Unreal Tournament 3
Wisely not counting UT2003
Dec 12, 2007
So, normally with this type of review - the type ending in a big score - the criticisms are left to the end. Let’s not do that this time - it means finishing on a sour note, and then trying to rope it back with a hasty “But it’s awesome!” UT3 is insane, and brilliant, so we’re going to get what’s wrong with it out of the way early.
The PS3 version doesn't run quite as smoothly as the PC version, and the default controls will probably feel slow to you - luckily, you can make them more responsive in the options menu. For the fourth entry in the series, Epic has concentrated a lot more on the offline campaign. Here are the two worst things about UT3: the bots and the offline campaign. You play Reaper, a man in a dress with a hilariously crap goatee. You, your sister Jester, your token black sidekick Othello and apparently Catholic sniper Bishop are all that’s left of the Ronin, a band of... yada yada... destroyed by whoever when they inevitably... etcetera. It’s tragic. The campaign consists entirely of one-off matches comically unrelated to the absurd briefings, and punctuated now and then by cutscenes of you arguing with a man in a beret.
The matches themselves are great. Let’s take a whirlwind tour of the changes to the basic combat: Shield Gun gone! The original Impact Hammer is back, and it’s superb - smashing someone open with it jars your view and splatters you with thick, black blood. The Enforcer pistol still sucks. But to its eternal credit, if you fire it at point-blank range, you hold it gangster-sideways. The Biorifle is gorgeous and deadly, the Lightning Gun’s shot-trace has been merged with the Sniper Rifle, and the Minigun is now absurdly overpowered.
Now brace yourself for this one: the Flak Cannon has been nerfed. A little. It’s slower, but still lethal and even more gruesome when fired point-blank. After the initial outrage fades, this actually makes a lot of sense - it was so powerful before that there was rarely any reason to switch away from it. Here the Rocket Launcher firmly dominates medium range, so you’re always flicking between the two when you’re fully stocked. Movement is slightly slower, and there’s a halt when you land from a jump, so there’s less airy-fairy bunny-hopping all around.