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Unreal Tournament III – Titan Pack (PC)

Unreal Tournament III – Titan Pack (PC)

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Unreal Tournament III has been a massively successful game for Midway and Epic with gamers still online playing en masse. Very recently a new expansion was released called The Titan Pack which provides more than a simple addition of mutators or maps. Unreal tournament fans can delight in the new offerings…

The most noticeable feature is the Titan mutator which really flips every game type on its head when it is used. When a player joins a match with the Titan mutator enabled they see a small meter at the bottom right of the screen. Performing different tasks, such as eliminating vehicles, returning flags or killing opponents will fill your meter with various score amounts. Once you have earned twenty points towards your Titan meter you can trigger your transformation which means you grow to around 15 foot tall, gain 400 points of health and receive shields as well as a plethora of new weapons.

Titans are allowed to perform a huge ground pound that throws enemy creatures off their feet and even off ledges to their death. Titan units also receive homing rockets as well as shock rifle charges which will slowly regenerate as they are fired. Players who are skilled at controlling the TItan and manage to refill their Titan meter once again can further mutate into a Behemoth unit. Behemoth’s keep the same weaponry however their ground pound is extended further and the character now grows to 30 foot tall and gains 800 points of health and shielding. Obviously, watching these gigantic monsters come charging towards you can be an edge of the seat experience and if you manage to take one down they explode with a nuclear reaction allowing them to take out enemies and friends in the blast radius!

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Reading this would obviously give concern to the delicate balancing nature of the game mechanic, however Epic have spent vast amounts of time making sure that there were downsides to turning into these brutal beasts of destruction.  Firstly your speed is reduced significantly which leaves you open to attack from all sides without having the ability to run or jump out of the way. Secondly, it is impossible for Behemoths or Titans to pick up weapons or power ups or even to drive vehicles. Mutated players also cannot complete game mode objectives, so they can’t capture nodes in Warfare or pick up flags during CTF matches. Also, while Behemoths gain additional health and strength, their life span is limited to 30 seconds before they explode. Titans however remain standing for as long as an ordinary player would (therefore until they run out of health due to taking damage).

Subsequently the whole mechanic revolves cleverly around turning into a Titan as a means of a support tole or base defense (Warfare mode). Therefore if you have good players with you, a powerful force can be assembled for all situations and game modes. This means that this expansion rewards teamwork like never before and is already massively popular amongst the UT community. Adding Titans to the gameplay rewards with a huge amount of strategy gameplay as you figure out the best time to transform and then instantly try to hold down the fort for as long as possible. The only improvement I could think of making would be to add a game mode specifically for the Titan, because it is rather obvious to me that a last man standing style mechanic would be a great addition.

There are also two new gameplay modes each of which enhances the re-playability of the original to a great degree.

The first mode is Betrayal which is one of the most playable modes in UT history because of how the game mode rewards devious game play mechanics. Players are supplied with a instagib shock rifle and are given the chance to shoot other players for points. The better a player does within a match the higher the point value over your head grows. This is when things get interesting because every shot that you make adds to your points as well as a bank of points for your team.

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At any point, you have the option to betray your team by shooting them in the back, claiming the banked points and marking you as a rogue agent for 30 seconds. During this time, previous teammates can blast you and earn retribution points, however if you avoid this you can deny them points before being randomly assigned to another team and continuing through the rest of a match. Only one person can win this mode so you need to balance when you decide to stab your teammates in the back and when to go hunting for other players. This is a fast paced, tension packed game mode and relies on accurate shooting to take out opponents.

The other game play mode is called Greed which is very similar in nature to CTF with the exception that when a player dies they drop a skull that is worth one point. Collect five skulls and you receive a gold skull, while collecting twenty skulls means you get a red skull that also acts as a damage multiplier. Collecting a further ten additional skulls boosts the time that the damage multiplier is made active which of course plays into the main game mechanic: is it worth it to you to constantly attempt to blast your enemies, acquiring their skulls and potentially maintaining your damage boosts, or is it more strategically sound to try and score with the collection you currently have?

By bringing the collected amount of skulls to a repository in the enemy base a player is teleported back to their team’s base and it starts over again until the point threshold is achieved. Greed is an extremely fun gameplay mode to play especially if the Titan mutator has been enabled. Using supporting Titans in the heat of battle to aid a faster soldier collecting skulls leads to pitched battles of strategic attack and defense.

As well as these stunning new game modes and wonderful mutators there are sixteen new maps scattered across Deathmatch, Vehicle Capture The Flag, CTF and Warfare modes. Some of these new levels compliment previous environments and others are great new standalone designs to give players a new feel to their matches.

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Throughout some of the new maps are two of the new fixed weapons available to players. The first is the Eradicator Turret, which allows the gamer to shell enemies from just about anywhere on the map. The second is a Stinger Turret which fires shots at an extremely fast rate and lets you knock down opponents for a quick kill.

The Titan mode includes the Stealthbender, a modified Hellbender with cloaking options that can be used to run over units while hidden. It packs Spider mines and EMP fields while having the ability to use the two new deployable elements from the Titan Pack in a warzone. The first is the Link Station, which can be used to slowly repair any damaged vehicles for your team.

The X Ray field is a really funky item which reveals the skeletons of soldiers that run through it while increasing the damage they take. It is a funny idea and looks great in action but it doesn’t really have a strong strategic implementation during the game.

The last remaining item in the Titan Pack comes in the form of Nova and Kana, Liandri and Ronin based characters that can be added to your team as bots or used as the basis for customised characters. This doesn’t particularly add anything to the game apart from extra things to shoot at. The Artificial intelligence has seen an overhaul but I didn’t really discern any massive differences from before.

The 2.0 patch and Titan Pack also add a plethora networking performance elements and stabilization for games, as well as stronger server browsing and mod support. For PS3 owners this also means the additional support for Trophies, while for PC users you can Steam Achievements.

The Titan Pack is a great purchase, because it adds two new game modes and a ton of maps as well as a fantastic mutator system. The Titan pack also expands the replayability of the game and injects new blood into a shooter that you might not have played for quite a few months. When you consider that this is entirely free, then why are you still sitting here reading this? Join in the masses online!

A huge amount of gameplay time is available from this expansion.
Stunning visuals and environmental details.
Wonderful in all areas.
Its free!
(Not an Average)
One that will keep you going for many months.

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About Author

Stuart Davidson

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