M-M-Monster… Architecture?

My review of Unreal Tournament III has gone up on Eurogamer. It was a bit of a wake up call for me: a reminder that multiplayer FPS games are the reason I became so obsessed with the PC in the first place. After the super-beautiful but lacklustre demo I was all set to be bored by UT3, but it soon dragged me. I’m going to be posting a few more bits and pieces about the game in the coming week, because it has gloriously deranged ideas.

What’s perhaps most thrilling, however, is the architecture. Epic really have excelled themselves this time around. While there sure is a lot of brown ‘n gloom, there are colossal tendrils squirming off into the clouds, futurist Persian palaces wrapped in waterfalls and nameless technology… that sort of thing. It’s just the kind of place I want to drive a spider into a tank battle. But more on that later.


  1. The_B says:

    I know I’m generally the gushing sort when it comes to your guys’ work – but honestly I am absolutely thrilled with this review, especially the penultimate paragraph, which is exactly what I want to say to people when they say “Yeah, but it’s not TF2/ETQW is it?” Thanks Jim. Thim.

  2. GibletHead2000 says:

    I’m pleased about this. As a fan of straight-up deathmatch (I never really grew out of playing Doom2 deathmatch), I’ve found my needs less-than-completely-catered for with the recent crop of FPS games… Although to my suprise I do really enjoy TF2 – but normally I find fussing about with all this teamy stuff gets in the way of the shooting.

    I’ve been looking forward to UT3 for a while – in fact, it was one of the main reasons I upgraded my rig – and I was worried by the people who weren’t wholly whelmed by the demo. Glad to know it hits the mark.

  3. Cigol says:

    I get the sense you’ve merely come to terms with what the game offers rather than been blown away by the experience. I expected I’d enjoy the full version more but I was never a fan of the sequels to the original Unreal Tournament so I’m probably not the target audience.

    If there’s something I enjoyed reading it’s your observations with the more eccentric vehicles. I feel the same way, it’s just a pity that at a glance it’s not something they took to the bank but merely scratched the surface of?

  4. schizoslayer says:

    In my mind the UT games ar ein a similar territory to things like Microsoft Flight Simulator. The actual game doesn’t really matter as much as what the community does with it and that’s hard to review before it’s been released.

    I maintain though that the original is still the better game.

    Plus the word chaotic is starting to be used more and more in describing recent videogames. All High-Gen Next-Definition graphics is doing is making it harder to see things that are important.

  5. Jim Rossignol says:

    I think TF2 reminded everyone that clear, cartoonish graphics can still look fantastic.

  6. Jim Rossignol says:

    Cigol: i was pleasantly surprised by the whole game. It just *works*, all the time.

    We’ll write some more stuff on the vehicles later in the week.

  7. Freelancepolice says:

    I’ll repost my EG comment:
    It’s strange UT3 stands out to me in a group of class based “me too!” games.

    Sure it’s old skool but we’ve not had an old skool run and gun deathmatch a thon for a while now… at least not a good un.

  8. Radiant says:

    I love fps games.
    But to be honest I don’t think my pc could handle ut3 in a competitive way with my specs.
    It’s alright if you are dipping your toe into it for a bit of a bash but if you take it even slightly seriously then the pretty graphics are going to be turned all the way down and you’re going to be left with gameplay that hasn’t changed since ut2.

    Call it the pro evolution soccer curse.

    For a better fps experience I’d stick with something more fun like TF2. [which I can’t play because I played TF1 on quake1 for 7 years competitively and I don’t feel like to do that again.]

    Or, since the gameplay hasn’t changed much, going all the way back to quake 3 and playing Urban Terror which has been going strong now [still being developed with new maps and models],refining itself, for 8 years now and is by far the best multi player online shooter available.

  9. Schway says:

    Something which instantly struck me whilst playing the UT3 demo, was the lack of ability to dodge-jump. I found this detracted quite a bit from the fast paced gameplay present in UT2004 and the only reason I could fathom for them to remove it, was that Unreal Tournament had been consolized. The result felt quite a bit more sluggish than 2004 for me, especially since I’ve got so used to it after years of competitive play with UT2003/4. I wonder if anybody else felt the same way about the dodge-jump issue, or has any thoughts on it?

    After reading the review however, I’ll still be ordering a copy of UT3, despite the somewhat disappointing demo. Thankfully though it seems I wasn’t the only one not loving the demo, and the final game has turned out quite a bit better than I was expecting.

  10. Jim Rossignol says:

    Er, I’m fairly sure you can still dodge jump?

  11. Schway says:

    Seriously? Everybody I know that tried the demo found the same thing. Gah, now I need to figure out why. Great news that it wasn’t removed though, as it was really my biggest issue.

    Thanks for the review and the reply Jim, glad I recently found your writing again. PC Gamer was never quite the same when you became absent from the regulars list.

  12. Kast says:

    As I recall, it’s a game option turned off by default. Have a look around the options screens.

    Tried the demo, couldn’t get into it. I’ll stick will the slightly less dour-looking 2007, thank you very much. There’s enough depressingly brown/black games out there right now.

  13. Chis says:

    As Jim’s review points out, you can dodge jump if you have the jump boots. Otherwise, no, you normally can’t.

    It’s a bit disappointing, but character movement has been made a lot faster than UT2004 (even on foot), that there is less need to dodge jump tons just to get somewhere.

  14. Ryan says:

    Just to make sure everybody’s on the same page: you can still dodge by double-tapping a movement key for a quick hop; that’s been in the series since UT99. What you can’t do anymore is the dodge-jump combo, introduced in UT2k: do a dodge and then immediately jump to extend your fast horizontal leap into a double-jump. This kind of movement made high-level UT2k matches truly ridiculous, since everyone was constantly dodge-jumping and rarely, if ever, simply walking.

  15. Thiefsie says:

    Could be a refreshing FPS game out there for those who need it from the sounds of it… but DM just isn’t my bag and there is way too much other stuff I’d rather be spending cash on right now!

    Good review… somehow I think there will be less crazy fanboyism in the comments compared to the other recent EG reviews with 8’s etc.

  16. Thiefsie says:

    And I hate to do it… but… who proofs the docs at EG?

  17. Droniac says:

    Dodgejump was removed because it’s something UT fans disliked – and that slowed down the game (plus made leveldesign a pain and players look like midgets in giganormous levels). So no, it’s not because it’s been ‘consolized’, but because it’s both better for mappers and something the players wanted.

    Definitely the most fun shooter released this year, even more than TF2 (if only because UT3 isn’t just a ‘lets pub for half an hour’ game like TF2). Also, settings don’t need to be turned down to compete anymore, because the graphics are more like UT: brightly colored enemies, less static meshes hindering your movement & more grim (colour-wise) level design that allows you to clearly focus on opponents. Gameplay has changed loads from UT2(003/004) and has mostly become a mix of UT, with some UT2004 and a lot of new elements.

    Overall feels very good – and most oldschool UT players (like myself and my clan) seem to be accepting it as the very first true successor to UT. Now if only player counts would pick up a little…