Sunday, March 29, 2020

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 273 - Unreal Tournament 3

They always say fashion is cyclical and old trends become fresh again eventually. Well, it kind of seems like video games are the same way. You start to feel nostalgic for genres / modes / games that might have felt outdated or long in the tooth when they released and, suddenly, ten years later they're interesting again. Unreal Tournament 3 feels like that to me. Arena shooters were old and boring in 2008, but feel like a breath of fresh air in the battle royale era we currently live in. Read more and watch gameplay here.

I bought Unreal Tournament 3 back when it released on PS3 and then got a review copy on Xbox 360 when it came out. I liked the game back then, but it also felt a little off somehow. Like it was the last ghasp of a genre - arena shooters - that was dying out. Call of Duty and Battlefield were just starting to take off - COD4 released a couple months before UT3 in 2007 - and Unreal just seemed out of place. People didn't want arcadey games anymore, they wanted more realistic shooters. Or something. 

Jump forward to 2020 and Unreal Tournament 3 is a ton of fun again. Now multiplayer shooters have all gone the battle royale route - that sucks - so playing an oldschool arcadey arena shooter is surprisingly refreshing. UT3 still looks pretty solid, too, despite being so old, and it plays well with a controller. I played on Xbox One and had a blast.

One interesting note of how the industry has changed in the last 11-12 years, though. Unreal Tournament 3 on PS3 allows fan made mods, but the Xbox 360 version doesn't because Microsoft wanted to officially approve everything. Now in 2020 it's the opposite - Xbox One allows games to have tons of fan made mods (Farming Simulator, Skyrim, Fallout 4, etc.) but the PS4 heavily restricts mods. Isn't that interesting, kids?

Unreal Tournament 3 can be purchased for cheap if you want a physical copy or it's $10 digitally.