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Unbridled, unabashedly violent mayhem (coordinated, unabashedly violent mayhem in the more-organized games) isn't for everyone, but if it's your thing, Unreal Tournament 2003 is your game.
Evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, improvements make Unreal Tournament 2003 a solid game that definitely belongs in the arsenal of any Mac first-person–shooter enthusiast.
What's there to say about this game? It's not groundbreaking, it's not original -- but it's one fantastic sequel! If you like the genre, if you like the previous games, and if your machine can handle the pressure, this is a must-have multiplayer FPS. With lots of gameplay modes, scores of downloadable maps, hundreds of free servers online and spectacular eye candy, you can't go wrong. It'll be keeping me busy until the day UT2004 bangs down my door.
Although the Mac version is missing the official Map Editor and is taxed by unusually steep system requirements, there is much here for Mac gamers to enjoy.
When the day is done, one has to ask oneself if the world really need another deathmatch game. Certainly Unreal Tournament (either the original or the 2003 flavor) is a viable contender for one of the greatest deathmatch games ever made, but so was the original Unreal Tournament. One can't even really say that UT 2K3 actually perfects the worn-out deathmatch genre, as that too seems to have been accomplished years ago by its predecessor. In the end analysis, this game is like eating vanilla ice cream; even though it's really good quality, it's so very familiar that one can't help but desperately crave a few surprises to complement the souped-up graphics.
I said earlier that I don't understand the appeal of games like this, but that's not exactly true. When a game looks this good and has this much action, it pretty much has to be successful at pulling you out of your world and into its own. The only problem is that the world of Unreal Tournament 2003 is constantly the same thing, just with different scenery. Run, jump, shoot. Run, jump, get shot. Sure, you can develop all the strategies you like, but, in the end, it's all about who has the twitchiest finger. This is the kind of game you have to play a lot in order to become any good, so those who can't play it two or three hours a night are often left to wonder exactly how big there head is that makes it so easy to hit.