Double PS3 Frankenreview: UT3 and The Orange Box

doublefranken.jpgMerry Christmas early, friends (or happy Hanukkah late). Because today is a double frankenreview day. Oh yes. And we aren't charging a penny more for the privilege. Epic's Unreal Tournament 3 and what's sorta Valve's The Orange Box have both hit first on other platforms. But now that they're on the PlayStation 3, gamers can experience them like never before. Or something. So hit the jump to see what the critics said about two AAA shooters sure to steal sleep, companionship and many weekends from us all. graph%282%29.jpgPSExtreme The most important thing about Unreal Tournament III is its speed. Where as UT2004 felt heavy and a little on the clunky side, Unreal Tournament III feels lean, and mean, and frenetic. Even though the speed of the game was slightly slowed down for the PlayStation 3 version (meaning, the players run a little slower), the intensity is still chaotic

tn_565_2.jpg1UP Playing with the Sixaxis controller quickly erased any concerns about whether the game would struggle without the traditional PC mouse-and-keyboard setup. The default stick response errs on the little-too-slow side to keep from being spastic for the average user, but it can be dialed up to as twitchy as you like.

tn_565_7.jpgGameDaily If it is multiplayer action you crave, then Unreal Tournament has it in spades. Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch and Capture the Flag are obvious favorites, but the new Duel and Warpath modes are real attention getters. With Duel, you face off against an opponent on a smaller map, resulting in a more intimate battle. Warpath involves some strategy, as you must capture and shut down enemy nodes in order to make their energy core vulnerable. Although the multiplayer support is only half of what the PC version handles (ten to sixteen in comparison to thirty-two), the PS3 edition is still lots of fun. tn_565_8.jpg GameZone The biggest change, and the one that affected me the most [from UT2004] , was the removal of the adrenaline counter. I didn't know prior to playing UT3 that Epic had removed it, so it came as a big surprise not to have it included in UT3. In the past, the adrenaline counter permitted players to build up the meter through the means of kills or picking up items on the map to gain access to abilities such as invisibility, but with it removed, it felt like a little part of my soul died. [Ed note: having hated that adrenaline meter, we're thrilled.]

The Orange Box graph%283%29.jpgIGN Even in Portal, a short title that often requires a little trial and error, this problem is massive. The 360 version takes about three seconds to load your last checkpoint if you die. The PS3 version takes seventeen. It hurts.

tn_565_12.jpgGameSpy Voice chat, especially over Bluetooth, has problems...Although EA has implemented some fine options for testing out your headset in-game (negating the archaic practice of exiting to the XMB to make adjustments), it's a bit of a moot point. We tested out three different Bluetooth headsets (including the Jabra packaged with Warhawk and a USB headset) and nothing seemed to work.

tn_565_8-1.jpgKotaku There are some other unusual hitches [in TF2] , such as a brief pause as your character goes underwater and a visible delay in the launching of the Demoman's grenades. Game-killing bugs these are not, but serious players will most likely find themselves cursing their PS3s when one of these idiosyncrasies leads to their death...

tn_565_15.jpgGameDaily Valve blends its older games with newer content, delivering an essential bundle only a fool would ignore, unless said fool demands the best version.

I'll be picking up UT3 this week. What about you?


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