Unreal Tournament III - hands-on

Exclusive new maps and split-screen play highlight late-for-the-party Xbox 360 version

Koos Barge
Nothing fancy in this tight map, perfect for deathmatch, team deathmatch, or duel, but it's still one of the most nerve-wracking maps we've seen in awhile. It's a two-level barge at sea, full of narrow corridors and windows through which you can see enemies - and through which they can also see you. Sure, there are jump pads at both the stem and stern, so you can launch yourself from one tip of the boat to the other in a flash, but that doesn't make us any less paranoid or claustrophobic. However, if an enemy uses one pad at the same time you use the other one, it enables some really cool mid-air gunfighting like you might see in a John Woo movie.

Suspense Necris
This is actually a reworking of an existing Vehicle CTF map named simply Suspense. However, the Necris have taken over and things look much the worse for wear. The water under the bridge has receded greatly, there are bomb craters, and the road is demolished in places. In other words, the terrain is different enough that your strategies will need to change quite a bit.

Downtown Necris
Another heavily tweaked version of an existing map (Downtown), this bombed-out cityscape has one big difference from its original version. It's not the black sky or the fires roiling out of various buildings. It's not the huge, techno-organic tentacles reaching down from the sky. It's not even the way the critical path you need to take to the nodes you're capturing has changed.

It's the fact that both teams have access to the vehicles of both the Axon and Necris (read: human and crazy-alien) armies at all times. It's a big deal, because these aren't just red tank/blue tank, palette-swapped versions of the same thing - there's a huge difference between the human and alien gear. But now, both sides have it all, so specialization can no longer be exploited and the available strategies just got a lot more varied.

Apr 18, 2008

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I was the founding Executive Editor/Editor in Chief here at GR, charged with making sure we published great stories every day without burning down the building or getting sued. Which isn't nearly as easy as you might imagine. I don't work for GR any longer, but I still come here - why wouldn't I? It's awesome. I'm a fairly average person who has nursed an above average love of video games since I first played Pong just over 30 years ago. I entered the games journalism world as a freelancer and have since been on staff at the magazines Next Generation and PSM before coming over to GamesRadar. Outside of gaming, I also love music (especially classic metal and hard rock), my lovely wife, my pet pig Bacon, Japanese monster movies, and my dented, now dearly departed '89 Ranger pickup truck. I pray sincerely. I cheer for the Bears, Bulls, and White Sox. And behind Tyler Nagata, I am probably the GR staffer least likely to get arrested... again.
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