Unreal Tournament 2003 PC Preview

Unreal Tournament 2003 Review PC
Unreal Tournament 2003 Review PC
UT2003 offers four game play modes, deathmatch, capture the flag, double domination and bombing run. The two odd balls in here are double domination and bombing run. Double domination involves capturing and holding a strategic point for a straight ten seconds in order to score. Bombing run is a type of sport not too dissimilar to Rugby. The object of the game is for you and your team to run the ball through a goal in the enemy's base. This is made even harder as you can't use your weapon while carrying the ball but you can throw or pass the ball to your team mates.

One thing players will notice is the sheer speed of the game, although UT2003 is never too fast for its own good. This makes that deathmatches frantic, it could take some getting used to as it is possible for a rookie to blast an expert due to the speedy and frantic nature. Once you get used to the speed skilled players will always rule victorious, during the capture the flag and bombing runs online the best and most skilled team will usually win. Unfortunately the assault mode hasn't made it to this version and there seems to be a complete lack of new game play modes as the double domination and bomber run modes are pretty half hearted lame attempts. To make up for this in part, you are able to tweak the game play by using the small scale modifications know as mutators. Instagib for example will arm everyone with a weapon that will kill with one single shot. Low Gravity alters the physics of movement, while Vampire heals you when you kill or injure your opponents. These are just a few examples, if the support for UT2003 is anything like the original you can probably expect to see a lot more mutators, maps and mods released by the games loyal fan base.
Unreal Tournament 2003 Review PC @ www.contactmusic.com
Unreal Tournament 2003 Review PC @ www.contactmusic.com
Unreal Tournament 2003 Review PC @ www.contactmusic.com

One new feature in UT2003 is adrenaline. You must collect and stock these oversized pills floating all over the maps. When you collect 100 adrenaline points you can perform keyboard moves which let you turn invisible, increase your speed, boost your health or do extra damage. These can have a major impact at crucial moments in the team games like CTF. Without adrenaline you can also perform a selection of jumping and dodging moves. You can double jump off walls in UT2003 which is a valuable new addition that will help skilled players dodge incoming fire and get around maps quicker than before.

Weapons in UT2003 differ quite considerably from those found in the original Unreal Tournament. Many of the weapons in the original where extremely powerful, now the weapons in UT2003 seem much more balanced and as a result less powerful. For example the sniper rifle is nowhere to be seen in UT2003, instead it has been replaced by the lighting gun. Firstly the sniper rifle let you sit undetected, the lighting gun will glow while charging up and when you use the sight only the very centre portion of the sight is clear which means it is pretty hard to use, plus it's not really a stealthy weapon anymore as people can see you quite easily. Other weapons have also been toned down, this is probably to stop those inexperienced plays hogging corridors and hallways by filling them with tons of heavy fire. You won't see the same level of weapon abuse on the internet as you did in the original game.

There are some completely new weapons in UT2003 such as the ion painter. Basically paint something or preferably someone with the ion painter and then you will be rewarded with a huge blast that comes from the gods, this is possibly the ultimate in overkill.

The level design in UT2003 is generally great you will be treated to a wide variety of colourful maps built with one thing in mind, action. You will charge across bridges spanning over huge gorges, battle through spooky forests and leap across mile high skyscrapers. Unfortunately there are some of those grimy industrial maps but you will still find various maps that you will enjoy.

Along with the level design the graphics in UT2003 are fantastic and outstanding on a technical level. This latest version of the unreal engine is capable of pumping out a serious amount of polygons with highly detailed textures. You will need a powerful computer to enjoy the visuals in their full detail. As mentioned before the game moves very fast indeed and you shouldn't find any slow down with a decent PC.

Another highlight is UT2003's musical score. It's a combination of symphony and pounding heavy metal chords, it is the perfect music for this type of game. The rest of the audio is satisfactory but not mind blowing the gun shots tend to sound slightly weak and underpowered. This is quite a large factor or even a flaw as all you do in this game is run around and shoot people. The announcer is pretty annoying when he comes out with such taunts as "try turning the safety off" plus the old and generally unprintable tauntes from the original Unreal Tournament. You may want to kill this cheesy announcer even more than you enemy after a while, but thankfully you can turn him off.

Well so what do we think of Unreal Tournament 2003? For starters let hope next time out there will be some more effort put into the game play modes and the weapons. Otherwise Unreal Tournament 2003 plays great, it looks absolutely stunning when its running in all of its glory, it delivers tons of "in your face" bloody gore, features some great playing arenas which also look bloody lovely and…. And what, what else do you need for a fantastic game that will deliver hours upon hours of deathly fun?

8.5 Out of 10


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