Review by NekoFever

Reviewed: 07/06/01 | Updated: 03/11/03

The Best Deathmatch FPS on PC

I'd wanted to buy this game for a while but there were always games that I wanted more, meaning that I never got to buy it. However now that it's out on the 'Best of Infogrames' budget range for only £9.99, how could I resist.

I seriously regret not buying this game until now. My experience with Arena-based deathmatch FPS's (First-person-shooters, also known to some members of the press and public as 'murder simulators') was previously to the brilliant but ultimately limited Dreamcast version of the originator of this sub-genre, Quake III Arena. Quake III was great, but unless you played it for hours on end and mastered every little technique (rocket jumps, etc), the game felt quite shallow, consisting of little more than run, fire, jump, fire, run, fire, jump, fire, etc. Also, if you were a beginner, you had no chance at all against a seasoned veteran.

Anyway, this is supposed to be a review of Unreal Tournament, not a critique of Quake III Arena. Here's the review:

GRAPHICS:
Admittedly my PC is pretty good (as of this week) - 1GHz with 128MB RAM and a decent 3D card - but Unreal Tournament looks stunning. According to the box, you don't even need a 3D accelerator but it's recommended as games running in software mode often look pretty bad. The framerate is very smooth and the textures are beautiful. When this is running past very fast with real-time lighting on the great weapon effects, it's very impressive. 10/10

SOUND:
The music in the game is exactly what you'd expect - generic metal - but it fits in perfectly even if you don't really listen to it. The thumping soundtrack goes great with the fast-paced running, strafing, and firing that's going on. The SFX are good, too. There's radio static when the characters are talking trash, and the trash-talk itself ranges from predictable stuff like ''You suck!'' to some pretty cool lines like ''Sorry! Did I just blow your head off?''. 9/10

GAMEPLAY:
This is stunning. Anyone who's played Perfect Dark will know that there is a great deal of strategy involved in that game, and anyone who's played Quake III knows that the game is incredibly fast. UT successfully merges both of those points. I'd like to see someone successfully pull off headshots with a Sniper Rifle in QIII. The ladder tournaments against some surprisingly worthy opponents in the guise of some bots, but they won't last forever. The real meat of this game in online multiplayer or over an LAN. If you can get this game installed on your work or school network for an LAN game, you'll be having the time of your life. To play online, broadband is needed to get the maximum enjoyment, but even on a lowly 56k modem the game maintains a playable speed. This game will keep you addicted until you master every intricacy, and then beyond until you are the online king of the deathmatch (like Mick Foley, but on UT). It is worth noting that the whole game's interface is done in the style of Mac OS (that's what it reminded me of) so it's very simple to use. With a mouse and keyboard the control is very hard to fault once you get a decent configuration - I use an expensive Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer which has a lot of buttons and a mouse wheel so that I can control everything except movement with the mouse. The default controls are quite awkward as you'll have to take your hands off the directions to jump, leaving you vulnerable. 10/10

LIFESPAN:
As above, the single-player is amazing compared to the lame single-player in QIII, but it won't last you forever. The multiplayer, either over the Internet (which is user-friendly to set-up) or over an LAN could keep you going forever. Get some friend together and link your PCs for a great party. 10/10

OVERALL:
This game is worth every penny at full price, but with it available on budget for less than £10 there's no excuse for any PC gamer not to own this masterpiece.

10/10

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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