QAPete: Bots are more industrious than before. Steve Polge continues to make strides toward more human-like bots. They can't replace good human opponents yet, but they're getting better with each iteration of the Unreal engine, and are state-of-the-art when it comes to singleplayer gameplay.

I found the Singleplayer game to be rather easy. Still, if you can get through it, you're ready for online action.

UT 2003 is beautiful to behold. Even if you can't play with all the details cranked up, try it anyway, if only to look at what they've created. The outdoor levels, in particular, are just breathtaking. Some of the models have exquisite details you have to see to believe. There's a lot of eye candy here, and it's all good.

Some of the included mutators are a lot of fun. Arena is always good, especially since you can easily configure it to use any weapon. Bighead the 'FatBoy' of UT 2003, always humerous. Floaty Cadaver and Slow Motion Corpses are kind of pointless and annoying. Instagib, Zoom Instagib and Low Grav are all great, although it's much harder to get through an instagib match when you're running 12 FPS. No Adrenaline will silence those purists that think Adrenaline messes up the balance of the game (I don't agree with that point of view). No Superweapons is necessary at times. Quad Jump is great - try it in Orbital2 or Antalus, great fun. Regeneration works as expected, as does Vampire, which gives you health for frags. All in all, it's a nice package of mutators, and the community is already writing bunches more.

hal: I really like playing the bots at higher skill levels now. They put up a great fight on most of the maps. The addition of more translocation points, ambush points, and better teamplay almost make you feel like you're playing with human players. Almost. Now, if you could just teach them to team kill in addition to stealing all the flag carrier's powerups. ;-) There are a few bot problems on some of the maps, but these are bots that have no equal in any other first-person shooter.

The singleplayer game was a little less than we were led to believe, with the race attributes being disabled and team selection not being so crucial to winning the ladder. Having to defeat your team first was a nice touch. The Lauren/Brock match was disappointingly easy, but the Malcom match was appropriately tough (unless you camp).

The mutators included are even better than UT's. Some of them like big-head and slow-mo corpses are more for fun (though the slow-mo corpse and floaty cadavers mutators help stage some terrific screenshots!). Other mutators like instagib, vampire, and zoom instagib almost create an entirely new gametype in and of themselves. Mutators really help set the Tournament series apart from other first-person shooters.

The new gametypes work very well. Bombing Run is lots of fun, but I am surprised that there wasn't more incentive for players to pass the ball. I've used a custom mutator that makes the ball a real time-bomb. If you carry it too long without a pass, the ball explodes Redeemer-style. Another minor issue with BR is the lack of the ability to limit players throwing the ball forward and translocate to it, in essence translocating to the goal solo for a score. Again, I've played with a custom mutator that takes away the translocator charge when a player throws the ball, this easily eliminates the solo run and encourages team play. It would have been nice to have those options as part of the game from the start, but the gametype is loads of fun, and is already shaping up to be very popular online and in ladders.

Double Domination is a nice gametype. It's so different from UT's Domination that it really qualifies as a new gametype. Some of the maps work better than others for playing DD. Ruination and Sun Temple both present challenges in reaching a control point before the 8 second countdown is complete. I believe that as people play it online more they will develop a better teamwork and master all of the shortcuts improving play even more.

Capture the Flag and DeathMatch remain much the same and are enjoyable as ever when the right number of players are on a map. I do have an issue with DM, CTF and adrenaline which I will detail below. I think both of these gametypes really benefit from the new jump moves.

Online play is very hard to judge. It just doesn't feel as solid as Unreal Tournament's. I seem to ping almost twice as high to the servers that are running right now. Granted, the best servers probably haven't switched to the new game yet, but it feel different much of the time. Forget jump pads if your ping starts to creep... they'll just cause massive stuttering.

I have mixed feelings about Adrenaline. They are very much like Relics, and I'm not sure having them enabled by default is such a good thing. Adrenaline effects like Booster and Berserk are well earned and only give a hand to the individual player. Speed, and Invisibility to a lesser effect. A Speed boosted flag carrier can traverse a big map like Magma in no time... and most of the retail CTF maps are not that large. It's a great idea, but I'm glad they included an option in the patch

The special jumps are terrific and add a lot of depth to gameplay. Cliffy was right... I do miss moves like double-jump when playing other games. However, these new moves should be taken into account when mapping for UT2003. You need more room than ever to move around, and you can cover more ground in less time. Small maps seem really small and medium maps seem ... well.. small. Unfortunately many of the retail maps seem to be just that. The ones that are not really make the game shine.

I hate to say it, but the translocator may be a little too nerfed. I think Epic may have had it right in the last UT patch. However, that's preference, and I can live with that. The weapons are more balanced now with the recent patch.