Unreal Tournament 3 (UT3) is a first-person shooter and online multiplayer video game by Epic Games and is the next installment of the Unreal series after Unreal Tournament 2004. It is published by Midway Games and was released for Microsoft Windows on November 19 2007, PlayStation 3 on December 11 2007, and on Xbox 360 on July 3 2008. The Linux installer is planned to be released later as a downloadable installer that works with the Windows disc.
Unreal Tournament 3 is actually the fourth game in the Unreal Tournament series and the eighth Unreal game, but it has been numbered in terms of the engine it runs on. The original Unreal Tournament uses the original Unreal Engine, while UT2003 and UT2004 use the Unreal Engine 2, and 2004 incorporates all of the content from 2003; therefore they are considered as the same generation. UT3 is subsequently part of the third generation, because it runs on the Unreal Engine 3, and does not reuse any content. In March 2008, Midway announced that UT3 had sold over a million copies worldwide.
Similar to the previous entries of the series, the game is primarily an online multiplayer title offering several game modes, including large-scale Warfare, Capture-the-Flag, and Deathmatch. It will also include an extensive offline single-player game with an in-depth story, advancing from the simple tournament ladder to such concepts as team members with their own individual personalities.
The following game modes are included:
- Team Deathmatch
- Capture the flag
- Duel: A one versus one gametype. It uses a queueing system, the winner stays, and the loser goes back to the end of the queue. A typical match lasts five minutes with an unlimited number of rounds.
- Warfare (formerly known as Conquest): An amalgamation of Onslaught and Assault. While basic game rules are equal to those of Onslaught, Warfare adds unlinked nodes which can always be captured (supplying the capturing team with vehicles and a spawnpoint) and countdown nodes (which, after being captured and defended for a certain period of time, create a vehicle or trigger an event helpful to the capturing team) as well as the orb, which can be used to instantly capture and defend nodes.
- Vehicle Capture the Flag: Capture the Flag, with vehicles as part of the map; this exists as a separate game type to Capture the Flag, above.
Modes not returning from the previous Unreal Tournament games include Invasion, Mutant, Onslaught, Bombing Run, Last Man Standing, Domination, Double Domination, and Assault; Assault was removed from the game during production. Due to the game's customizable nature these game modes could be recreated by users of the game. Although the game designers claimed that the new Warfare mode would allow maps to be created that play like classic Assault or Onslaught, the reality is that only Onslaught maps can be created, as there is no simple way to implement the timed rounds and Attacker/Defender teams that were the major features of classic Assault.
The vehicles have been split into two factions, the Axon vehicles (made by the Axon corporation) and Necris vehicles. The Axon vehicles are the same from UT2004, but several have significant gameplay changes. In addition, every player is equipped with a personal hoverboard, which is a skateboard-like device that allows players to traverse large maps and get towed when they grapple onto other teammates' vehicles. However, the hoverboard is very vulnerable to attack and any kind of hit will knock the player off the board and disable him or her for several seconds. Additionally, the player cannot use any weapons while on the board.
The returning Axon vehicles include those featured in the Editor's Choice Edition of Unreal Tournament 2004 and are relatively more traditional. Included are the Manta - a fast hovercraft which is more manoeuvrable in UT3, the Raptor (air superiority dogfighter), Scorpion (light assault buggy, now equipped with mortars, blades that unfold in the front, and now has a speed-boost option which can be used to kamikaze itself into another target), Hellbender (armored jeep, the driver now operates the air mine gun reducing the crew to 2), Cicada (a two person air support vehicle), Hellfire SPMA (remote bombardment cannon with a significant improvement in handling), Paladin (infantry support tank that uses an energy shield), Goliath (battle tank), and Leviathan (heavy weapons platform).
The Necris (undead humans who are the opposition in the tournaments) have a rival set of vehicles. There are six Necris vehicles, and although they are not parallel to Axon's vehicles, they are intended to make a good balance against them.
The Necris Viper is most similar to the Manta, a quick strike ground skimmer armed with single-bouncing energy pellets and a kamikaze function. The Nemesis is essentially a mobile energy turret with adaptable snake-like treads, and the DarkWalker is a heavy offensive vehicle, featuring a twin fission blast beam on a tripod walker (similar to the tripods from H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds) and a purge function for anyone unfortunate enough to get caught between the DarkWalkers legs. The Fury is the basic air vehicle of the Necris, with ion drive propulsion,and a quad-fission blast beam, the Nightshade is a cloaking stealth vehicle with deployable spider mines, stasis fields, EMP pulses, and shield generators, and the Scavenger is an orb-like vehicle with a complex attack mode that shoots a laser which designates a certain unit (player or vehicle) as a target. An energy orb then begins move towards the target, and orbits the target, attacking with energy transference beams.
Unlike the previous Unreal Tournament games, where the single player campaign follows a plot based around the Tournament Grand Championship, the single player campaign does not follow a plot based around the Tournament Grand Championship, and therefore several of the teams within Unreal Tournament III are not Tournament competitors:
- Necris, appearing in several previous titles, the Necris are a species of nanotechnologically modified humans who were originally designed by the Phayder Corporation to function as ultra-high performance Black Ops forces for hire from Phayder. White-skinned, gothic-looking and with advanced nanotechnology-based equipment designed by Phayder, they are the antagonists of UT3. The Necris Championship team are known as "Black Legion", and several members of the group appear in UT3, including Kragoth the Star Slayer and Malakai.
- "The Corrupt", though not specifically identified by this name within UT3, are a team of artificially intelligent cybernetic beings, maintained and financed by the mysterious Liandri Mining Corporation (originators of the Tournaments) whose domination of the robotics markets is unchallenged. They were originally lead by Xan Kriegor, the first Tournament Grand Champion until his defeat by Malcolm and his team Thundercrash. The Corrupt are now lead by newcomer Matrix, a Liandri executive who upgraded at the request of his superiors.
- Iron Guard, an ancient Tournament team of hardened mercenaries and ex-military, led by long-time Tourney veteran Lauren. Iron Guard have been hired by the Axon Corporation.
- Iron Skull, a reptillian species called the Krall, they served as expendable slave warriors in the Skaarj empire before its contact with the human empire under the New Earth Government. Many Krall prisoners of war entered the empire during the Human/Skaarj War, some entering the Tournaments. The Necris chose to make use of this resource, purchasing the Iron Skull clan and putting them into service as shock troops.
- Ronin, a team protected by red armour, with yellow glowing LEDs and henna tattoos; they were a clan of warriors whose duty was to defend the Twin Souls mining colony - after Twin Souls was destroyed by the Necris, they fled to Earth and now represent Izanagi Corporation, who sponsor them as mercenaries and Tournament combatants. They were given their name by the Izanagi.
- Thunder Crash, although this team was not initially in the game itself, Malcolm appears on the UT3 website and manual, hinting that this team may return to the franchise in a later patch or bonus pack.
Limited Collector's Edition
On October 26
, a limited collector's edition of the game was announced to be released on PC. This version of the game features an exclusive collector's edition tin, 2 exclusive characters and a hardcover art book. A bonus DVD is also included, featuring more than 20 hours of Unreal Engine 3 Toolkit video tutorials, the history of the Unreal Tournament series, and behind-the-scenes footage of the making of Unreal Tournament 3. The Limited Collector's Edition is being sold in the United States, Latin America, Europe, South Africa, Australia and most other territories.
Unreal Tournament 3
received generally positive reviews from critics. The Windows
version received an average score of 84% based on 38 reviews on the review aggregator Game Rankings
, and an average score of 83 out of 100 based on 40 reviews on Metacritic
. The PS3
version received an average score of 86% based on 41 reviews on the review aggregator Game Rankings
, and an average score of 86 out of 100 based on 41 reviews on Metacritic
. Xbox Magazine
rated it 8.5 out of 10. Midway announced in March that they had shipped over 1 million units worldwide. GameSpot
gave it a 8 out of 10 for the Xbox 360 version and 8.5 for PC and PS3.
Many Unreal Tournament 3 players have created additional maps, mutators, and characters for Unreal Tournament 3. Some user-created content includes custom characters, including Master Chief from the Halo series, Samus from the Metroid series, Snake from the Metal Gear series, The COG troops and the Locust Horde from Gears of War, and variations of the comic book character Spawn. Recently a model pack was released which introduced Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines from the Warhammer 40000 universe by Games Workshop.
Xbox 360 Version
The Xbox 360 version has 5 exclusive maps, 2 exclusive Characters, a 2 player Splitscreen Multiplayer mode, and all the downloadable content released by Epic already on the disc. The Xbox 360 version does not support user-generated mods and additional content will have to be verified by Microsoft before being released. In addition it is the first Unreal Tournament console port to not offer keyboard and mouse support. The game also contains exclusive video content for Gears of War 2, another upcoming title from Epic Games.
PC (Windows) Version
The first patch for the PC (Windows) version was released on December 10
bringing the game up to version 1.1. The patch is around 240 MB
and incorporates changes to the game settings, changes to gameplay and many bug fixes.
The second patch for the PC (Windows) version was released on February 21, 2008 bringing the game up to version 1.2. The patch once again fixes various bugs and exploits throughout the game as well as making other changes, such as increasing the maximum player count in a game to 64.
The third patch for the PC (Windows) version was released on August 13, 2008 bringing the game up to version 1.3. The patch once again fixes various bugs and exploits throughout the game as well as making other changes, such as midgame map voting, and many AI improvements.
PlayStation 3 Version
The first patch 1.1 is about 44MB and was released on March 21
, major changes include the possibility for players of both the North American and European version to play together, it fixes problems with some USB headsets and now displays best ping servers on top of the list. Some updates are only applied on the North American version since the PAL version released in March 2008 was partially updated. The 1.2 patch was released on September 23
and changes included dedicated PC support for PS3 clients, AI tweaks, and graphical fixes.