Top 10 things I love and hate about UT3

I’ve bought Unreal Tournament III quite soon after it was released. Maybe I wouldn’t do the same now – but I’ve already done it and because I don’t buy games too often I should play the games I have. It’s not that hard to play game that has Unreal Tournament in the title because I love UT games. Yet I have a lot of troubles with this one. Not only because expectations were high. They were high because it’s another instalment as well as because they (Epic) promised us finished game. On my box there stands: Unsurpassed. Unprecedented. Unrivaled. Well… I really expected more from the game that looks so good and from the game that acts like one of the top games around here for the time being.

So what are these top hate & love things? I’ll start with things I like and then I finish with the hate part. It’s bad strategy if I want to serve UT3 well – but the truth is that I don’t want to make it look that good because – really – even after second patch this game simply lacks many important things. Game is playable, game is fine, but it still lacks something. Maybe details, but even details are important. After all… next-gen shooter emphasize focus on details besides the other things. 🙂

Things I love (no particular order):

1. Fast-paced, grounded gameplay. This game simply sounds heavy when you compare it with UT2004. I don’t particularly prefer this – I just like it. It’s the change towards first UT (UT99, or UT GOTY if you want) and it feels good. Your movement is fast, not so floaty and you can’t fly around like before. Trick jumpers might be probably a bit sad, but I saw nice jumps in this game as well.

2. Idea of single player story. I don’t like the execution and story-line though, but I like matinees, their quality… the idea. I hope the next UT will bring something that’s better than “forgettable”. I don’t have anything against previous tournament campaigns – they were straight – but these days require solid story. This was the first try and it was the step into right direction. Just work more on the story itself, guys. 😉

3. I really like visuals. Sure – post-processing is overdone here and there, but visuals are nice and rich. Maps are really detailed – even those big battlefields are highly detailed – and there’s a lot of work in it. I like this.

4. I like player visibility in team-based games. Too sad I can’t say the same about free for all deathmatch, here default skins are really hard to spot. And please don’t call me blind. I can see that there is something moving over there but it’s hard to recognize player itself. Team games bring nice glow effect for player skins which is much more adequate than glow-sticks from UTComp. Funny thing is that you can sometimes see players better when they are further from you (they glow more). Akasha on dark Necris map “right to your face” should definitely glow more even from close distance. Still step into right direction.

5. Bio-rifle death delay. It’s a nice touch – you know that you’re probably gonna die when you have that green mess on you but that duration effect is nice. I like it more than instant death from previous UT.

6. Lorem Ipsum on some screens that are not supposed to be seen. Ok, not really a thing I like but it made me smile. 🙂

7. I love the content in packages you can use in your maps. Packages are sorted out much better than in UT2004 and it finally makes sense to find garbage in a package called so. Also the volume of assets is good. I like this.

8. Another UnrealEd feature I have to praise – Sync Generic Browser. That’s just cool thing. UnrealEd in general has some very nice touches and it went its way since UT2004. Very good. Not that it’s solely UT3 related thing – but hey – it’s in the package! 🙂

9. CTF-Vertebrae! You can think whatever you want – but this map is great. Maybe not pr0, but it’s cool, it’s crazily vertical, you just need some time to navigate it. But it’s worth it. This map is something fresh in CTF.

10. It’s UT! It’s fast, crazy, brutal, unreal and however I keep distance I still like it because it’s UT.

Ok, I know – things I like were accompanied with some irony in some cases. But it was really hard to find real big things I like on this game except for a few gameplay shifts which have their drawbacks as well.

Things I don’t like:

1. Small and fast moving targets. This game is not that hit-scan oriented like before, but to hit with sniper or shock now it’s really hard. Even bots above average levels are moving like crazy and it’s nearly impossible to hit them. This – of course – relates to thing I like – fast movement. But bodies could be a bit bigger and maybe the movement could be just a bit slower. If you mix this up with (again) poor visibility of skins in non team-based gametypes – it really sucks.

2. Spam and splash damage weapons dominance. You can still find good snipers here – of course – but in general you’ll do good with rockets (faster than in UT2004), flak and similar weapons. Rockets are extremely annoying when you’re playing with bots – and especially if it’s arena like map. Not to mention overpowered stinger.

3. Bot’s precision. It just sucks as always. But this time they are much better aimbots from distance. And with stinger – they are unbearable. I can’t play lower difficulties because bots are clearly stupid there. But playing higher ones is very frustrating because they let you sense that they are bots. Also if you just appear from behind some wall and they hit you with sniper – well, that’s… inhuman? 🙂

4. Add bot’s taunt every time they kill you. No, you can’t turn this off (at least not in the UI). Unbelievably stupid feature that is probably seemed funny in Epic. I can’t explain it otherwise. Retarded. Maybe it’s intended as a nerves training.

5. Client-side demos. They are broken, buggy and instead of repairing them Epic’s stance is “not supported”. Well, what the heck? Game is out for over four months and I can hardly find one file with 1on1 demos? It’s also hard for movie-makers.

6. UI forgets settings when you get back to Main menu. If you want just to change player count you have to check and select your map again! That’s pathetic. Bot level and count is not preserved between runs of the game like it was before.

7. You can’t spectate instant action. You might think it’s stupid idea but it’s actually quite usable feature especially for mappers.

8. If you’re in a ghost mode and you get into solid matter screen starts to jitter. Funny – not with behind view. Being partially in wall is good for some snapshots so this shaky cam is very disturbing.

9. Hm, I’m running out of list! Ugly sounds if you use mouse wheel fast in lists (map list, server list). They probably tested it only with PS3 controller. You also can’t copy&paste into console (for instance server IP), you can’t even set any server as your favourite. Because you have to visit the server first to appear in History tab from where you can move it to Favorites. But if you connect to server using “open <ip>” command it’s not added to History. What a mess. I don’t care Gamespy integration – but I care that Friends system is messy and very badly integrated and all is billions of clicks away.

10. Last point is general – unfulfilled promises. A lot of them. Broken. And when you read (otherwise nice) art book delivered with Collector’s edition with bullshits about “we’re the company that can deliver things when they are done” and you have to interact with half-baked product… that’s sad.

As months goes by guys from Epic tries to blame (weak) PC market, piracy or whatever else. But there are some good points. They finally admitted some flaws and there are already two patches released that makes UT3 better deal. Anyway – all my points are still valid after second patch and I have to wait for third (and next). 🙂

So that’s it. It’s VERY personal and I bet you can agree with a lot and disagree with many points as well. I’d probably adjust this list later after much more playing of UT3, now it’s just the list of a player who did his best to overcome that second list (things I don’t like) and play another game from his favourite franchise. And yes – Unreal is my favourite game series. Yet shortly after UT3 is out I expect the next one. But maybe one more patch and more players on servers… and we’re there – and we have our good UT we wanted. We’ll see.

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About virgo47
Java Developer by profession in the first place. Gamer and amateur musician. And father too. Naive believer in brighter future. Step by step.

2 Responses to Top 10 things I love and hate about UT3

  1. Joshua Pohl says:

    Those are some pretty good points. I was considering picking it up but chose to get Gears of War for the PC instead. 🙂

  2. virgo47 says:

    GoW has real story at least. UT3 is better for multiplayer though – that’s what UTs were here for.

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