UT3 Deathmatch Impressions
Epic plans to have six basic multiplayer gameplay modes in the final release and of course they will have mutators that will add even more options (yep, Instagib is back). You can look for Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture The Flag, Vehicle Capture the Flag, Duel (1v1 arena style matches) and Warfare which is basically a reconfigured version of Onslaught (more on that mode later).
Our first match was pure Deathmatch on the medium sized ShangriLa level. The level has a courtyard at its center with a Double Damage powerup located just outside of jumping range on top of a small fountain-like structure. With 10 people running around it was still a bit small, but UT 3's character speed is quite fast so it made up for the lack of players (the character running speed in Valve's Team Fortress 2 seems slow as molasses by comparison).
The art style was Asian in tone (we were told that the art design for the Asian-themed levels came from Epic's recently launched China art asset team). We quickly found some of the more intersting features in UT 3, including variable armor power ups (some for the helment, some for the chest, some for the legs) along with the power shoes that highly increase your jumping ability for a few second if you double tap the "Space" key. Both weapons and power-ups drop when you die so they can be picked up by other players.
Of course all of the classic UT weapons are back; the link gun, the biogun, the shock rifle, the rocket launcher (now with some homing abilities if you keep the reticule on the target for a few seconds) the mini-gun and of course the Redeemer. Most of the weapons do come with their classic alt-fire modes (fire three rockets instead of just one for example). There is a new sniper rifle, and a new anti-vehicle handheld missle launcher that locks onto a target instantly.
We then moved onto another Deathmatch map (the name of which I have unfortunately forgotten) that is much larger in size and clearly meant for 32 players. This map was more of a European gothic style art design with a huge church that you could get on top of via a jump pad. Again, having 10 people play in this huge map wasn't the best experience but it's always fun to kill a person from a long way off with your shock rifle. :)