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SummaryThe best all out deathmatch FPS since Quake 3, but I doubt it will remain so for long.
The GoodThe most notable good thing about UT2k3 is definitely the graphics. The visuals, even on lower detail settings, are a step above the Quake 3 engine lot of games that were previous to this. Often times you find yourself walking around each stage taking in the sights, rather than killing your foes. Of course, to get these visuals running smoothly a decent PC is a must.
On playing the game another technological leap is apparent - the physics engine. Admittedly, this was bought of the shelf and slotted into the game by the developers, but it is a great addition to the genre. Bodies tumble and roll accurately off ledges, down slopes and into pieces using "rag-doll" bodies. It's very cool to watch and there's no more dead bodies lying around hovering in mid air.
Gameplay? Feelings from fans of previous games have been very mixed and with good reason - this game does not play like it's predecessor. In fact it plays a lot like Quake 3. That said, it's still a blast in every respect and the range of weapons is good and quite well balanced.
Levels are also good, not only in terms of eye-candy but also gameplay-wise with some really well thought out deathmatch and capture the flag maps. The inclusion of the necessary level (and model) editing tools "out of the box" is also a point worthy of note!
The BadThis game is not perfect by any means. First my number one gripe - lack of mission based maps (not sure what the game mode was called in the original UT), where one team of players has to take over the other teams stronghold by completing a series of objectives. This was really fun in the last game, and the only reason I can see not to include it in this one is the amount of work involved in creating these sort of levels. Lazy!
My other major gripe - AI. I believe that Steve Polge. creator of the first good "bot" for Quake (the Reaperbot) did the AI work on this game (as well as the previous one), surprisingly however, the team AI is a little lacking. With capture the flag missions the player can not trust the bots on his own team to defend the flag (even with the whole team defending!). This means that often the only way to finish a capture the flag mission (in single player) is to send all team mates to attack while you defend the base alone. Boring!