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Just Got UT3 (bit late)

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    Just Got UT3 (bit late)

    A lot late in getting my hands on Unreal Tournament 3, but I finally got it the day before yesterday. Been gaming on a 360 for the past two years and surfing on a laptop, but I missed my PC so in a show of love I rammed it full of nifty bits. Now back PC gaming and after playing through a few old FPS's on SP, I got around to reinstalling my Unreals. Did the marathon from Unreal to 04 -"Aida... nooooo!" - and went out to pick up UT3.

    Great game, no not great, fantastic game, good job guys! Initial gripe, only gripe really, is with the SP. Shouldn't matter for Unreal, but I didn't turn my nose up at 04's SP campaign. Bit of imagination and you were leading a team to victory through the best Tournament ever devised. First time I played UT3 though, I immediately thought to myself, "Why isn't the SP campaign centred on the tournament?" The story it has would have been great for Unreal 3 - for a regular SP FPS adventure - but not U-TOURNAMENT-3. Surely the same path of vengeance could have been dropped onto a tournament backdrop? Here's what I think it should have had:

    Single player, first person perspective opening sequence, Reaper *isn't* the playable character. You're part of a team of fighters, and you get overrun and taken down. As is, basically, only the sequence is all from first person POV. You don't see the playable character until you as the player have made him basically. End opening sequence, go to character customization. Build your character. Body-type, voice, armour etc. From a long list of options.

    Next sequence fellow survivors look to you for direction, but there's mention that the Necris involved in the attack on your homeworld are kicking *** in the Tournament, and were enlisted as a task force from the Tournament for the Necris war campaign. If player wants vengeance, player qualifies for Tournament.

    Player chooses team name, motif, colour scheme, pension plan, health insurance etc. Again, long list of options. Time to make your mark. Enter Mentor "Thunder Crash" Malcolm: Training begins. Tutorial. Then Prelims... Qualifiers. Pick your team, heal your team, qualify for the Tournament proper. Cutscenes every few matches can highlight the fact that Akasha and Co. are kicking *** and if you have any chance of getting at them you gotta trash every team and dominate every event to get your shot at them.

    Before matches, issuing tactical orders that NPC's start matches with could have been done in a locker room type environment, with the team members there in real time, and you looking and issuing orders in first person.

    Player presses appropriate buttons:

    Player: "Jester, until I say otherwise you're on defense."

    Jester looks to player: "Got it."

    ... etc. Also locker room chats could have covered the gaming world background. Like Unreal 2. Which corporations run which teams, who makes what, who stands where in the galaxy. Tournament politics. The player wouldn't have to talk to team mates, but depending on the player's choice of team mates, he would have different options for learning about the worlds and corporations each particular team mate is allied with, or against, or which world they are from etc.

    Anyway, you get the drift. IMO, it would have been miles better on a *Tournament* backdrop! As is, it's kinda weird going to war in bright red armour, with a minimal weapons load out, to capture flags in a timed combat scenario with an announcer. The levels don't feel like missions, they feel like Tournament matches. Who made the decision to move away from the Tournament and into a war? No team logos, limited characters... it boggles the mind.

    MP. I've played MP networked with my brother so far, and as soon as I upgrade my connection to unlimited bandwidth with my ISP, I'm stuck like that. But absolutely every aspect of UT3, SP aside, kicks ***. This is simply the best feeling FPS I've ever played. Kudos.

    S'turned into a stupidly long post this, but I do have a problem with the Tarlon Delta map. There is a flickering, jerking grass texture on screen above most of the ground on the level. Not sure how I can fix it. I'm patched up to 2.1 and am using the latest Catalyst drivers. Running on AMD Athlon 7750 2.7 Dual-Core, 4 GIG RAM, and the card is a ATI RADEON X1950XT. A fix would be much appreciated. Sorry about the post length, guess I had a lot to say.