Free UT3 Weekend From Tomorrow

By Jim Rossignol on September 17th, 2009 at 9:47 am.


And that’s on Steam, obviously. Epic send word that the free weekend is intended to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the release of the original Unreal Tournament demo. Anyway, that means you can download Unreal Tournament 3 Black (which is the 2007 shooter plus add-on packs) and play the game through the weekend for no pennies.

In addition, the original Unreal Tournament will be on sale for $1.99, and both Unreal Tournament 3 Black and the Unreal Deal Pack will be available for 60% off through September 27.

And presumably if you fancy some mod action you can take the opportunity to download Prometheus, The Ball, and The Haunted.

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47 Comments »

  1. Heliocentric says:

    If you want ut3 after trying it you can buy a retail copy for £5 and add the key to steam. Cheaper than steam sme thinks.

  2. DollarOfReactivity says:

    Hmm, I think this is their 4th free weekend on Steam? They must be getting good conversion after people are enticed to give it a try (with the lots of extra people playing online at the time helping, no doubt).

  3. Lambchops says:

    UT3 just never grabbed me the same way UT and UTk4 did. I do play it occasionally and it can be great fun but it just doesn’t quite seem the same for some reason.

    • DollarOfReactivity says:

      I see that mentioned a lot and I feel it, too. UT and UT2004 were my go-to games for 15 min of stress-relief fragging. UT3 just doesn’t give me that rush. I just wish I could put my finger on what went wrong.

    • Po0py says:

      I had the same issue. think the problem is that the maps are just too busy nowadays. Too many static meshes cluttering things up and getting in your way when your playing streight up DM or CTF. One thing that gave me some respite is the various community map packs like http://holp.pathnode.com/ which were basically old school maps that look like original ut levels with higher textures. Really slick, stripped down pure UT maps. But nowadays, I don’t even have UT3 installed in steam anymore. :-(

  4. RiptoR says:

    The game has matured a lot since the Titan pack (and 2.0 patch). More players online too than the first months after the game launched.

  5. Malagate says:

    The only thing attracting me to UT3 is the look of the mods, after playing last free weekend (after I managed to download the bugger) I was left kind of bored and cold. However, after playing around with some mods on UT2k4 (Air Buccaneers, hot damn that was awesome and needs to live again), I do think it’d be worth it as long as there are kick ass mods banging around. It’s like getting a whole bunch of games as free gifts for buying one not-as-fun-for-myself game.

  6. Mike says:

    I found it went downhill after UT, really, although UT3 did tone back some of the more irritating aspects of 2004. I just think the vehicles felt too paper-thin, too lightweight, and so sort of became something I avoided.

  7. Stromko says:

    I didn’t like the core feel of UT3, it all felt kind of sluggish and sickening. So really it lost me with the core run-around-and-shoot-at-guys bit, which is rather an important thing to get wrong.

    Don’t have that problem with UT2K4, which also has a great deal more variety and some fantastic mods (Alien Swarm, fantastic 4-player co-op top down shooter, I think it even has RPG-lite advancement for characters, and of course a nice equipment loadout screen. Air Buccaneers was also crazy fun, but not as developed and deep).

    UT3 may be prettier, but I feel it’s a sour note in the series.

  8. underproseductor says:

    I will probably buy it. For the mods, of course, I like vanilla UT2004 much better. But, god, I already bought G-mod yesterday and other shit from them. And I don’t like to spend money, even if I buy games only when there’s a good sale or something.

  9. Fat Zombie says:

    I’d be tempted, but my PC doesn’t run it well. I might give it a try, though.

  10. Stense says:

    I downloaded it on the last free weekend a couple of months back, curious to play it. But I didn’t get round to playing it. I started it up and saw that it needed me to create an account and I just couldn’t be bothered at that time to do it. Then entirely forgot to go back to it over that weekend. Again, I’m just not sure I care enough to give it a go this time. Is it actually worth giving a go?

  11. Theory says:

    It’s very meh, but on a free weekend it does have the advantage (over UT2004 that is) of lots of equally-inexperienced people playing it.

  12. Anon says:

    Is there any way to start preloading it now so I don’t have to wait for the agonisingly slow steam download later on?

  13. LewieP says:

    My steam-fu tells me that the prices will be roughly:
    Unreal Tournament:
    £1.20/$1.99/€1.99
    Unreal Tournament 3:
    £4.76/$6.80/€6.80
    Unreal Deal Pack:
    £7.82/$13.60/€13.60

    • Blather Bob says:

      The quote above says 60% off, which would make UT3 $7.99 and the pack $15.99 in the states.

    • LewieP says:

      So it is. I based my numbers on Shack news saying that the discount was going to be 66%, but it looks like everywhere else is reporting it to be 60%, for what difference it makes.

  14. pignoli says:

    Aah, the UT99 demo. I still maintain that that is one of the best demos ever produced. It was like a refined, pared down version of the full game and I actually took a while to find the full game as enjoyable as the demo.

    Anyway, UT3. I’ve had it sitting round for ages and never really played it properly, so are any RPSers up for selecting a mod and having some games?

    • Rohit says:

      Good point. It’s like they picked the best maps for the demo – Turbine, Coret, Morpheus, Phobos, and something else?

  15. Jazmeister says:

    I was all excited about this, and then I realised that I actually own the game on steam. This isn’t what instant gratification usually feels like. :|

  16. Norskov says:

    As I can see the free weekend starts tonight?

    http://store.steampowered.com/news/2830/

  17. Norskov says:

    Doesn’t the free weekend start tonight and not tomorrow?

    http://store.steampowered.com/news/2830/

  18. Paul Moloney says:

    “They really need to get some Air Buccaneers for UT3 so I can join in.”

    Oh yes please; it was a shame I only found how great that mod is after it pretty much died.

    P.

  19. Po0py says:

    I’m still waiting for Epic to pony up and show evidence of their commitment to pc gaming. Regular UT updates every generation just don’t cut it anymore. Like a lot of franchise games, UT just needs a rest. We need a new IP or at least a new Unreal game. And not an outscourced job like Unreal II. (That was actually a pretty good game with great multiplayer. Problem was that it just wasn’t Unreal.) A really atmospheric Unreal 3 using Unreal Engine 3 would go down nice, imho. Problem is that Cliffy probably wont be on board. He’s off making games for Microsofts big old box o drm.

    • Vandelay says:

      Unreal 2 didn’t have any multiplayer did it? And it was pretty mediocre as a single player game, although not the travesty many would have you believe.

      But I agree that a new single player game from them (that isn’t Gears of War) would be nice.

      Personally, I quite enjoyed UT3. Not played it much in ages, but when I was playing it I found that the gameplay had been restored marginally back to the good old days of the original UT. 2003 and 2004 were far to jumpy and had lots of spindly characters that bounced around the place and were just a pain to fight against, particularly when they were being controlled by ADHD teenagers. The baulky characters in UT3 don’t suffer quite so much with this problem, although it still retains the fast pace feel of a UT game.

      Don’t have much interest in the vehicle maps, but the deathmatch and capture the flag modes are still great.

      The only complaint I would have, is that they have done nothing to the weapons and we are still playing with pretty much the same weapon set as we were with the original game. That really needs to be changed. A few more maps would be nice too.

    • Po0py says:

      Actually Unreal 2 had a really awesome multiplayer. It was a hybridy ctf style defend your base game where you had engineers who could set up defense barriers and the attacking team would have to have to blast their way through to grab the artifact and return it to their base. Youyube Unreal 2 XMP.

    • lumpi says:

      Hasn’t Epic more or less officially abandoned PC gaming? At least their adorable mascot, CliffyB?

  20. Sp4rkR4t says:

    I’m tempted by UT3 for the mods that are on there way like RenegadeX, anyone have any idea when that will be available to all?

  21. Warduke says:

    If you are specifically referring to Renegade X they are claiming the first beta will start on the 30th of this month.

    http://www.renegade-x.com/Forums/index.php?showtopic=2751

  22. suibhne says:

    UT3 is a great object lesson in how to screw a classic franchise through mismanagement and arrogance. Epic started the clusterf*ck with a “beta demo” that was unstable and featured one of the worst UIs I’ve ever seen in an FPS (abandoning UT’s great UI and UT2k4′s halfway-decent UI in favor of a totally console-driven UI); tracking Google data about the game shows interest plummeting right after the demo. The demo didn’t even showcase the most-touted gametype – Warfare. Epic followed up a few months later with a retail release that fixed *none* of the problems identified in the beta demo, which was pretty shocking after all of the bugfix threads on Epic forums that had actually gotten dev attention and posting. (The old joke is that the game’s actual .exe on the retail disc isn’t called “UT3.exe” – it’s called “RC7.exe”. Except that, well, that isn’t a joke. =/ ) Many of the bugs from the beta demo in September, in fact, weren’t fixed for more than a year, and the UI, even after a few improvements from Epic, remains console-centric and a pale shadow of UT’s or even UT2k4′s.

    They didn’t ship with server support, which was outrageous for a game series always predicated on the user community. They still don’t have Linux support. There were serious sound bugs which destroyed the locational audio, a big hurdle for a “competitive” FPS. They tied the game to GameSpy, which in the game’s early months was often down – preventing all multiplayer (and even singleplayer, really, because playing the game without logging into your GameSpy account means you don’t have access to your player profile). The game engine itself is so overengineered that it introduces significant frame lag, which remains a problem. The guns and vehicles couldn’t actually shoot as far as the draw distance; if you fired a tank shell at the other side of a map, you could watch it disappear in midair before actually hitting anything. On top of all that, Epic took successful gameplay from 2k4 which had been designed by outside contractors – all of the vehicles and the ONS gametype – and moved it in-house, then basically eviscerated it through overengineering; Warfare was a sorry, sodden mess of a gametype, and nearly the entire ONS community abandoned Warfare within the first few months. Even the Euro competitive community totally left the gametype after about 4 or 5 months.

    Many of these problems wouldn’t have been apparent to non-competitive gamers (where by “competitive” I mean to signal long-term involvement with competitive play, not necessarily player skill). There are certainly players who enjoyed UT3 and stuck with it. But even right at release, UT3 never approached the number of players sported by UT2k4 3-4 years after release, and for more than a year it was a game where there were more servers than players. Think about that metric for a moment, because it’s a pretty stark testament to the game’s failure.

    @Vandelay: Unreal 2 actually had some pretty great multiplayer called XMP, released after the game’s retail delivery. It was very different from trad UT gameplay, tho, with classes and objectives and territory control.

    • terry says:

      I didn’t even know that Gamespay was required for single player. This will be why my SP campaign keeps starting again.

      Seriously, whoever ties online profiles to offline games should be beaten to death with a leg of lamb. That goes double for idiots that use Windows Live and their own proprietary launcher POS (*cough* rockstar *cough*)

    • Primar says:

      RE: Unreal 2 XMP

      I remember having great fun with that, playing with some of the guys back on the old PCG Forum. I think we had some mini-2v2 tournament style thing at one point, ending in horrible pain with me nearly capping the artifact on the asteroid belt map, only to bump my head on an asteroid on the home stretch and falling to my doom. 3 times. In a row.

    • lumpi says:

      @suibhne: Thanks for saving me the time to write all that myself. Exactly how I experienced Unreal 3.

      Also it is, once again, time to point out how the PC gaming community was treated like crap by a games company. Where on earth should sales come for this game? Not to mention that the console release that was clearly pushed like no time before, was an equal failure.

      But of course it was all piracy. Of course. And “the economy”. Not possible that Epic just released a POS game that never was about gameplay or community but just about releasing a console-focused engine to sell to third parties…

      I would dig even deeper into my personal hatred of the graphical style which mixed brown-gray landscapes with metal-baggy-pants and hover-boards, compressing everything I dislike about current game art in one handy package… but I won’t even have to go there.

  23. Sonic Goo says:

    I was going to say pretty much what suibhne did. And I’m not even a competitive player.

    UT3 is proof that more isn’t necessarily better. One gun in UT3 has more polys than an entire map in UT2k4. Nice, but when playing the maps just feel cluttered and messy. Warfare is Onslaught but with more stuff added. I’d rather they’d left it out. The menus used to give the game a pick up and play feel. Now, I keep getting confused what to press and where to go. It has single player now… which sucks. And they removed Assault, which would’ve been perfect to build a single player campaign around…

  24. MeepZero says:

    /me watches as Suib hits the nail on the head with more precision than a miniature robo brain surgeon.

    or something like that.

    Kill the fram lag problems, I’ll be in the next day

  25. Lucas says:

    UT3 suffers from a total overkill of busy visual design and clutter that just makes it hard to play.

  26. Cpt_Chaos says:

    And don’t forget the Bloom, oh my god the awful bloom. EVERYTHINH oh so shiny, everything looking like being soaked in vaseline. Stark contrasts everywhere.

    And oh yeah the linux support. First they announced native linux support would be on the release cd. When that didn’t happen, they assured the community linux support would be patched in a matter of weeks. Then weeks became months. Then every thread on the forums where one dared to ask about it would be closed, with a link to the FAQ where it stated that “We are working on linux support”.

    And I agree, Warfare sucked. I remember having so much fun with ONS in UT2k4. It was perfect. And to my pleasure, when UT3 was still in development, they announced that the original ONS gamemode would be included , along with Warfare (ONS on stims). Well, of course ONS was NOT included and the stims were bad, really bad. Who needs a f**cking Orb?

    FAIL is all I can say…

  27. abhishek says:

    So who else will be getting UT99 just for the sake of nostalgia? I know I will :P

  28. ChampionHyena says:

    Echoing the sentiments of mysterious, nebulous disappointment with UT3′s “feel.” Perhaps the absence of Digital Extremes? Hm.

    Regardless. The original Unreal Tournament was… well, I’d hesitate to say it was my FAVORITE game, but I’ve certainly pumped more hours into it than pretty much any other game I’d care to name.

    Heck, I still play it. Load up Xmaps, have it randomly hurl arenas and gametypes on me, bots auto-adjusting for map size and difficulty, and just grooooooooove.

    There’s a thread somewhere in the BeyondUnreal forums regarding making old-school UT look a lot prettier, so if you’re worried about dated visuals, go read up and prettify your copy.

    Hell, I want an old-school UT free weekend.

  29. Rohit says:

    UT99 forever.

  30. Grey_Ghost says:

    The free weekend I played this turned me off it forever. Simply awful community playing this game. Besides, I’ve just had enough of arcade-y shit.

  31. Vinraith says:

    Props to any multiplayer game that has proper bot support, and even moreso for a game as moddable as the UT series. That said, while UT3 is alright, I still prefer the feel of UT 2004. The original is, of course, also still great (but getting too visually dated to tolerate, unfortunately).

  32. Random commenter #376788 says:

    All these free weekends fro UT3, and yet none for games such as Section 8, which is a game that really takes a weekend to get used to (playing S8 for only one or two rounds or so does not do it justice, as it takes time to understand the multiple game mechanics) and a game that is in desperate need of more players. Played UT3 on its previous free weekend (and I tried to enjoy it, didn’t stop playing until the weekend was over) and it felt very….soulless, as if everything was on cruise control, and you’re just shooting people over and over again for 20/30-odd minutes, occasionally doing the gametype objective (capturing a flag, etc.). In Section 8, however, the different mini-objectives within each round provide variety in matches, and completing these objectives give you a better sense of accomplishment. Section 8 has its fair share of flaws, but at its core there’s more heart to it than UT3, and ultimately more fun.

  33. SkUrRiEr says:

    Recently bought the unreal pack, and have now played through (for the first time) all of the “proper” single player parts of those games.

    Unreal was, for it’s time, excellent: a good looking game with an interesting storyline that complemented the diverse locations and didn’t get in the way of the bad guy shooting bits.

    Unreal 2 is a interesting single player experience, it was flawed, and I could complain about it all day, – and it had what was one of the worst endings I’ve seen in a game – but it did the trick, and given that it was essentially free with the rest of the stuff, worth playing.

    UT3′s single player was a clever way of building a storyline around what are essentially multiplayer matches.

    My impression of UT3 is that they’ve made it too complicated: The game modes are more complicated (Warfare: why do we need nodes that do stuff? and the orb just makes it too complicated.) The graphics are more complicated – don’t get me wrong, they’ve done impressive stuff with the engine, but you’ve gone too far when you have to *highlight* the other team so you can actually see and identify them. – The weapons are too complicated: we don’t need useless powerups (mines, slow fields, berserk, etc.) The menus are too complicated: I appreciate the wizard style setting up of games, but don’t go too far, hard-core gamers are going to play this and will want all the heavy options right there where they can fiddle with them. Hiding them away in menus is just a bad idea. As I kind of expected, they’ve fallen into the usual trap of recent games – that all gamers want is shiny shit with high polygon counts, and things like instant playability, storyline, fun, and humour don’t actually count. I really thought they’d do better.

    After playing and enjoying the single player, and a couple of instant action matches, I still find myself firing up TF2 when I need a fun multiplayer experience – and if I want to play something more serious, my mouse seems to be magnetically drawn to the UT2004 shortcut. Nothing beats the balance of pick-up-and-play-ness and I’m-actually-doing-something-ness of Onslaught and Assault.

    Oh, and speaking of the unreal pack, why the hell wasn’t UT2′s XMP included with UT2? Wasn’t that an official release? And where the hell is UT2003? – the CBPs for that had some great maps that were never released (that I know of) for UT2004! (and yes, I’m aware that UT2004 was supposed to completely replace UT2003, but still, having it on steam costs next to nothing!)

  34. KindredPhantom says:

    “And presumably if you fancy some mod action you can take the opportunity to download Prometheus, The Ball, and The Haunted.”

    You forgot Airborn.