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My Unreal Tournament 3 Impressions

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October 13, 2007 4:01:17 PM

Well, I downloaded and installed it, and I can't help but be dissappointed.

The graphics look very PS2ish for some reason, and I am guessing it may just be me.

I am beginning to think that the biggest Bottleneck to PC Gaming is Console Gaming at this point, all the "new" games coming out look graphically dumbed-down for the consoles.

I have an older system with an 8800GTS 640 and all I have to look forward to is Crysis?? I don't think many people on Tom's will have to worry about upgrading their GTX's any time soon.

Not looking for any console/PC flame wars but this new trend doesn't bode well for advancements in the gaming industry.

Anyone else find the same thing about the demo? Please post your thoughts.
October 13, 2007 4:05:02 PM

Beta has low res textures.
October 13, 2007 5:16:40 PM

You've downloaded beta of UT3 demo.. and like Stemnin said, it only futures lowest detail graphics. I loved the gameplay even with all the drawbacks, maybe that's because I have only a P4 3.0 Ghz and 850Xt to run it with :whistle: 

I hope my Q6600/P35 and GTS will get here in time for final demo release :) 
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October 13, 2007 5:30:21 PM

I've also read that the demo doesnt support aa. Is this true? I've messed with my aa settings, no difference. I'm sure if you throw some aa and better textures in there it may surprise you.
October 13, 2007 6:09:02 PM

It's deep in the video options, but still there will be higher settings in the full game, theyve done this before with other UT. There is no AA either in the video settings.

October 13, 2007 6:13:38 PM

Wow, the textures on that game look pretty descent.
October 13, 2007 6:24:58 PM

I tried changing advanced video settings and restarting the game several times but without luck.. it always resets everything to defaults with 640^480 resolution... I can't explain that.

I think it is my GPU but I should be able to run higher details in any case. I am missing something :??: 
October 15, 2007 1:24:11 AM

Falken699 said:
Well, I downloaded and installed it, and I can't help but be dissappointed.

The graphics look very PS2ish for some reason, and I am guessing it may just be me.

I am beginning to think that the biggest Bottleneck to PC Gaming is Console Gaming at this point, all the "new" games coming out look graphically dumbed-down for the consoles.

I have an older system with an 8800GTS 640 and all I have to look forward to is Crysis?? I don't think many people on Tom's will have to worry about upgrading their GTX's any time soon.

Not looking for any console/PC flame wars but this new trend doesn't bode well for advancements in the gaming industry.

Anyone else find the same thing about the demo? Please post your thoughts.
I don't know what kind of PS2 you owned, but none of the games on mine looked like UT3.
October 15, 2007 11:31:06 PM

I was a bit disappointed too. I really don't like all the new bling in the game. Just makes it hard to see what the hell you're trying to do. Hopefully the comments about low res textures are right, 'cause right now the game isn't that great.
Makes me sad, really. I've been playing Unreal for a long time, but if they want to sacrifice solid competitive gameplay for bling then I'm out.
October 16, 2007 1:13:07 AM

I never played any game for competition, until bf2, I could care less about it though, been playing it too much and its getting boring. But this game gets my blood pumping once again.

Look at all that BLING, its making a mess! Hammer needs to be washed again.

October 16, 2007 6:16:48 AM

I am not sure what bling yall are referring to, but the game looks amazing to me. I have no problems seeing anything or anyone in the game and I run @ 1440x900 @ medium settings @ 60fps and I will be upgrading to run higher res and detail at same frames. Like everyone said the textures are low res and from what I have heard the shaders are of lower quality as well. I would take the game just as it is and I have been playing the unreal series since day 1. To compare this games graphics to PS2 is nothing shot of blasphemy. One thing that I hope is changed, but will not make me be disappointed in the game is that I hope before it is all said and done that they add in dodge + jump again like in UT2K4...if not then oh well. The aiming is slightly different and more difficult from the previous UT's (this matters to me because I play competitively) and the engine is one of the smoothest I have played to date on any game. I would love to see the finished product run @ full settings and 1920x1200 res on a nice 24" monitor with a physics card and all being ran at a full 60 fps all the time...It could potentially cure cancer...impo! Once again...yes I did play all of the other UT's and UT is my fave game of all time. If anyone is holding this game to high standards then I am. PS2...seriously? I lost 10 years of my life the second that I read that...lol! Just my 2 cents I suppose /slits wrists

Best,

3Ball
October 16, 2007 2:52:56 PM

lol, damn, I thought he said ps3, which ain't that bad cough cough not..

There is a mouse issue going on (read on their forums), I hate the menu, that's probably gonna get changed, some people think this beta demo is basically a PS3 demo tuned for PC (file names or folders pointing to this).

I'm liking the gfx right now in it, can't wait to see what it looks like on **** **** high! (I put * because some people can be offended :)  but anyone that put 2k4 on highest settings will know) Dang it censored the 2nd word lol... why.......
October 30, 2007 5:16:25 AM

ut3 (demo) sucks really bad. unless you've never played ut2k3/4, bioshock, or stalker, the game pretty much fails to live up to anything new.

here are a few criticisms of my own:

- the textures in the maps look good only from a distance. up close, it is revealed that they are simple, low-res images. believe me or not, i have seen higher res images from the very first unreal game. any hardcore unreal fan will wholeheartedly agree with me on this.

- dx10? where? i use xp, but a friend of mine uses vista. i played the ut3 demo on his pc and it looks exactly the same as on mine. the only noticeable difference is the quality of the shadows that obviously look better on dx10, but who cares about the shadows?

- on shadows: the shadow physics are very, very lame when held next to id's doom 3 and quake 4 shadow physics. in id's games, multiple light sources render multiple shadows. in ut3, you only get one shadow and it depends on the most prominent light source you're near. the shadows are also far from dynamic. do this: start a vehicle CTF game. take any vehicle and drive it under any overhead structure (walkway, etc) that is casting a shadow on the ground. as you drive your vehicle into the shadow, basic light physics would suggest that the vehicle would slowly be enveloped in the shadow bit by bit as it drives into it. however, under examination, it is revealed that the vehicle is only 1) completely covered in the shadow or 2) completely exposed to light depending on how far under the structure the vehicle goes. basically, it's shadow on, shadow off. very poor. you can also do this by toggling behindview via console and walking under a structure, but it's easier to see the flaw when using a long vehicle such as the scorpion or hellbender.

- new engine? where? do a youtube search for "unreal engine 3" (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=unreal+engine+3) and you'll see all the excellent visual effects of the new engine. looks nice, but where, exactly, did epic actually use any of those cool effects in the game? it just looks like ut2k4 with better graphics.

- they screwed up the goliath's tracks. sure, going foward and backward makes the tracks respectively go forward and back as they should. however, spin the goliath to the left or right and you'll notice that both tracks are going in the same direction. wtf? if you spin it to the right, the right track SHOULD go backward and the left track SHOULD go forward. how did they screw that up? they had it right in ut2k4.

- the lighting is not dynamic. fire the shock rifle near a wall and you'll see a light flash against the wall's texture as it should be. but fire the shock rifle down a corridor and you don't see the walls on either side of the beam light show light reflection? wtf?

but is all that really enough to make the game that bad? yes. why? because with all the postponing of the game's release, you'd expect something to show for it. instead, all you get is a sexed up version of ut2k4. they also blab about how it utilizes dx10. stfu. bioshock looks a hell of a lot better on dx10 than ut3 ever will. what a sad shame that epic has to postPWN themselves like this. personally, i am not going to waste my money on this game when it is released. i will most likely pirate an illegal copy off bit torrent so i can play-test it before i buy it.

wrap-up: anyone who is even so much as remotely impressed by the ut3 demo is either 1) an easily entertained simpleton or 2) plain blind.
October 30, 2007 5:31:51 AM

added note:

i can't just trash the game without pointing out a few of it's finer points:

- the vehicles handle very well, especially the scorpion. it can turn on a dime. the only thing i miss is that you can't "skid" your vehicle around by hitting the brake while turning left or right.

- gameplay is ultra smooth. the slightest movement of the mouse using 1600 dpi will shift your view even so slightly as a single pixel. this is a vast improvement over ut2k4's movements.

- standing on an incline is also now more realistic. in older games, standing on a hill or ramp would not affect your character's stance. it would always appear as if the character was standing level on some invisible platform (e. g., one foot would be touching the ground and the other would be suspended above the ground). in ut3, however, your character's feet actually "stand" on the terrain as they should. toggle on behindview while on the vehicle CTF map and stand on the dirt path leading down to the water. notice how the player's feet actually match the incline/decline of the ground's angle? neat.

the game still sucks, though. also, wtf is up with a demo released that you can't save your player settings? again... wtf?
October 30, 2007 2:00:31 PM

penus said:
ut3 (demo) sucks really bad. unless you've never played ut2k3/4, bioshock, or stalker, the game pretty much fails to live up to anything new.

here are a few criticisms of my own:

- the textures in the maps look good only from a distance. up close, it is revealed that they are simple, low-res images. believe me or not, i have seen higher res images from the very first unreal game. any hardcore unreal fan will wholeheartedly agree with me on this.

- dx10? where? i use xp, but a friend of mine uses vista. i played the ut3 demo on his pc and it looks exactly the same as on mine. the only noticeable difference is the quality of the shadows that obviously look better on dx10, but who cares about the shadows?

- on shadows: the shadow physics are very, very lame when held next to id's doom 3 and quake 4 shadow physics. in id's games, multiple light sources render multiple shadows. in ut3, you only get one shadow and it depends on the most prominent light source you're near. the shadows are also far from dynamic. do this: start a vehicle CTF game. take any vehicle and drive it under any overhead structure (walkway, etc) that is casting a shadow on the ground. as you drive your vehicle into the shadow, basic light physics would suggest that the vehicle would slowly be enveloped in the shadow bit by bit as it drives into it. however, under examination, it is revealed that the vehicle is only 1) completely covered in the shadow or 2) completely exposed to light depending on how far under the structure the vehicle goes. basically, it's shadow on, shadow off. very poor. you can also do this by toggling behindview via console and walking under a structure, but it's easier to see the flaw when using a long vehicle such as the scorpion or hellbender.

- new engine? where? do a youtube search for "unreal engine 3" (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=unreal+engine+3) and you'll see all the excellent visual effects of the new engine. looks nice, but where, exactly, did epic actually use any of those cool effects in the game? it just looks like ut2k4 with better graphics.

- they screwed up the goliath's tracks. sure, going foward and backward makes the tracks respectively go forward and back as they should. however, spin the goliath to the left or right and you'll notice that both tracks are going in the same direction. wtf? if you spin it to the right, the right track SHOULD go backward and the left track SHOULD go forward. how did they screw that up? they had it right in ut2k4.

- the lighting is not dynamic. fire the shock rifle near a wall and you'll see a light flash against the wall's texture as it should be. but fire the shock rifle down a corridor and you don't see the walls on either side of the beam light show light reflection? wtf?

but is all that really enough to make the game that bad? yes. why? because with all the postponing of the game's release, you'd expect something to show for it. instead, all you get is a sexed up version of ut2k4. they also blab about how it utilizes dx10. stfu. bioshock looks a hell of a lot better on dx10 than ut3 ever will. what a sad shame that epic has to postPWN themselves like this. personally, i am not going to waste my money on this game when it is released. i will most likely pirate an illegal copy off bit torrent so i can play-test it before i buy it.

wrap-up: anyone who is even so much as remotely impressed by the ut3 demo is either 1) an easily entertained simpleton or 2) plain blind.


It has been said several times that the demo (mind you this demo is in a late beta form) uses LOW res textures and LOW quality shaders/shadows. Lower than that of the final release atleast. The shaders and shadows in a game are the biggest part in the graphical system when it comes to complexity and detail. That is why so many video cards nowadays stress so much performance on shader clocks and other features as pixel shader performance. Now you are entitled to your opinion, but you may be taking this way to far as to say this is a terrible game and that it visually is not pleasing. I personally believe this to be the best engine out there and it will show in the final release...you are welcome to quote me on that and call me out on it later on. Bioshock looked good, but it had much room for improvement in my opinion, but again it is my opinion. I expect that when two games use the same engine only one of the games is made by the developer of the engine that the latter will be on top.

I read your statement and the only thing that caused me not to get physically angry is that I assumed that you knew this was a beta demo release that will not reflect everything we will see in the finished product. Was I wrong? Or is this game really that bad for a person who seems to be as big of an unreal fan as I am...note the avatar! I have played every single unreal and have never been disappointed by one of them other than the liandri conflict on the xbox, which with its melee attacks took away from the weapons skill in the already terribly laggy online matches. IDK, say what you will and dont buy it, but I will will most definitely be enjoying the game that I will be paying off today even if it releases with lower quality textures and shaders than the original BETA demo. To each his own I suppose!

Best,

3Ball
October 30, 2007 6:10:20 PM

i know it's a beta demo. betas aren't supposed to be watered-down versions of a product's final release. i am sure the epic team was all huddled together in their dark dungeon cackling maniacally over the notion of releasing a sub-standard demo saying, "well, guys, let's not make the demo too pleasing. let's call it a beta and reduce the complexity of the shadow and light physics and roll some of the programming back to the dx9 code path so as to make our fan base think the game isn't as great as it actually will be. oh yeah, and even though we could use our high-res images, let's ship the demo out with the low-res ones. boy, will they be surprised when the game is officially released to find full shadow and light functionallity, full dx10 utilization, and higher-resolution textures! yuk yuk!". that's like pepsi coming out with a new drink, but adding water to the promotional product they send out to taste testers saying, "here, try our beta drink."

how do you see the shaders and shadowing as being the biggest part in the graphical engine? they're far from great. as i said, doom 3 nailed the multi-light-source shadows years ago, yet the fact that this is the ut3 "beta" demo justifies how epic did not spend extra time on shadowing for their game? it's almost the same slap in the face i would feel if they reverted back to blob shadows. shadowing is a key part in FPS technology these days and epic wipes their arse with it in this demo.

as i said, the game is great if you haven't played ut2k4 and bioshock. other than that, it's just your run-of-the-mill FPS. hell, it's still a good looking game, but not after all the hype, waiting, and hearing talk of how it's going to be one of the first games to utilize the dx10 engine. i guess all this angst i am projecting is the same angst a parent would feel toward their prodigy child who is getting C's and B's in early grade school. epic could have done so much better than this. sure, everyone can, but epic really missed the chance to shine like they could have. what a shame.
October 30, 2007 7:23:58 PM

xela said:
I tried changing advanced video settings and restarting the game several times but without luck.. it always resets everything to defaults with 640^480 resolution... I can't explain that.

I think it is my GPU but I should be able to run higher details in any case. I am missing something :??: 


Unreal Engine 3 games usually are not very supportive of shader 2.0 cards, If I were you I'd be happy that they even thought of adding support for SM2.0 cards in the first place...
October 30, 2007 8:13:08 PM

i cant even play the dam game when i try and run it i get a black screen and then my computer freezes and im dam sure i have the right parts for it
October 30, 2007 11:02:37 PM

penus said:
i know it's a beta demo. betas aren't supposed to be watered-down versions of a product's final release. i am sure the epic team was all huddled together in their dark dungeon cackling maniacally over the notion of releasing a sub-standard demo saying, "well, guys, let's not make the demo too pleasing. let's call it a beta and reduce the complexity of the shadow and light physics and roll some of the programming back to the dx9 code path so as to make our fan base think the game isn't as great as it actually will be. oh yeah, and even though we could use our high-res images, let's ship the demo out with the low-res ones. boy, will they be surprised when the game is officially released to find full shadow and light functionallity, full dx10 utilization, and higher-resolution textures! yuk yuk!". that's like pepsi coming out with a new drink, but adding water to the promotional product they send out to taste testers saying, "here, try our beta drink."

how do you see the shaders and shadowing as being the biggest part in the graphical engine? they're far from great. as i said, doom 3 nailed the multi-light-source shadows years ago, yet the fact that this is the ut3 "beta" demo justifies how epic did not spend extra time on shadowing for their game? it's almost the same slap in the face i would feel if they reverted back to blob shadows. shadowing is a key part in FPS technology these days and epic wipes their arse with it in this demo.

as i said, the game is great if you haven't played ut2k4 and bioshock. other than that, it's just your run-of-the-mill FPS. hell, it's still a good looking game, but not after all the hype, waiting, and hearing talk of how it's going to be one of the first games to utilize the dx10 engine. i guess all this angst i am projecting is the same angst a parent would feel toward their prodigy child who is getting C's and B's in early grade school. epic could have done so much better than this. sure, everyone can, but epic really missed the chance to shine like they could have. what a shame.


So are you saying that the shading is not a large part of the graphics engine. Talk to any artist and ask them what helps make or break realism of a drawing or picture and i can almost gaurentee they will say lighting/shading effects. That asside I could not find the official word on dumbed down shaders, but since you dont seem to believe me I have brought you this like to a topic on the unreal forums where an employee at epic confirms that they res on the textures is what everyone has been saying it is and that they are only running @ about half mass in the beta demo to keep the download size down.

http://gearsforums.epicgames.com/showthread.php?s=a9681...

If you dont trust joeGraf (Super Moderator @ the epic forums), which is the 5th post down from the top then I suppose you will not listen to anyone and I dont know what to tell you other than the final game will look better. I care more about the gameplay as it feels like an unreal game to me. All they needed to do was release a graphically updated version of UT2k4 with some new game modes and maps to make me happy. Since the new game should draw in some new people to the community and bring other old gamers back that have left UT over the past few years. Im sry the game was such an incredible disappointment for you, but maybe when you download your bittorrent version the full game will impress you more. This only bothers me so much because I am seeing fellow UT brethren leaving the series and losing faith in a top tier game developer such as EPIC...shame, shame!

Best,

3Ball
October 31, 2007 12:08:40 AM

Im not sure what yall are lookin at, but here are some low res pics (photobucket made me set them to 1024x640 from the original 1280x800) these dont look near as good as the originals on my comp, but they still look decent after you click on them and enlarg them slightly. Is this what yalls game looks like? Note that I am not running any AA because my comp would get very angry with me if I did. So.. here ya go!

http://s38.photobucket.com/albums/e124/theelite1/?actio...

http://s38.photobucket.com/albums/e124/theelite1/?actio...

http://s38.photobucket.com/albums/e124/theelite1/?actio...

Best,

3Ball
October 31, 2007 1:22:13 AM

Falken699 said:
Well, I downloaded and installed it, and I can't help but be dissappointed.

The graphics look very PS2ish for some reason, and I am guessing it may just be me.

I am beginning to think that the biggest Bottleneck to PC Gaming is Console Gaming at this point, all the "new" games coming out look graphically dumbed-down for the consoles.

I have an older system with an 8800GTS 640 and all I have to look forward to is Crysis?? I don't think many people on Tom's will have to worry about upgrading their GTX's any time soon.

Not looking for any console/PC flame wars but this new trend doesn't bode well for advancements in the gaming industry.

Anyone else find the same thing about the demo? Please post your thoughts.

dude... i have played cod4 demo, crysis demo, jericho demo, and ut3 is best one outta them all gameplay matters too. Not everyone has the time to screw around with pc specs some peepz just wanna play! that's what consoles are for cheap and it's plug and play. THE FOLLOWING IS ONLY MY OPINION! SAY WHAT YOU WANT ABOUT IT! I DONT CARE! Crysis sucks... it's looks nice in dx 9 or 10 but the gameplay sucks... yeah it's something to look forward but i rather get gears, cod4, or ut3.
October 31, 2007 2:08:56 AM

Well I beg to differ, it's true that many people are only focusing on the technical part of the game and leaving the gameplay behind, however on my 2nd run through the demo I actually sat back and decided to enjoy it, and I loved it. The game centers it's gameplay around the nano suit, if you can't get yourself to use it to survive then you're bound to fail, also with an environment this interactive you also have to get creative during your assault.

This game is MEANT to be played on hard or delta if you ask me, it's really the only way that it'll be challenging enough to force you to use the nano suit as your key to success, and I feel they did a fine job tuning it so it doesn't feel too overpowered and not too weak, just powerful enough to let you get creative and eventually get the job done. Remember that as it was mentioned once in an interview, the game is geared toward making the player find ways to complete their objectives instead of mindless full frontal confrontation, something that just fails to happen in easy/normal difficulties.
October 31, 2007 4:14:56 AM

3Ball said:
So are you saying that the shading is not a large part of the graphics engine. Talk to any artist and ask them what helps make or break realism of a drawing or picture and i can almost gaurentee they will say lighting/shading effects. That asside I could not find the official word on dumbed down shaders, but since you dont seem to believe me I have brought you this like to a topic on the unreal forums where an employee at epic confirms that they res on the textures is what everyone has been saying it is and that they are only running @ about half mass in the beta demo to keep the download size down.

http://gearsforums.epicgames.com/showthread.php?s=a9681...

If you dont trust joeGraf (Super Moderator @ the epic forums), which is the 5th post down from the top then I suppose you will not listen to anyone and I dont know what to tell you other than the final game will look better. I care more about the gameplay as it feels like an unreal game to me. All they needed to do was release a graphically updated version of UT2k4 with some new game modes and maps to make me happy. Since the new game should draw in some new people to the community and bring other old gamers back that have left UT over the past few years. Im sry the game was such an incredible disappointment for you, but maybe when you download your bittorrent version the full game will impress you more. This only bothers me so much because I am seeing fellow UT brethren leaving the series and losing faith in a top tier game developer such as EPIC...shame, shame!

Best,

3Ball


i must apologize here. when you said that shaders and shadows (light dynamics in general) are important, i thought you were applying that to the ut3 beta demo, hence my strong disagreement. however, i agree that such physics are import in the modern-day FPS genre. it's just that epic didn't bother to showcase any of that in their beta demo. the release date of ut3 is just around the corner. i'll come back here the day the official demo is released, get on one knee, and tell you that you were correct in saying that the beta isn't a representation of the "real" masterpiece when they:

1) fully utilize their own unreal 3 engine
2) fully utilize dx10 like they advertised so many times
3) show better textures (by the way, what would be the big deal with putting 50-75 extra megs of higher-res textures along with an already huge 700+ meg download?)
4) actually take a stab at realistic light physics

i feel sorry for the development team, though, as they must be under stress with having to compete in the newly risen dx10 gaming environment. i think they already started working on the game before dx10 came out and have been under the gun to make it more appealing to the new dx10 module. unfortunately for them, other games appear to be several steps ahead of them.

as far as me being "fellow ut brethren", it's just a game to me, not a way of life. if epic starts to slack, i'll make sure i let them know. i am one who appreciates (and demands, actually) games whose developers do their absolute best to keep up in the ever-progressing gaming genre.
October 31, 2007 4:18:11 AM

btw, guys, isn't this thread about ut3? what's up w/ all the talk about crysis and gears of war?
October 31, 2007 8:10:27 PM

Most of the historical comments made about what UT3 "should be" relates to gameplay. Personally I agree with most of them. Judging from the smash hit UT99 goty edition.

Added graphical complexity is certainly a plus, but it will not keep my attention for years as was the case for UT99 - UT2K4.

There have been some compromises for sure to the new UT3 as far as movements and weapons effects, but it doesn't change the fact that UT3 still is much more action oriented than any other game out there.
!