Unreal Tournament 3 is the ninth entry in the Unreal series and the fourth entry in the Unreal Tournament series. It was developed by Epic Games and 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.
Unlike the prior Unreal Tournament games, the single-player campaign does not follow a plot based around the Tournament Grand Championship, and therefore several of the teams within Unreal Tournament 3 are not Tournament competitors. The five playable factions are: Iron Guard, a team of human mercenaries led by former Tournament champion Malcolm; the Ronin, a band of four survivors of a Skaarj attack on a human colony; Liandri, a series of advanced humanoid robots custom-built or retrofitted for combat; the Krall, a warlike race of aliens formerly under the leadership of the Skaarj, returning from their initial appearance in the original Unreal; and the Necris, warriors who have undergone the process of the same name, making them stronger at the expense of replacing their biological processes with "Nanoblack", effectively turning them into undead soldiers (hence the name, Necris). In the campaign, players control members of the Ronin, and the Necris serve as the chief antagonists.
In the game's story, set in 2307, some years after the events of UT2004, a Necris attack occurs on a colony on unknown planet, releasing armed Kralls on the humans. The colony is defenseless, but a group of Ronins arrives on the scene, defending the survivors. Reaper, the group's leader, advises his second-in-command warrior Othello and his sister Jester to destroy the orbital Necris blockade with a fighter, and orders team's sniper expert, Bishop, to provide cover as he swarms to save the colony. Suddenly, he is caught in the explosion of an incoming rocket missile and passes out, but not before seeing an unknown Necris woman shooting a soldier next to him. Reaper is rescued by Othello and Jester and wakes up in the base of the Izanagi, a guerrilla force that fights against Necris and Axon, and he meets with the leader, revealed to be Malcolm, who also leads the Iron Guard as the Izanagi's army. He explains that the Necris attack was masterminded by Liandri, who also turn some of the Krall, into Necris, controlled undead soldiers. The unknown woman who Reaper saw turns out to be Akasha, the Necris operative who destroyed the colony and also leads the Necris forces. Reaper wants to kill her, but Malcolm tells him that he needs to prove himself first.
Unreal Tournament 3 promised a return to the "feel" of the original Unreal Tournament. Epic's aim was to make the game more in-your-face, fast-paced, and less "floaty". To accomplish this, gravity was increased and dodge jump was removed. However, dodging, double jumps, and wall dodging remained. Gameplay in UT3 stresses close combat and projectile weapons more than any of its predecessors.
Development history Edit
UT3 was revealed to the world in the May 2005 issue of Computer Gaming World magazine. The first news of it began to appear on or around March 27, 2005. The game was originally codenamed UT "Envy", but later, around May 29, 2005, it was revealed that the name had been changed to Unreal Tournament 2007. It was not until January 25, 2007 at the Midway Gamer's Day event in Las Vegas that it was revealed that the game's name had been changed to Unreal Tournament 3. This change was met with great enthusiasm from the Unreal fan base.
Early in the development of the game, many features were discussed that were later dropped. A game mode named Conquest was originally announced as a war spanning multiple levels with lots of dynamic things like nanoblack taking over parts of levels owned by the Necris. An updated version of Onslaught entitled Onslaught 2.0 was also discussed early in the game's development cycle.. Later both of these game modes were collapsed into Warfare.
At Midnight on Friday, October 12th, 2007, Fileplanet began preloading the game to its subscribers. The demo was unlocked and released on FilePlanet at 12:35 PM on Friday, October 12th. The release was apparently several hours earlier than intended, probably in response to a Norwegian site, "IT Avisen", leaking the demo approximately 5 hours earlier than FilePlanet.
Epic called the release an "Open Beta Demo" in an attempt to signify the incomplete status of the demo. Epic promised to respond to user feedback in order to fix issues in the final game. Several issues reported during the beta demo period were fixed or began to be fixed in the first patch. An updated demo fixing these issues was never released.
On November 12th, 2007 (a full seven days prior to the NA release), the German version of the game was released to German retailers. In order to comply with German regulations for public game sales, the game had blood, gibs, and headshots removed from the game. Very little else was changed except for the localization to German.
The US retail release came on November 19th, 2007. This, however, was the "ship" date, and thus many stores did not receive physical product until November 20th, 2007. The Canadian release came on November 20, and stores put it on shelves the very next day. The European release came on November 23, 2007.
On October 26, 2007, 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 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 bonus DVD contained a DRM called Anti-WarHawK (AWH) which would disable video playback in isolated cases. The Limited Collector's Edition was being sold in the United States, Latin America, Europe, South Africa, Australia and most other territories.
The PS3 version supports both mods and keyboard inputs, and was said to be graphically superior to Gears of War by Mark Rein, vicepresident of Epic Games. The first patch 1.1 is about 44MB and was released on March 21, 2008. It adds the possibility for players of both the North American and European version to play together, 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 2.0 patch was released on March 5, 2009 and adds better PC mod support, smarter AI, 48 attainable Trophies, server-side improvements, an improved map vote, improved multiplayer support (aka split screen), and a new-made UI. The Titan Pack was released two weeks later, and includes 11 maps and a new game mode.
On its release, the Xbox 360 version had five exclusive maps, two exclusive characters, two-player split-screen multiplayer mode, and all the downloadable content released by Epic already on the disc. With the release of the PS3 and PC "Titan Upgrade" patch on March 5, these versions offered the previously Xbox 360 exclusive content plus more. The Xbox 360 version does not support user-generated mods, and additional content will have to be verified by Microsoft before being released. The PS3 version supports actual mods that can be uploaded and downloaded to the PS3's HDD or external media, and then activated through the menu. The Xbox 360 version supports a two-player split screen mode; however, split-screen was added to the PS3 version in the 2.0 patch.
On October 20th, 2008, Mark Rein announced via email that Midway and Epic were working on a "major expansion" for UT3. On January 26th, 2009, the first part of this expansion was revealed in the form of a major patch. This information was first revealed publicly by BeyondUnreal. The second part of this expansion was called the "Titan Pack". On February 19th, 2009, the contents of the Titan Pack were revealed. Two new gametypes (Greed and Betrayal), one new Mutator (Titans), 2 new characters (Nova and Kana from the 360 version of the game), and 16 new maps, including the five exclusive 360 maps. The Titan Pack, along with Patch 2.0, was released March 5th, 2009. Critics of the Titan Pack complained about the number of servers running the Titans mutator, which gave players the ability to turn into giants with overpowered weapons. Many players found this mutator uninteresting and most of the servers running after the pack was released were running the mutator.
The last and final official version of UT3 is Version 2.1 (3809) also known as "Patch 5". On January 29th, 2009, it was revealed that owners of the retail copy of UT3 would be able to use their CD key to register the game on Steam. Registering the game on Steam provides access to Steam-only features such as the achievements added in version 2.0 of the game.
On April 3rd, 2014 it was revealed by Glu Mobile (current owners of the Gamespy brand) that the Gamespy multiplayer service would be shutting down on July 31st, 2014. This stood to kill the master servers for the game. Epic decided to release an update that removes Gamespy and replaces it with an in-house solution. This had the side effect of killing the stats tracking for the game entirely and disabling the in-game friend list, however with the update it is still possible to play the game online and continue to host servers for the game.
Release dates Edit
Game content Edit
- Main article: Unreal Tournament 3 Single player
The game's story takes place in the off-season between the 2303 and 2304 tournaments. It follows James "Reaper" Hawkins, a new recruit working for the Izanagi Corporation after the colony he lived in, Twin Souls, was destroyed by a horde of Krall led by the Necris High Inquisitor Akasha. Your mission is to gather as many resources and allies as possible in order to repel the invasion, but there's more to it than meets the eye when Tournament Champion Malcolm gets involved in the picture. This campaign can also be played in Cooperative mode, alongside other three players.
Aside of the campaign, UT3 features several multiplayer and botmatch gametypes such as Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Duel, Survival, Capture The Flag, Vehicle CTF, Warfare, Betrayal and Greed. With the exceptions of VCTF, CTF and WAR, every other mode uses the Deathmatch set of maps.
|Capture The Flag maps for Unreal Tournament 3|
|CTF-Coret • CTF-Hydrosis • CTF-OmicronDawn • CTF-Reflection • CTF-Strident • CTF-Vertebrae|
|Bonus Packs: CTF-FacingWorlds • CTF-LostCause • CTF-Morbid • CTF-Nanoblack • CTF-Searchlight • CTF-Shaft|
|Deathmatch maps for Unreal Tournament 3|
|DM-Arsenal • DM-Biohazard • DM-CarbonFire • DM-Deck • DM-Defiance • DM-Deimos • DM-Diesel • DM-Fearless • DM-Gateway • DM-HeatRay • DM-RisingSun • DM-Sanctuary • DM-Sentinel • DM-ShangriLa|
|Bonus Packs: DM-DarkMatch • DM-EdenInc • DM-KBarge • DM-Morbias • DM-OceanRelic • DM-Turbine|
|Vehicle CTF maps for Unreal Tournament 3|
|VCTF-Containment • VCTF-Corruption • VCTF-Kargo • VCTF-Necropolis • VCTF-Sandstorm • VCTF-Suspense|
|Bonus Packs: VCTF-Rails • VCTF-Stranded • VCTF-Suspense_Necris|
|Warfare maps for Unreal Tournament 3|
|WAR-Avalanche • WAR-Downtown • WAR-Dusk • WAR-Floodgate • WAR-Islander • WAR-Islander_Necris • WAR-MarketDistrict • WAR-OnyxCoast • WAR-PowerSurge • WAR-Serenity • WAR-Serenity_Necris • WAR-Sinkhole • WAR-TankCrossing • WAR-Torlan • WAR-Torlan_Necris|
|Bonus Packs: WAR-ColdHarbor • WAR-Confrontation • WAR-Downtown_Necris • WAR-Hostile|
Five playable races are present in UT3.
New to the Unreal Tournament games, UT3 now includes the option to fully customize your character. Players are able to switch out several armor pieces such as facemasks, helmets, goggles, shoulderpads, torso, arms, thighs and boots.
- Main article: Music#Unreal Tournament 3
An official game soundtrack was released November 20, 2007. The 2-CD set contains the ingame music, done by Kyd and DiPrisco, which feature a number of remixes from previous Unreal Tournament games. Not every track are present in the soundtrack. All cutscene music is missing, as are the themes to WAR-Downtown and CTF-Coret, due to those tracks being composed by Kevin Riepl. These tracks are, however, available from his site, along with some songs from E3 videos and other early demonstrations.
Unreal Tournament 3: The Soundtrack is primaly based on the original Unreal Tournament score which was composed by Straylight Productions and Michiel van den Bos. Jesper Kyd and Rom Di Prisco re-recorded UT99's tracks and composed several other original tracks which were released on November 20, 2007 by Sumthing Else. Sandhya Sanjana] was featured as a guest vocalist.
Reception to the beta demo was generally positive, with most people agreeing that Epic has "got it right." There was some notable dissension from the crowd who enjoyed UT2003 and UT2004 though, particularly about the removal of dodge jump. Unreal Tournament players, which Epic were targeting, didn't switch to UT3 either due to steep system requirements and the overall unstable state of the game for months after release.
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
Warfare, in particular, has been praised for being a more strategic and improved version of Onslaught, though the gametype turned off many veteran Onslaught players due to additions like the Orb.
Several issues with the game led to low player numbers, with the key issues being:
- Lackluster Single-Player and no Tournament mode: While the Single-Player was hyped a lot, it failed to deliver. It was too long and it completely replaced the old Tournament mode. It also had awkward explanations for classic arena gametypes, like FLaGs (Field Lattice Generators) and that scoring points ran out enemy respawners.
- Awkward and simple UI: The UI felt very awkward and was very simple compared to previous UT games. There were very little options available for common settings, and overall the UI felt very unfinished. Many settings could be changed via INI, however often these settings do not save, revert, or appear to have no effect. As of Patch 2.0, the UI has been reworked with a new color scheme and more advanced options, fixing many of the prior complaints. As of June 2014, Gamespy has been removed from UT3 which fixed many of the issues with config files reverting.
- Astoundingly bad Server Admin launch: Perhaps the worst problem, due to UT3 being primarily a multiplayer game, are issues with the server admin tools. The initial release of the Windows dedicated server package was littered with bugs preventing a significant number of hosts from running servers. The Linux dedicated server was released a month after the retail game, on December 18, 2007 which left many hosts without any UT3 package to offer. Web Admin was also missing from both the original release and the first patch, though it was released alongside Patch 2 and received steady updates until support ended for the game in 2009.
- Modding support simplified: Another key complaint with the game is that much of what used to be done in UnrealScript has been moved to native code, supposedly as a way to improve performance on consoles. This, however, has made it increasingly difficult to develop proper mods and mutators for the game in many instances. As of Patch 2.0, modding support improved drastically however it was never as easy as it had been in previous games.
Midway announced in March that they had shipped over 1 million units worldwide.
Essential Files Edit
- Main article: Essential files#Unreal Tournament 3
- Main article: Bonus content#Unreal Tournament 3
Here you can find a list of official and unofficial, yet essential, files for your game.
- The game is 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 game is numbered by generation, with Unreal Tournament representing the first generation, Unreal Tournament 2003 and Unreal Tournament 2004 representing the second generation, and UT3 representing the third generation.
- Linux and Mac OS X versions of the game were originally planned to be released as downloadable installers that would work with the retail disc. The two versions of the game were apparently far along with Ryan Gordon even posting screenshots of the game running on the two platforms. However, it was later revealed that due to unknown "legal issues" the Linux installer was not going to be released. The game only works with Windows to this day, however it is possible to run the game in Linux using Wine.
- The Juggernauts, Nakhti and Thunder Crash teams were all considered for this game, however, they were cut. Only Malcolm made the cut as a cameo character.
- Epic planned to use UT3 to bring more and more people into the Unreal community, with strong community integration out of the box. In-game lobbies were planned for Warfare, and game stats integration would have allowed you to find similarly-skilled opponents via the UT3 server browser. However, none of these elements shipped with the final game. A global rankings system does exist to allow clans and other players to compare scores.
- PS3 users can download specially cooked versions of various maps and mutators, provided the author supplies them. However, there are some limitations, and custom sounds or music cannot be supported in PS3 versions of the maps due to a proprietary sound codec being used. The XBox 360 version does not support custom content. However, the Xbox 360 version of the game shipped with exclusive maps and characters not found on the PC or PS3 versions, as well as a split-screen mode. These features were added to the PC and PS3 platform with patch 2.0 and the Titan Pack, though split screen support on PC is limited.
- The game was deemed one of the "1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die" (2013 edition) by Tony Mott, editor of Edge magazine, on the eponymous book.
- "Unreal Tournament is the fastest-moving multiplayer shooter in more ways than one. As a game of blasting fellow humans into pieces, it has enough foot speed, firepower, and body count to make its competitors blush. As a project for Epic Games it’s even more restless, adding a wealth of new features to each new installment, including characters, maps, vehicles, and game modes. And as a lifelong promoter of modding as both a hobby and career move, it comes with some of the most versatile home development tools around, giving free access to the prolific Unreal Engine. Just head to its online forums for some extraordinary user-created maps.
The problem with speed, though, is that it tends to leave people behind. Hence the reputation of most PC shooters for precipitous learning curves and hardcore communities: If you weren’t there from the start, what business do you have playing now? Previous Unreal Tournaments 2003 and 2004 did little to shake this attitude. But Unreal Tournament 3 is different. With a single-player story mode full of tutorials and sparring sessions, it’s as much a game for rookies as veterans.
This was vital for Unreal Tournament 3 because it wasn’t just the average PC game. It was a PS3 game, too, and one of the first to let console gamers see what they were missing. In a gesture that’s unlikely to be repeated any time soon, it gave PC modders the tools they needed to “bake” content for both platforms, a map that works on one being just mouse clicks away from the other. Someone even added Halo’s Master Chief, much to the ire of Xbox 360 owners; their version offers no mod support thanks to Microsoft’s content approval process."
- ―Tony Mott
- ↑ Steve Polge's E3 Interview @ BeyondUnreal.com
- ↑ http://www.beyondunreal.com/view_story.php?id=12277
- ↑ http://beyondunreal.com/articles/titan-pack-reveal/
- ↑ UT3 Black Edition on Steam
- ↑ http://epicgames.com/community/2014/05/ut3-patch-allows-you-to-play-after-gamespy-shutdown/
- ↑ Kevin Riepl's official site
- ↑ "Seriously, there's no conspiracy... so stop sending me email suggesting that Microsoft is paying to block this." - Ryan "Icculus" Gordon.
- ↑ Unreal Tournament 3 @ WineHQ
- ↑ "1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die" @ Wikipedia
See also Edit
|Unreal series: Unreal • Return to Na Pali • Unreal II|
|Tournament series: Unreal Tournament • UT2003 • UT2004 • UT3 • UT4|
|Championship series: Unreal Championship - Unreal Championship 2|