The Unreal Tournament 3 Beta Demo
has been released this weekend, so I had to try it out: Apart from a short glimpse at Gears of War
while somebody else was playing it, I had never seen the Unreal Engine 3 in action yet.
Midway or Epic had decided to make the demo available only for Fileplanet subscribers on the first days, so it only was available on some few servers and very difficult to get, but I was lucky. After I had finished the ~700MB download and had installed the game, I was greeted with the nice modernized Unreal music theme, which maked me feel like home :) Then I played the game of course, and here is a short review:
: It's just like UT 2004, there is no real difference. In short: It feels like the took they UT 2004 code, replaced the graphics and extended the levels and made some minor additions and changes here and there like adding some game modes and some vehicles. It's a sequel game, after all, right. I don't know if this decision was good or bad, but for me personally, it decreases the value of the game because I already played UT2004 to death and so UT3 ist not that exciting any more because there is not much new in it. But apart from that, I think the gameplay is fun. The darkwalker, a War-of-the-Worlds like tripod, which appears in the deathmatch game of the demo is absolutely cool, of course.
: The main reason I tried out the demo was because I wanted to see the Unreal Engine in action, expecting that Epic would use the game as showcase and sales assistant for their Unreal Technology. I hoped to see some of the advertised key features of the Unreal Engine 3, but I was a bit disappointed: Appart from a higher polygon count, more detailed textures and some post processing effects, the game seems to look like UT 2004. Then I noticed that the details seem to be turned to low by default and I set them all to the highest possible value, and the situation improved a bit. Characters now had shadows, and there where normal maps everywhere, but I was still missing the promised cool light effects and shaders such as parallax mapping. Also, the characters still did not have much detail. But the game looked really nice, and maybe I had expected too much.
So the demo didn't really come up to my expectations, but it only was a Beta Demo, who knows what the real game will be like.
: Yep, I'm running the game on Vista, with a DX10 graphics card. I've now seen screenshots from the demo on other websites, and they look better then the game on my system, strange.