Unreal Tournament 2003 is the long awaited sequel to the original Unreal Tournament (released in November 1999). The game was developed by Digital Extremes (and a little by Epic Games), published by Infogrames (otherwise known as Atari Games) and was released on September 30th, 2002.

The new game (not to be confused with Unreal 2 which is due out in the next few months) features GORGEOUS graphics powered by the Unreal Warfare® Engine. I don't know all that much about engine coding and design so I'll let someone else tell you how it works, but I can assure you that it works WELL. The same code is powering America's Army, the US Government's gaming attempt to get people involved in the military.

The basic storyline behind the Unreal Tournament(s) says that in the future, we live in such an archane society that a release for our anger and aggressions had to be found. The solution - a tournament. A tournament of blood, gore, death, and skill. Several combatants from around the galaxy were selected to compete. Opponents "frag" each other, or beat themselves within inches of their life to be teleported out, healed, and teleported back into the game at the expense of a point for the other players. In other words, the FOX network is the only thing left on TV and we all went insane.

You are the manager/leader of your team - assuming you are good enough to control your players. As you move your way through the brackets of teams in tournaments of each play mode, you may be offered trades for other players. You can't offer trades yourself, but it's still a nifty feature. Be carfeul not to get teammates that are too good though, they may not follow your orders. If you aren't good at giving orders and strategy, you may not fare well in some of the game modes.


UT2K3 has the steepest system requirements of any game to date (the previous record holder being a tie between Deus Ex and Black and White). You need fast processing, good graphics, and lots of mem.


    Operating System: WIN 98/ME/2000/XP
    CPU: Pentium III or AMD Athlon 733MHz processor
    Memory: 128 MB RAM
    Hard Disk Space: 3 GB (2.54 really...)
    CD ROM or CD/DVD ROM: 8X
    Audio System: Windows® compatible sound card
    Video System: 3D Accelerator card with 16 MB VRAM
    16 MB TNT2-class DirectX® version 6 compliant video card.
    DirectX® version 8.1 (Included on game disc 3)

    Multiplayer: Internet (TCP/IP) and LAN (TCP/IP) play supported. *Internet play requires a 33.6 Kbps or faster modem


    Operating System: WIN 98/ME/2000/XP
    CPU: Pentium III or AMD Athlon 1.0 ghz processor
    Memory: 256 MB RAM
    Hard Disk Space: 3 GB (2.54 really...)
    CD ROM or CD/DVD ROM: 8X (doesn't matter, once it's installed you only need the cd to start the game)
    Audio System: Sound Blaster Audigy with 5.1 speakers
    Video System: NVIDIA GeForce 2/ATI Radeon
    DirectX® version 8.1 (Included on game disc 3)
    Multiplayer: 56k+ speed internet access or LAN


    Operating System: WIN 98/ME/2000/XP
    CPU: Pentium IV or AMD Athlon 2.0 ghz processor
    Memory: 512 MB RAM
    Hard Disk Space: whatever it takes to install the game
    CD ROM or CD/DVD ROM: 8X (doesn't matter, once it's installed you only need the cd to start the game)
    Audio System: Sound Blaster Audigy with 5.1 Klipsh Pro Media speakers
    Video System: NVIDIA GeForce 4 Ti4600 / ATI Radeon 9700 PRO / GeForce FX
    DirectX® version 8.1 (Included on game disc 3)

    Multiplayer: 1.5 mbit speed internet access or LAN


The basic premise behind Unreal Tournament 2003 (henceforth referred to as UT2K3 to save my typing time as I am lazy) is that of any other first person shooter - Run and FRAG!!! But if that's not enough for you (you greedy, selfish, and ingrateful pig dog!), the game offers many other styles of play that require *GASP!* actual strategy! Those game play modes include:

    Standard Deathmatch: Most every FPS since DOOM! has featured this form of game play. The objective - kill anything that moves. For that matter, shoot whatever doesn't move that looks at you funny. The first person to kill a desginated number of moving things, or the person that kills the most before a designated time limit, wins! Any number of players up to 64 (and up to 64 spectators) can compete at one time.

    Team Deathmatch: Same premise, but with racism. Shoot whatever isn't the same color as you. Team with the most points wins.

    Capture the Flag: Just the way you used to play in your back yard! ....but with guns. You and your teammates must guard your flag, steal the other team's flag, and return the flag to your base before they get your flag. The team that completes this objective the most before time runs out or reaches a designated number first wins.

    Domination 2.0: A good old fashioned game of King of The Hill. In this mode, there are two designated control points on the map. Your team must capture, hold, and control BOTH points for ten seconds to score. Once this has occurred, the points become neutral for about 5 seconds before you must capture them again. Really, you can just stand on the damn spot and keep killing. Pretty simple.

Unfortunately for those of you that enjoyed the "Assault" mode of Unreal Tournament, it is no longer in the game. It has, however, been replaced by a mode of play called

    Bombing Run - also known as football with a bomb. Basic point - one guy on your team has the bomb in a bomb gun, you have to get him to the other team's base where he shoots the bomb through a hoop to blow up the base, scoring points for your team. Standard deal with points determines the winners.


The weapons in UT 2K3 are basically the same as UT, but a few changes have been made:

    ASSAULT RIFLE: Replaces the standard pistol. This gun is a fully automatic rifle and grenade launcher. Strength: weak.

    FLAK CANNON: Beloved by many, this gun shoots accelerated shrapnel at your enemies or a ball of shrapnel that explodes on contact. Shrapnel will reflect off surfaces. Strength: medium-strong depending on distance and accuracy.

    LIGHTNING GUN: Replacement for the sniper rifle but MUCH cooler. Same basic deal, one shot to the head kills, variable zoom etc. Adds the effect of knowing where your attacker is shooting from if he misses your head. Strength: Extreme

    MINIGUN: What FPS would be complete without a chain gun? Firing off several rounds per second, who cares if it's accurate? Rail your friends, kill your enemies! Strength: Medium

    ROCKET LAUNCHER: A few slight changes to the old UT Rocket Launcher - there is no longer a rocket lobbing mode. You can shoot one rocket, two, or three, that's all. Decent speed and large impact range make this a weapon of choice. Strength: High

    SHIELDGUN: Reflects some projectiles and energy beams. Also usable for melee combat. Strength: weak from any distance, only strong when next to opponent.

    SHOCK RIFLE: In it's primary fire mode, it's quite accurate and does a bit of damage by firing out a plasma beam. The secondary fire mode shoots a mobile ball of plasma towards your target. Sould you shoot the ball with the primary fire, it will cause quite an explosion and do much damage. Strength: high

    ION PAINTER: Tracker of sorts, tells the Ion Cannon where to fire. Strength: None

    ION CANNON: Replacement for the Gun Turret of UT. Shoots the tagged target from an orbiting satellite of Earth. Vaporizes anything w/in 50 meters. Strength: Extreme

    BALL LAUNCHER: Used only in Bombing Run - shoots the ball through the hoop or to another team mate (thank you MightyMooquack for reminding me of this), "passing" it if you will... Strength: None

    BIORIFLE: Nicknamed the "Goop Gun", this shoots green blobs of explosive biohazardous waste. Quick firing in single mode to annoy people, or large blobs of secondary fire for death on contact. Very Sticky. Strength: Low-High

    LINK GUN: Replaces the old plasma cannon. Shoots balls of plasma in primary mode, or one big beam in secondary. Has the odd effect of not harming teammates, but instead allows them to amplify their link gun. Link three teammates for a damn strong weapon. Strength: Medium-Extreme

    TRANSLOCATOR: Teleporter, shoot the pad, warp there. Strength: None

    REDEEMER: The BFG of the UT world. Personal nuclear device. Kills lots, fast. Secondary fire allows for missle cam :) Strength: mmmmmmmmm...... death......


Your standard "pick me up to do good things for you!!" thingies:

    HEALTH VILE: Adds 5 health, max health = 200

    HEALTH PACK: Adds 25 health until you hit 100

    BIG KEG O' HEALTH: Back by popular demand, adds 100 health

    SHIELD PACK: adds 50 to your armor rating

    SUPER SHIELD PACK: adds 100 to your armor rating

    DOUBLE DAMAGE: What do you think it does!?

    ADRENALINE: very cool new feature. Each pill bumps your adrenal count a bit, or you can gain it through killing. Once you hit 100, you can get such effects as a BOOSTER (adds 5 health per second for 100 seconds unless life fills, which causes it to add to armor instead), speed burst (doubles running speed for 100 seconds), invisibility (I refuse to explain this one), and berserk.


A few advancements in player mobility have been made. The most noticeable are the wall jumps and double jumps. A player can get an extra boost to his jump if he jumps again at the peak of the first jump or can bounce off the wall by dodging in the opposite direction of the wall he/she is touching. As well, there is a new taunt - no longer does one simple thrust his pelvis in your general direction, but now you can retaliate with an ass smack!


There are about 30 new maps and 50 some odd characters to choose from (though my beloved Nali War Cow of Unreal Tournament has been left out). The game also includes all the editing software you'll ever need to create maps and skins. Along with the game, you get a copy of Maya Personal Learning Edition, UPaint, the new Unreal Editor, and KAT (karma engine). So for those of you that know what you're doing, I'm sure there's enough software to let you do what you want mod and skin wise. I've already seen a few old maps ported over, see what you can do! This section will be updated when new mods are released that are worth mentioning.


Fuzzie has informed me that the game also comes with the linux binaries for it - which is quite rare.