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Review: Unreal Tournament 3 - PC

by Nick Haywood on 24 December 2007, 09:52

Tags: Unreal Tournament III, Midway Games, PC, Xbox 360, PS3, FPS

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Well, the Unreal Engine 3 is really, really good...

As I’m sure you all know by now, Unreal Tournament 3 uses Epic’s Unreal Engine 3, which is possibly one of the most licensed game engines in history. This isn’t surprising as I’ve sat in on a demo of the engine by Epic’s Mark Rein and it was impressively flexible and easy to use. To cut the 45 minute demo to the main message, the engine has all sorts of physics, rendering and environment tools built in… all you do is create the textures, create the 3D models (or import them) and then assign them properties from within the engine… For more on the Unreal Engine 3 click here.

Notable Unreal Engine 3 games so far are Gears of War, Hour of Victory, Mass Effect and Stranglehold to name but a few… and one thing they all have in common is that they all look damn fine and run smoothly on systems not blessed with £1000 worth of CPU and GPU grunt. So we know the engine’s good. But to be honest, Stranglehold was a bit pants and Mass Effect came up short with repetitive level design… which goes to show that a decent engine does not a good game make.

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And sadly, that last sentence nicely segues into Unreal Tournament 3 which, although it’s running on an engine extremely capable of beautifully rendering a variety of game styles, manages to come up way short in the satisfaction stakes…

You see, I’m fairly confident I could lift the UT2k3 review, make a few minor changes and that’d be the Unreal Tournament 3 review done. No, really.

Ok, let me demonstrate:

From our Unreal Tournament 2003 Review:
On the subject of graphics, UT2003 features some of the most luscious visuals seen in a game. Every surface is mapped to perfection, with smooth curves and perfect lighting. Grasses swish in the wind. Those with decent graphics cards (i.e. not me) can also switch on full pixel-shading for hardcore water effects.

Hmm… familiar, no? Could be written about Unreal Tournament 3 couldn’t it? But perhaps I’m being unduly unfair on Unreal Tournament 3. Perhaps it bring loads of new stuff to the series and the genre as a whole? Perhaps there’s a whole mass of ‘under the surface’ tweaks that make Unreal Tournament 3 worth the money?

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Aww, come off it, who am I kidding?