Unreal Tournament 2003 – PC – Review

One of the most popular FPS (first person
shooter) games finally has a sequel. After months of delays, Unreal Tournament
2003 has finally hit the shelves! The sequel has much to live up to since the
original won numerous awards, and has a phenomenal game engine backing it up.
Unreal Tournament was one of the few games that rival the Quake series for best
FPS. Does the sequel retain all the qualities that made the original so good,
and then expound upon them for a better game, or does it bomb?

There is little background story in the game, if any, since that is not the main
purpose of this genre. Basically players get a team together to win different
types of tournaments. That is the story behind the whole game, become the best
fighter you can be, killing anyone that gets in your way, without facing any

The game offers many modes of play: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the
Flag, Double Domination, and Bombing Run. Deathmatch is where you are against
everyone in a free-for-all, and the winner is determined by who has the most
kills. Team Deathmatch is the same but the player has teammates that are there
to back them up, and acquire more kills. Capture the Flag is now a must have for
any FPS game to survive! Here is how this mode is played: each team has a flag,
and the object is for players to steal the opposing teams flag and bring it back
to their flag. If the gamers flag is taken, they must kill the intruder and
return the flag back to their base (just touch it). The team with the most
points wins. Double Domination is this: each level has two Domination points, to
score players must capture both points and they must remain in their control for
ten seconds. After scoring they become neutral again, and players must repeat
the process. The last new mode is Bombing Run, think of this as football meets
capture the flag. In the center of each ring, a bomb is set. Players must run to
catch it and bring it to the opposing teams goal. The thing is that once the
player picks up that bomb they cannot use any of their weapons. Players must
then bring the bomb to the goal; they score by kicking it or running it in the
goal. Just like football, players will have to remember to set up some defense
so the opposite team does not score. Once players die, the bomb is dropped
(fumbled) for anyone to get their hands on.

The weapon list is as follows: translocator, assault rifle, flak cannon, rocket
launcher, minigun, shock rifle, lightning gun, shield gun, link, biorifle, ion
painter, and the deadly redeemer. The translocator allows players to teleport
themselves around the levels by placing beacons around the place; it is very
useful when getting out of tight situations. This is the default weapon. The
assault rifle is players default gun, and it is one of the best light class
weapons available. The alternative fire is a grenade launcher, which players
will find very useful. Flank cannon is similar to a nail gun that, as when it is
fired it launches several heated "flechettes" that will burn on contact. To make
this weapon more deadly, the secondary fire is like a grenade that explodes on
impact with millions of flechettes going everywhere. Rocket launcher fires
either a single or up to three rockets in one shot, a very effective weapon! The
minigun is a machine gun that can hold up to two hundred and fifty bullets.

Shock rifle fires a shockwave that tries to neutralize the opponents, and the
secondary mode fires a ball of energy. The Lightning gun is a super powerful
sniper rifle. Shield gun, the last default weapon, has the ability to block
weapon fire for a short period of time; it can also be used as a close combat
weapon. The link gun fires a rapid blast of energy at its assailant. What has
changed is that this time the secondary fire can be used with other characters
to have a much more powerful blast. The bio-rifle remains the same as in the
previous game, players shoot a blob of toxic fluid and it can hurt the enemy on
impact or when it explodes. Alternate fire just gathers a lot more fluid to be
fired at one time. Ion painter is a super deadly weapon, players point to an
area, and in a few seconds a satellite will fire a deadly blast that will
annihilate anyone in its path. Finally a favorite among many UT fans, the
redeemer. It fires a nuclear weapon that is guaranteed to kill anyone! Players
can either point and shoot, or guide it manually to its designated position!

One of the newest features to the game is adrenaline. Players must either grab
it, looks like giant pill tablets, or they must kill other opponents. Once
players acquire one hundred adrenaline points, they can perform a number of
impressive things. A few of these temporary powers are: speed boost,
invisibility, additional defense, and many others. This brings a whole new layer
of strategy into the game, as players will have to discern what power to use,
and when is the best time to unleash it upon the world. Also by double tapping
the directional buttons, players can dodge opponent firepower, and players can
perform double jumps. Having all of these new abilities will be crucial when
trying to win the title for the best UT player!

Unreal Tournament 2003 is rated M for Mature for blood, gore, and violence.

The system requirements are:
Pentium III or AMD Athlon 733 MHz or greater
128 MB of RAM
Windows 98/ME/2000//XP
8X CD-Rom
DirectX 8.1 (included on disk)
16MB or greater TNT2 class Video card
Windows compatible soundcard
33.6 Kbps or better Internet Connection to play online
TCP/IP installed to play over a LAN (Local Area Network)
3 GB of Hard Drive Space
Keyboard and Mouse.

Gameplay: 8.8
There has been a lot of changes in this department since the original hit
the market. Some gameplay modes have been removed, weapons added/removed, and it
has a different "feel" to it, but that does not mean it is entirely bad. The
game plays more like a Quake series; meaning it is more about speed and action.
From the new jumping features, to the awesome adrenaline concept will help make
certain game modes go by quicker, like capture the flag. One thing that saddens
me is that Assault mode was ripped away in favor of Bombing Run and Double
Domination, this was one of the most unique modes of the original game, while
the two new features are nice, it still does not make up for the former.

The weapons in the game have been revamped, removed, and in some cases made
weaker. An example of this is the rocket launcher, this time it can shoot one
rocket or the alternative is three rockets at the same time, the original could
hold up to five. One of the new weapons is the lightning gun; it is like a
sniper rifle that allows players to shoot a bolt of lightning to fry incoming
assailants. One of best new weapons is the link gun. If you and a teammate are
using the alternative fire button on an enemy, the beam will get stronger and
more powerful.

Graphics: 9.7
Once you take a look at this game you will be amazed that you are not
actually in the game. The new unreal engine pushes tons of polygons, and it
looks gorgeous! While playing the game players will be amazed at the attention
to all the minor details such as the individual blades of grass, the moss
growing on the rocks, to super science fictional types of environments.
Sometimes you might be exterminated because you are taking in the breathtaking
environment they are fighting in.

The player models contain a very high polygonal count. They are extremely
detailed from the heads to the feet and they all look totally different from all
the other players. The character animations are the most impressive. From
running, jumping, and all the death animations. Thanks to the new karma psychics
system, every death is handled in a different way that corresponds to the
surrounding environment. If players are shot with a rocket, they will be on
fire, or if they die and are on the edge of a cliff, they will roll down
according to the bumps of the cliff. Very realistic and, and will become an eye
candy overload! What is totally amazing is that the game can run at very high
resolutions, running FSAA (Full Screen Anti Aliasing) and I have yet to
encounter any slow down! Great job Digital Extremes!

Sound: Medium
The sound used in this game is fairly good. Players will always be able to
tell what direction people are firing from and what kind of weapon is being
fired. Explosions are really well done, and the grunts and thuds from the dead
bodies have the sound that one might expect to hear. The voice work can be good
at times, but can use some improvement, because it seems like the voice
selection is on the short side, and the bots will be saying the same things
repeatedly. Music really compliments the game perfectly, from the intense
moments to the more placid ones.

What is really annoying is the announcer’s voice. He gets so involved in the
game, that it becomes a major distraction. Here is the thing that is confusing,
players have the ability to mute him, why place a voice like that if players
have the option to mute them. That should have made the developers find another
voice or at least tone it down some.

Difficulty: Medium
Unreal Tournament 2003 is easy to get into, as most first person shooting
games have the same controls. What bumps it up to medium is the fact that bots
are super intelligent this time, and will give the more advanced players a run
for their money. With the inclusion of online play, there will always be someone
better than you. Which will frustrate gamers but at the same time will force
them to come up with new strategies to become even better!

Concept: 9.0
Digital Extremes redid the entire Unreal Tournament game style, this time it
is presented in more (and better) tournament form. This time players can draft,
trade, and fire players on their team to make the best team that everyone will
fear to go against. This gives the game a totally unique look and feel to it.
There are so many new things from the adrenaline, to new game modes, and many
other unique and entertaining things to find out!

Multiplayer: 9.3
One of the games strong points is its
multiplayer capabilities. The game can be played online via the Internet or on a
LAN. The servers that are used are very reliable and I have yet been kicked off
of one. The game can be played on a 33.6 kbps modem but players will not have
the best experience. To get the full online unreal experience, players will have
to use a broadband connection, and it is totally worth it. The gameplay is
smooth and never shows any slowdown what so ever!

Another feature is the ability to track your individual stats against other
people around the world. With this little feature players  can rightfully
brag that they are the best UT player in the universe!

Overall: 9.3
f you are a fan of FPS, games with great graphics, and wonderful gameplay;
go to the nearest store and buy this game immediately! The game is that good!
From the minute you install the game you will be amazed how wonderful this game
looks, and plays. It is a shame that a few modes were cut out and some of the
weapons have been weakened, but than again it is a sequel to UT and an expansion
pack. Listen, you owe it to yourself to purchase this game. See you online!