Unreal Tournament 3
their engine even more while doing it.
[Editor's Note: If you would like to skip the mini-reviews of each individual content element and jump straight to the brief summary and screenshots, please click here.]
The Stealthbender is a modified Axon Hellbender upgraded with Necris technology. Functionally it serves many of the same roles as the Nightshade, acting as a stealth vehicle (which can be decloaked to increase agility). It's armed with spider mines, EMP mines, X-Ray Field and Link Station deployables which it can drop into the battlefield at will. It also has a link beam turret for repairing nodes and vehicles.
[u]Map: Facing Worlds (CTF)[/u]
This is a map that needs no introduction. If you've played Unreal Tournament, it's almost guaranteed you've played Facing Worlds at one stage in the series. Now it's rolling straight in to UT3, sporting a new Asian dynasties theme and more polygons than Quake IV can salivate over. Unlike the UT2004 variants, the layout and gameflow remains untouched for this newest incarnation, so the only thing you'll have to worry about is looking too far down memory lane and not noticing the bad guys about to tear you a new rectum.
[u]Map: Morbias Station (DM)[/u]
No doubt we've all run into an arena-style map in at least one FPS. The Morbias orbital station is rather standard in these respects. Main central chamber, upper walkway, and the two side passages used to get there. Other than saying that arena maps have never looked so damn good, and that the Titan mutator would give whoever is in the center a real Jack & The Beanstalk moment, it's a straightforward match which is destined to give even the calmest players an adrenaline rush.
[u]Map: Searchlight (CTF)[/u]
This map would creep out even the [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dante_(Devil_May_Cry)"]Son of Sparda[/url]. Searchlight is based around the gothic theme, a mix between cathedral and lighthouse. It's creepy, and it provides a tense and layered gaming experience from the very outset. There's several good chokepoints, visibility is slightly hindered, and those of us without supercomputers might take a slight framerate dive but overall the map performs well, plays great, and is a worthwhile addition to any lineup. It's also proof that Capcom need a license to use this engine for DMC5.
One of the few hunter-gatherer gametypes to be pushed out by a developer, Greed (based on it's namesake UT2004 mod) is an action-packed game where what you don't do is almost as important as what you do. The objective is to hoard skulls, and deliver them to the enemy base. These skulls are gained by killing other players - they drop not only their own skull, but their entire stockpile of skills, which come in silver, gold and red varieties (1, 5 and 20 points respectively). This is an intriguing gametype with a wide variety of tactics that can be applied, and will likely be a hit within competitive play circles.
Titan is not actually a gametype in itself, but a mutator which adds a new element to other gametypes. When all is said and done the change is so drastic that the gametypes may well be brand new anyway. The mutator adds into effect a power bar known as the Titan meter, which fills up by completing game objectives. When it's filled, the player gains the ability to become a Titan - a 15-foot killing machine, bigger, and far more powerful than normal. With your super rocket launcher and quake attacks, you'll be able to wreak havoc, but won't be able to fulfill non-kill game objectives. There's a level two to the Titan meter, which allows you to become a Behemoth, twice as large, twice as powerful, but with a 30-second lifespan. These larger forms can still be defeated, with a well-coordinated group attack - however, if you take one down, don't sit around to teabag or have your photo taken; get the hell out of dodge!
Bad blood leads to bad blood. Fortunately for those backstabbers out there, bad blood is the name of this game. While you'll be working with other players in teams, only one player can be declared winner. In order for this to be you, you'll need to work with your teammates to defeat the opposing team, but at the most opportune moment, betray your allies in order to get not just your score, but their amassed scores too. This isn't helped by the fact that the only weapon in Betrayal is the ASMD Enhanced instagib shock rifle - primary fire kills, secondary fire betrays. Choose your moment wisely, though - for the next thirty seconds you're the Rogue, and everyone will be gunning for you!
[u]Vehicle CTF Maps[/u]
One can't help but think that someone at Epic is a big fan of Guild Wars - the oriental theme really shows in almost the entire game. Nevertheless Stranded is through-and-through a VCTF map, and it's a gorgeous one too, with nice open spaces and some tight quarters too for maximum gameplay effect.
Urban warzone maps are always a treat, and this one is no exception. This former 360-exclusive map gives the two teams a lot of cityscape to cover, as well as the rivers, many side routes, and for the brave there's the option of railgrinding straight into the enemy base with the hoverboard. This battle will test team tactics as well as weapons proficiency to their highest extent. Oh, yeah. There's also a couple of tanks.
Another former 360-exclusive map, to say this map is "Suspense, only half-Necris" would be an understatement of the changes to the vehicle combat dynamic, as naturally the blue team now have Necris vehicles. The Necris overrun of the blue side of the map looks good, and wandering around in a giant mech is fun so bonus points for the Darkwalker?
The same deal with Suspense Necris applies here. Formerly 360-exclusive map, transforming the Downtown level into a battleground between Axon and Necris forces. It's a tried-and-true map, so if you loved Downtown, you'll love this even more.
Cold steel meets broken earth in this map which recaptures the badlands feel that UT2004 did very well. Both teams will be pitted against each other right from the start as they have direct lines to the opposing base, however equally important is covering the second front through the canyons to the side. This is a map which rewards those teams who can maintain a strong defense while mounting a surgical, effective offensive.
From the second you spawn you'll be presented with a stunning (and alarmingly threatening) vista. Taking place in the depths of Na Pali's woodlands gives Hostile three defining characteristics - it's dark, it's gloomy, and it's fierce. While the terrain is rather open, it's also uneven and littered, which can have an impact on vehicle handling. Gameplay-wise this translates into requiring a feel for the map itself as well as your opponents.
Also a former 360-exclusive map. While arctic base themes are a favourite of this reviewer, this map has more than enough strengths on it's own merit to blow the competition away. To say this map was epic wouldn't be much of a stretch. Warfare evolves in this level in several ways. Firstly, the rush to secure the base and establish a defensive perimeter. Secondly the wide range of entrances available, where they lead you and what tactics they provide make the level somewhat more freeform than most. Third, the former two combine to make this map no mean feat to emerge victorious from, meaning Warfare has never been more literal. Impossible not to recommend this map. It's a brilliant gameplay experience and looks fantastic.
[u]Capture The Flag Maps[/u]
Morbid is designed to be played with the Titan mutator enabled at all times. The immediate striking impression is that the map is a modified and extended Morbias, and this is quite true. However there's a twist - normal players can only travel through the upper deck and central area, and cannot retrieve the flags without an accompanying Titan, as the flag rooms are covered by special pressure pads.
Nanoblack is a deliciously dark example of a CTF map which will have attacks coming from all angles. Players will be navigating through the maze-like passage structures both above ground and below water for a somewhat rock-paper-scissors progression. There's that old familiar feeling that at least one map from every Unreal game has presented, and long-term players will feel it as soon as they get in there.
Fans of Red Faction, or the original Unreal, know that when you step into mines, all hell usually breaks loose. This is very true on Shaft. Not only does the map look great, it provides a solid gameflow, and plenty of excellent and varied set pieces for firefights, as well as plenty of cover. This has the distinct feel of a map which would be very at home in Gears, actually....
Eden Inc provides a ruined and (mostly) abandoned industrial area for players to fight through. While there are some defensive emplacements, much of the emphasis will be on close-quarters battle.
[Editor's Note: Now we're talkin'!] This map certainly does not need any introduction, as it was among the first four Deathmatch maps ever made available in the Unreal Tournament series. That's right, Turbine returns from UT99, in magnificent fashion. Despite it's new look, you will instantly recognise the layout and you will certainly recognise the old tactics you find yourself adopting once more. Ah, if only the Pulse Rifle were here to see this....
Like laser quest? You'll love DarkMatch. This map is very, very dark with only certain areas lit. To detect your enemies you'll need to rely on the moments of light given by the generator kicking in occasionally, and the muzzle flash and explosions. This is a rather unique twist on Deathmatch, and will make for some very interesting online matches.
Many will - with mixed feelings - remember a similarly-named galleon. Those individuals will be glad to hear that the Barge has a much less frustrating layout, lending itself rather well to straight-up DM matches involving plenty of ducking and diving through cover, and SWAT-like clearing to make sure that in close quarters, you get in the first and last shot.
This Atlantisian map is a visual, technological and gameplay masterpiece. Not only does it look stunning, it is masterfully constructed, and being a straightforward open multi-levelled arena with quite a few secret side passages, it lends itself perfectly to the genre, regardless of whether the player likes a pitched open battle or a game of cat and mouse.
TechniqueOverall RatingReviewerMikouenBalancePros & Cons Plenty of new content!
Still feels just like UT3.
New gametypes are fun.
Needed MP improvements.
Titans have "cool" factor
Still feels just like UT3.
Doesn't resolve some older issues..Fun FactorCreativityGameplay[i]Brief summary of content:[/i] • 4 Warfare maps, 3 VCTF maps, 6 DM maps and 3 CTF maps - total of sixteen new maps. • Two new gametypes, Greed and Betrayal. • 57 awards available as achievements via Steam, Trophies via PS3, and viewable via the friendlist in PC retail. • Significantly bolstered AI, most notably when handling vehicles. • Improved netcode. • Streamlined mod support. • Improved menu flow and user interface. • Expanded server browser, new maplist system and mid-game mutator/gametype voting. • Two new weapons: Stinger Turret and Eradicator Cannon artillery. • New vehicle, the Stealthbender. • Three bonus pack maps, CTF-Face, CTF-Searchlight, and DM-Morbias. • Two new characters for the Ronin and Liandri teams, Kana and Nova. • Several new power-ups - X-Ray Field deployable; Link Station deployable; and Slow Field power-up. • Client-side demo recording.
classic, Facing Worlds was one of the most played maps in gaming history. This beloved sniper map makes its return alongside an intricate new capture the flag map, Searchlight, designed for both z-axis rooftop runs and strategic indoor gameplay. Returning classics and fresh new designs let you experience Unreal gaming like never before.