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Unreal Tournament III Review (X360)

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Unreal Tournament III Review (X360)
Unreal Tournament III was a little late in arriving to the Xbox 360 party, but it sure does make a grand entrance. Packing more features and modes than its PS3 counterpart, it is hard to deny that the best console version of UT3 is on the Xbox 360. It is also the fastest moving and most user friendly FPS on the market and offers plenty of content to keep you busy for a long time to come. Find out all about Unreal Tournament III right here.
Quick Hits

  • Title: Unreal Tournament III
  • Platform: Xbox 360
  • Publisher: Midway
  • Developer: Epic Games
  • ESRB Rating: “M” For Mature
  • Genre: FPS
  • Pros: Great graphics and sound; lightning fast gameplay; plenty of modes; splitscreen multi
  • Cons: Corny single-player; lack of user created content

Unreal Tournament III is mostly all about multiplayer, but it does offer a story driven single-player mode. Don’t be fooled, however, as it is still merely glorified bot matches. Only this time, the bot matches are wrapped up with a super cheesy story that only barely makes sense. It is kind of jarring to go from cutscenes showing mass destruction and tons of enemies and vehicles and weapons and then you jump into the actual gameplay and it is just another bot match. The SP does do a good job of slowly introducing you to the maps and characters and various game types, so it is definitely worthwhile as long as you can stomach the cutscenes.

The rest of the features list is pretty darn impressive. The game features a ton of maps, including the 3 that have been released as official DLC for the PC and PS3, along with 5 Xbox 360 exclusive maps. Also new in the 360 version is splitscreen play. Even better, not only can you play locally, but your buddy can sign in as a guest so you can play on Xbox Live together without them needing their own account (think Halo).

Between the story mode, Instant Action SP mode, and extensive multiplayer settings for both local and online play, UT3 has a lot to offer.


Unreal Tournament III really shines when it comes to gameplay. It is undeniably the fastest and most frantic FPS available on the Xbox 360. The game moves at a lightning-quick pace, and the game is at its absolute best when you are in a room with rockets and bullets and energy weapons criss crossing through the air and everyone running around frantically. There is more of a frantic desperation in UT3 matches that makes the game a lot of fun versus the slower “serious business” feeling that Halo and CoD matches produce. This makes the game very accessible for anyone, and it makes for a nice change of pace.

UT3 features a wealth of modes to play in multiplayer such as deathmatch, team deathmatch, CTF, vehicle CTF, Warfare (capture and hold nodes), and Duel (one-on-one where the winner moves on the face the next person in line). With the wealth of different vehicles you can use along with all of the weapons and the different mutators you can use to customize the experience, the possibilities for new game types is limitless.

As long as you don't expect anything wildly innovative, UT3 is a fantastic game. It just provides familiar, yet solid, controls and delivers all of the tried and true features we have come to expect in FPS. The difference is that it does it all with a level of polish and precision that few other games can match, which is what really sets it apart. For fast, bloody, satisfying multiplayer, nobody does it better than Unreal.

Pretty much the only downside to the Xbox 360 version of UT3 is that there isn’t support for user created content. On the PC and PS3, players can create new maps and characters and more and share them with the rest of the community. Due to Microsoft’s restrictions, that isn’t possible on the 360. This is both good and bad, though. Bad because it limits the game to what is on the disc and whatever Epic gets around to releasing as official DLC, but good because about 95% of user created content is completely terrible and now we don’t have to wade through rivers of crap to find one tiny gold nugget. But, hey, I’m an optimist.

Graphics and Sound

Unreal Tournament III backs up its solid gameplay with a very, very fine presentation. The graphics look a lot like Gears of War, since both games use the same engine, which means that it is incredibly detailed and has a very realistic, gritty look topped off with fantastic lighting and special effects.

The sound also really stands out with classic music, sound effects, and announcer that just scream “Unreal Tournament”.

Bottom Line

In the end, Unreal Tournament III is a solid addition to the Xbox 360 lineup. It looks and sounds great, plays extremely well, and even without user created content has plenty of features to keep you playing for quite a while. For Xbox 360 multiplayer shooter fans looking for something else beyond Halo 3, CoD4, and Gears, Unreal Tournament III is a great FPS that is highly recommended.
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