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Unreal Tournament 3 - hands-on

Coming off of the massive success of Gears of War, Unreal Tournament 3 - the latest game from Gears developer Epic Games - seems even more exciting. The series has always been one of the most entertaining online first person shooter series, and it's built for competition, as the name suggests. Finally, the leading consoles will be getting the exact same game PC gamers are - it's coming to the PS3 and 360 this time around. All in all, it's a great time for the series.

At the Midway Gamers' Day in Las Vegas, the game was set up on ridiculously meaty PCs with humongous monitors - not that we're complaining. We just don't have a clue how it'll perform on the PS3 and 360 just yet. Based on our brief playtime with the game, our opinion is that it's a blazing-fast, gorgeous and addictive entry into the series. Bear in mind we had a single map ("Corruption") to choose from, though, before you get too excited.

The game was set up as capture the flag, with a lot of different vehicles strewn around the map to choose from. Everything from the Viper - which more or less amounts to a flying motorcycle - to the massive Dark-Walker with its three leg-like tentacles were available alongside an array of jeeps, tanks and hovercraft. Whether or not the game is balanced like this when it comes out, right now the map was simply littered with different vehicles to pilot - there was almost no reason to go it on foot. You can even whip out a hoverboard by hitting the Q key if you really hate walking.

The most striking thing about the game, though, is its utter attention to beautiful visual detail. The bio rifle - one of our favorite weapons - shoots big green globs of explosive goo... and you can see little things swimming in them when you get close enough. That's the sort of detail we're talking about.

The Corruption map is a sprawling canyon filled with Asian temples and sparkling water. A giant water wheel turns - and creates a slow-moving obstacle in one of the corridors in the building, interestingly. Finding places to hide, places to avoid and formulating general strategies will obviously big a major part of this game. As beautiful as it was, though, the map didn't seem particularly innovative - just a solid place to play.

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