EPIC Games New Addition to the Unreal Family
Imagine a world where death means nothing. A short ten seconds and you would be instantly revived back to life in full health. What if, instead of serving life in prison for murder, you were rewarded with points for killing people? With the absence of the consequences you could brag about it with all of your friends or even rub it in your victims face. Unreal Tournament III makes all that and more a fascinating reality.
For those of you who are new to the Unreal universe, you are totally missing out. Unreal Tournament has set the standard in online FPS games for the past several years. Created by a company that goes by the name EPIC, Unreal Tournament III is the latest installation to the Unreal series.
You’re basically thrown into an area that is filled with weapons, powerups and all types of vehicles. Your objective depends on the game type you choose to play.
For those of you die hard fans of the Unreal series, you may be a little disappointed in the lack of innovation.
Unreal Tournament III mostly brings a lot of new changes to older stuff. Most guns and vehicles have been redesigned in looks and functionality. As far as what has been newly added (as far as content goes), you’re only looking at 6 new vehicles and 3 new weapons.
The 6 new vehicles were made to complement the new race, the Necris. The vehicles include the Viper, a quick moving vehicle that hovers over the ground and shoots single pellets of energy with a kamikaze ability. The Nemesis is the basic heavy duty tank for the Nercris with functionality similar to that of the Axion’s Paladin. The Darkwalker appears to be straight out of the movie “War of the Worlds”. It’s a towering tripod capable of blasting a hole straight through your computer screen! The Fury is your everyday air vehicle with a few exclusive abilities. The Scavenger is an interesting vehicle that looks much like a scaled down version of the Darkwalker. It has a really neat ability to turn itself into a ball of sorts and throw itself at enemy players and start spinning with fan like blades to split them in two. Lastly, the Nightshade is the stealth vehicle for the Necris equipped with EMP, spider mines and statis fields.
Aside from the new combat oriented vehicles, there is a new non-combat vehicle available to all players called the hoverboard. This is a rather fast vehicle that can be used to get a player in and out of sticky situations quickly. However, you will be unable to use any weapons and any damage taken while on the hoverboard will knock you off and you will be temporarily stunned.
A lot of old school weapons have been remodeled to look a lot better. Three of the new weapons included are: Impact Hammer, Enforcer, Translocator. The impact hammer can easily be considered a melee type weapon for its extremely short range. The Enforcer has replaced the Assault Rifle and the Translocator allows players to teleport short distances.
The Unreal Tournament series made it big for its online multiplayer capabilities and it never really had a single player aspect. For those of you
without internet capability or if your just shy then fear no more, Unreal Tournament III has a single player campaign!
Now, I am no Shakespeare but I do remember quite a bit from English class about what all makes up a good story. Sadly, EPIC appears to have thrown this out the window. The story in Unreal Tournament III is extremely lack luster and the gameplay isn’t exactly what I would call unique. You play the exact same game types in single player as you do in multiplayer. The only real difference is that all of your opponents are bots, computer controlled AI. You get all that wrapped in a few short movie clips that make a poor attempt at humor, getting you attached to the character you’re playing and progressing the storyline. With all the lackluster elements in the story, it’s really easy to see the flaws in the entire single player campaign. If you install this game and jump into a multiplayer game and play for a few minutes you aren’t missing much from the single player campaign.
However, I will say that the single player campaign is the only real negative part of Unreal Tournament III. The graphics are breath taking, the soundtrack is catchy and fun, the variety of weapons and vehicles will keep you entertained for hours, even the sound effects will leave you begging for more. What can be more fun than jumping in tank and flattening a group of unsuspecting players and hearing the bodies being crushed, seeing blood spew everywhere while listening to some decent techno rock music?
Multiplayer and Customization
Undoubtedly, Unreal Tournament III’s biggest selling point is the online multiplayer experience. There are over thousands of servers to play on and even more different types of gameplay (often user created) and its completely free of charge. The unique thing about playing online is that PC users and those with a PS3 can play together or against each other in the same game. This increases the total number of players online and insures that you will have no trouble finding people to play any gametype. The game supports all your normal multiplayer features such as chat and voice chat.
Possibly the number one reason to pick up Unreal Tournament III is for the Unreal Editor. The Unreal Editor is based on the Unreal Engine and allows you to create custom user levels. However, it goes much deeper than that. Using the toolset you can actually create your very own game. You can import your own character or object models, code your own weapons and even create movie clips. The Unreal Engine and the toolset offered in Unreal Tournament III has been used to make such games as Duex Ex, Lineage II, Gears of War, Mass Effect and many more. EPIC puts all that power into the hands of the player. This only complements the online multiplayer experience even further as most of anything user created has the ability to be played online.
Overall (4 out of 5)
If you’re anything like me you simply loved the music from Unreal 2k4. The music in Unreal Tournament III is vastly different and feels to be more “down to earth”. However, this being a personal preference, I can’t really hold that against the game. The background music to this game is a huge factor because, let’s face it, if you play this game for any length of time you are going to be listening to a lot of it. So long as you don’t mind the techno/rock beat you’re in good shape.
The graphics are just simply a huge improvement. The game couldn’t possibly look any more realistic. Everything from the walls, static mesh’s, debris and even the water looks real enough to touch. The improved graphics make this game fun just to watch.
When you put all the bells and whistles down and compare Unreal Tournament III to a previous version of the game, you’re not really missing much. Unreal Tournament III doesn’t add a whole lot and actually ditches some parts from earlier versions of the game. If you have played previous versions of Unreal such as Unreal Tournament 2004 then this game may not be worth the cash. It’s almost like the same game in a new box.