By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Close

America - Front

America - Back

Review Scores

VGChartz Score



Alternative Names



Epic Games



Other Versions


Release Dates

07/07/08 Midway Games
09/18/08 Electronic Arts
07/04/08 Midway Games

Community Stats

Owners: 78
Favorite: 1
Tracked: 1
Wishlist: 2
Now Playing: 3

Avg Community Rating:


Review: Unreal Tournament III

By ssj12 24th Aug 2009 | 2,128 views 

As unreal as it gets.

Reader Note: This review contains parts used in reviews for Unreal Tournament 3 for the PlayStation 3 and PC. There are vast differences between each review due to design variations between platforms and franchise history.

Epic Games has had a long history with the Unreal franchise. Starting back in the day with the single-player game, Unreal pushed boundaries for shooters with creative weaponry and interesting enemies. The success of the first Unreal game lead to the creation of one of the strongest FPS franchises known today. There was of course some rocky releases within the franchise like Unreal 2: The Awakening, which failed to evolve the original game and was left to sit in Epic Games' library of titles that are average and alone within a crowded shelf of critically acclaimed titles.

After the release of Unreal Tournament 2003 on the PC, Epic Games decided to port the game over to the Xbox while changing the title to Unreal Championship. The game was relatively successful and merited a sequel. What came after was a side story in the Unreal universe, which centered on love and respect. Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict follows the story of Anubis as he tries to regain respect for leaving the tournaments and impress his girl Selket. This story seems to fall just after 'consensual murder' was legalized and the tournament is brought out to the mass as a major sporting event.

Unreal Tournament 3 is a prequel to the events of the first Unreal Tournament game. It tells the story of the Necris Invasion in relatively fine detail. You play as a soldier named Reaper who wants revenge for the death of his comrades when the Necris invaded Earth. He teams up with Malcolm who is the best of the best when it comes to warfare. After chasing the Necris off the planet, your character decides to attack the Necris home world. Malcolm is against the idea but you ignore orders and attack.

Gameplay has always been a staple of the Unreal Tournament franchise and Unreal Tournament 3 is no exception as it features fast and vicious combat that will keep a player on their toes. Unreal Tournament 3 keeps the base style of gameplay the same as all previous entries, the single-player is training for the multi-player. Generally it is not recommended to join an online match without at least playing a few rounds of single-player to get a feel for the game's speed and controls. It should be noted that the console ports are roughly 20-30% slower than the PC version.

Several of the game-types are self-explanatory as death-match, team-death-match, capture-the-flag, and duel (1v1) never really change across the board in the FPS franchise. The only major change in terms of game-types this time around is the fusion of Assault and Onslaught in the new Warfare mode. Warfare plays out in a similar fashion as Onslaught where players must destroy the other team's reactor by capturing all connected nodes. What is different are the secondary nodes that can be captured to unlock weapons, a closer spawn point, and vehicles, which can give a great advantage for whichever team controls them. There are also power orbs that can be transported to unclaimed or enemy controlled nodes that instantly take control of enemy or uncontrolled nodes.

New gameplay mechanics have been added to the game in terms of the hover-board and ability to play dead. The hover-board is a useful vehicle to use if you need to get across one of the warfare maps quickly. While traveling on the hover-board you are highly vulnerable to enemy attacks. If you are knocked off the hover-board it takes a few seconds for your character to get back onto his or her feet. Also, you cannot attack while riding it, so use it for short distance or last resort transportation. Playing dead is a new trick that allows you to get the jump on anyone attacking you or to set a trap. Some levels have small lakes, and if you throw yourself under the shallow water you can wait for an enemy to go back, jump up, and unload on them. Sometimes, if you're getting attacked, faking your death can trick an opponent from finishing you off allowing you to spring up as he runs to their next opponent and finish them off. It is not fail safe though. If your enemy is paying attention to the kill tracker they will notice that they didn't kill you and just turn around and blast you before you're back on your feet. You can also drown if you're under water to long. These new game mechanics can be useful, but they need tactics and luck to pull off with success.

While gameplay is virtually the same as previous games there are still two issues I have with this game. The first issue might be just the way the engine handles character movement or a decision to make it easier to move for the console ports. It isn't that noticeable since this is still one of the fastest games one can play, but there is still some slowdown. The other is the lack of innovation in the gameplay. Each version of UT in the past have always pushed the gameplay one step farther each and every release. Just adding the hover-board and ability to play dead just doesn't feel like enough to drastically enhance gameplay.

Multiplayer has always been the heart of the Unreal Tournament franchise. After playing and training in the single-player campaign, jumping into a multiplayer match is a lot easier and limits the chances of first timers from royally getting owned. There are no game-type differences in multiplayer as they were all present in single-player. The only major difference is that online is a whole new battlefield because if anyone believes the Godlike difficulty setting is hard in single-player, it is only an uphill battle in multiplayer against opponents who can briskly beat the Godlike difficulty as if it's the easy setting. Since strategy and human thought are vastly different then pre-installed AI, the multiplayer can almost be called a different game in itself. Xbox 360 owners have a bonus feature for multiplayer gaming-the ability to play split-screen with their friends. Who doesn't enjoy fragging people locally?

Epic Games has thrown in some good support behind this game, which is good for all gamers. Of course, Epic Games' support hasn't stopped with the mod community. They still have fantastic support with updating the game with new features. They have even released the add-on pack, Unreal Tournament 3: Black, which adds brand new game modes and maps. There is also some basic support for mods thanks to Epic Games' commitment to bring over what's available on the PlayStation 3 and PC to the Xbox 360 community. While mod support and availability isn't as high as on the other two platforms, it is a welcomed sight to see.

Unreal Tournament 3's presentation is top-notch thanks to the power of the Unreal Engine 3 and insane amount of polish Epic Games put into the game. Menus are clean while giving friendliness to console users. Graphically, the game is stunningly beautiful. This is expected due to UT being Epic Games' poster child for their engines. Unfortunately, there are some slowdowns and some rough textures, but there isn't enough there to complain about. Slowdowns occur mostly where large scale battles are taking place with loads of explosions. Still, the game looks great.

Audio has always been one of the greatest parts of Unreal Tournament. Epic Games has to have some of the best music talent in the industry considering the quality of the music. Every piece of music, no matter if it's techno, electronica, or music in a similar style, fits each and every map. Even the menu theme makes you want to sit and listen for a moment or two before beginning the game. Other than that, sound effects and voices are well done. Hearing a women scream out unstoppable can be annoying at times, but still it adds to the experience. If a player is good enough to constantly be yelled at for the fact they are amazingly talented then so be it.

Overall there is about 25 hours of single-player to beat with 8 different difficulties to try your hand at. With a near unlimited amount of content available in multiplayer to play due to constant support from Epic Games and the mod community, there is no time to get bored playing. This game has its flaws and isn't the best of the franchise, but that still doesn't stop this from being an incredible shooter. Just like all previous entries to the franchise Unreal Tournament 3 is successful at cementing itself as a first rate shooter. As always, there is some unreal audio to enjoy and fun to be had. Unreal Tournament 3 on the Xbox 360 isn't as good as its counterparts, but it is still highly enjoyable.

VGChartz Verdict


Read more about our Review Methodology here

Sales History

Total Sales
1 n/a n/a 21,262 21,262
2 n/a 37,433 18,912 9,685 66,030
3 n/a 18,383 13,140 5,383 36,906
4 n/a 9,946 8,634 3,161 21,741
5 n/a 9,614 6,361 2,733 18,708
6 n/a 9,673 4,576 2,452 16,701
7 n/a 9,223 3,721 2,234 15,178
8 n/a 7,392 3,185 1,822 12,399
9 n/a 4,851 2,800 1,312 8,963
10 n/a 4,495 2,442 1,191 8,128

Opinion (47)

iceolate posted 14/03/2012, 05:09
Beautiful graphics but not really made for a gamepad. Too fast!
Message | Report
dharmaduke posted 31/01/2012, 11:36
I'm sad this game didn't catch on the way I think it should have... everyone was on the Gears bandwagon at the time, but honestly I had more fun with this Epic title.
Message | Report
wiilicious posted 08/05/2010, 05:17
this game is great...Even after all this years it's never gets old...i'll keep this one in my collection for a long time.
Message | Report
richardhutnik posted 05/12/2009, 04:38
I picked it up just recently for under $9 used. The split screen helps for coop deathmatch, which isn't that common this generation. I did have it prior on the PS3.
Message | Report
Boneitis posted 03/12/2009, 03:05
Now that the online community is pretty much dead this version is useless. Wish I had a better PC for this game.
Message | Report
dillhole posted 15/09/2009, 10:44
How's the split-screen working out? I wish they'd add it to the ps3 version. It boggles my mind why no one plays this game online but people will play GTA4 - the worst online experience possible.
Message | Report
View all