I’m really not going to do the 18-24 male gamer stereotype any good here, but my word UT3 has some cool weapons. Importantly the stupid Shield Gun and Assault Rifle have been removed and the original UT’s Impact Hammer and Enforcer (pistol) are back; the latter, of course, can be dual wielded for increased damage and coolness. Also harking back from the good old days is the Redeemer, other wise known as a portable nuke. As ever two fire modes are available, primarily you send your missile off in a straight line and cross your fingers hoping it hits something, secondary fire allows you to guide the rocket with your mouse – either way you’re looking at the mother of all explosions.
Also making it from the first UT is the shock rifle, which as you should remember shoots an instant hitting beam of energy as its primary fire and a slow moving glowing ball of plasma as its secondary; the real kicker of course being that you can shoot this glowing blob and have it explode, damaging anything in a small-ish radius. Annoyingly the Bio-cannon is still in, so I guess they won’t remove it just because I hate it, as are the Flak Cannon, Link Gun and Minigun. The Lightning Gun is gone buy popular request, but thankfully the Sniper Rifle remains. Finally, the Translocator still functions as a handy ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card in a jam.
As already mentioned, UT3 sees vehicles reappearing from 2K4 and while many members of Epic’s forums are seemingly incensed by this inclusion, I still feel that if Quake can do it UT can, and better. The most interesting new addition to large-scale maps is a replacement for the Translocator; the Hoverboard. Obviously this is much faster than running, but it does have the slight disadvantage that if you get shot you go flying onto your face and are left venerable for a few moments. It is also possible to fire a sort of energy tow-rope onto the back of a friendly vehicle and hitch a ride; this is especially interesting as the Hoverboard is the only vehicle you can use while carrying the enemy’s flag in CTF matches.
When you add the new Necris to the mix, things get even more interesting. My absolute favourite, on the basis of it looking totally cool, is the DarkWalker. As I mentioned in the preview, this beast is pretty much grabbed straight from H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds but the plagiarism isn’t a bad thing in the least and there’s no end of satisfaction in vaporising countless enemies with the dual heat rays the DarkWalker sports.
A more controversial addition is the Nemesis, a slow moving minelayer which also shoots Link Gun style beams of energy and has the ability to cloak, although it will flicker into view slightly if hit by a weapon. It’s as slow as sin when it’s invisible but it is also, and this is important, invisible so you’re unlikely to be hit anyway, add to that the healing ability of the gun when fired on teammates and their vehicles and you have a potentially game winning vehicle. The thing is, the Nemesis doesn’t win the game, because most players seem to not bother with it, favouring the faster, more damaging options.