well, as load times are minimal, textures are sharp as ever and the game never seems to slow down, even with a full game and several things happening all at once. Even more impressive though is the implementation of split-screen. Split-screen can be carried onto online matches that allow it, and can also be used to play through the small single player portion of the game. Surprisingly, there is absolutely no image quality lost and no slow down whatsoever when running with two players, which is quite a fantastic achievement considering the graphical fidelity. The only issue with the visuals is some minor pop-in due to the texture streaming from the disc, but it's barely noticeable with a game that plays so fast. It's overall a fantastic port to the 360.

The audio of UT3 is no slouch either, with constant explosions and lasers roaring in the background with an industrial based soundtrack to go with it. The surround sound is quite well done also, with bullets zinging by your ears, aiding in the immersion of the game.
But Unreal in general is nothing without its famous announcers, and UT3 continues the series' over the top announcements with aplomb. 'Headshot!' blares out of the speakers as you successfully down your opponents with the sniper rifle, and the new announcements such as 'Rocket Scientist!' are yelled out once you've accumulated fifteen consecutive Rocket Launcher kills. It never really gets old and continues the UT trend of glorifying your skills. The only issue with the sound is just like that of the PS3 port, where the audio can be a little lossy due to compression. However, it's a minor issue and one most people won't notice, as they'll be too busy trying to keep up with the pace of the game.

What other game lets you create black holes of death?!

What other game lets you create black holes of death?!
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Unreal Tournament III is a fantastic port to the Xbox 360 and one multiplayer and FPS gamers should definitely consider, as there's no game on the 360 that matches its breakneck speed, ferocity and level of skill. Though the single player portion is more of a training ground than anything, it's excellent for newcomers to the series to play through so they may learn the ropes. For everyone else however, multiplayer is where it's all at, and with the variety of maps (and five extras only for 360), the mutators which allow alterations in matches, six different game modes and a high level of polish in gameplay, Unreal Tournament III shows exactly why the series is so renowned and is a worthy purchase for any 360 owner looking for something new in the multiplayer arenas.
The Score
Though it lacks the modability of the PS3 and PC ports, it makes up with the excellent implementation of split-screen and is a game sure to please multiplayer gamers in search of something new. 8
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Unreal Tournament III Content

New Gears of War 2 info revealed
26 Jun, 2008 We take a look at what's on the UTIII GOW2 trailer.
UT3 Gears of War 'surprise' revealed
15 Jun, 2008 360 version to include exclusive video.
Unreal Tournament III Preview
13 Jun, 2008 Blow each other to bits - this time on the Xbox 360.
10 Comments
5 years ago
Is there 4-way splitscreen? or bots?

If so, I might get this. Good review either way.
5 years ago
supports 16 player bots, only 2 player split-screen. VERY smooth with 16 bots. Great fun!
5 years ago
^Hm, I might get it for the 2vs14 bots play (though we'll probably add some to our side). It's a shame more games don't have bots - while I wouldn't really play against them myself, it makes splitscreen FAR better.

I'll wait for it to drop to around $50-$60 though.
5 years ago
I am so disappointed. I can't believe that map, mod and model support was removed from the Xbox 360 version. It's nice that there are extra maps and split-screen play, but that type of support seen in the earlier released versions of the game, most notably on the PS3 was personally a major point I took into effect.

I know you can't get what you want, but I was looking forward to the mod support. Maybe it's because of Halo 3; Theater and Forge are wonderful additions to this game. I guess Bungie just raised the bar so high for added features in games.
5 years ago
Damn, why won't the PS3 version get split screen? That would make it an instant purchase for me...
5 years ago
ZNMS wrote
I am so disappointed. I can't believe that map, mod and model support was removed from the Xbox 360 version. It's nice that there are extra maps and split-screen play, but that type of support seen in the earlier released versions of the game, most notably on the PS3 was personally a major point I took into effect.

I know you can't get what you want, but I was looking forward to the mod support. Maybe it's because of Halo 3; Theater and Forge are wonderful additions to this game. I guess Bungie just raised the bar so high for added features in games.
But if they offered map, mod and model support then people would be less inclined to pay for things that PC and PS3 users are getting for free. You've got to think of it from a business point of view rather than a "it's how it's been done for the past 15 years and never had a single problem at all other than giving people TOO much to play with" point of view.
5 years ago
Sin Ogaris wrote
ZNMS wrote
I am so disappointed. I can't believe that map, mod and model support was removed from the Xbox 360 version. It's nice that there are extra maps and split-screen play, but that type of support seen in the earlier released versions of the game, most notably on the PS3 was personally a major point I took into effect.

I know you can't get what you want, but I was looking forward to the mod support. Maybe it's because of Halo 3; Theater and Forge are wonderful additions to this game. I guess Bungie just raised the bar so high for added features in games.
But if they offered map, mod and model support then people would be less inclined to pay for things that PC and PS3 users are getting for free. You've got to think of it from a business point of view rather than a "it's how it's been done for the past 15 years and never had a single problem at all other than giving people TOO much to play with" point of view.
Both views are rather incorrect. The reason it was removed was because Microsoft won't allow untested code and resources to be run on the 360. Epic have mentioned that they'll be looking at making, for free, downloadable packs of the best mods that appear in the PC and PS3 versions.
5 years ago
Thing is, Epic can only put the packs up for free if Microsoft let them, that was the hooha they ran into regarding Gears, they hard to charge initially then they could offer them up as freebies. I probably should have been more clear in that it's not Epic's fault we'll be paying for the same content.
5 years ago
The Gears stuff was very different.

One: Microsoft was the publisher, it was basically half their game. They (helped) paid for development,they paid for the advertising, etc etc. It was their call to charge to recoup some of the costs (which you could say they already had, but that's another argument).

Two: That was totally new content developed by Epic, possibly even on Microsoft's request (though I'm sure Epic would've done it anyway).

These mod packs Epic have talked about for UT3 will be collections of fan-made stuff. M$ won't have much to say about Epic giving these away for free as not only aren't M$ the publishers in this case, but it would create bad vibes charging for freely made community created content.
5 years ago
^Well, I might wait for more news on whether these mod packs/customisation options are being offered for xbox 360, and at what price, before I pick this one up.

If it had 4 player splitscreen, I'd own it already. Bots are a major plus though.
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| More
  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  3/7/2008 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $99.95 AU
Publisher:
  Red Ant
Genre:
  Shooter
Year Made:
  2007

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