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The campaign gameplay of Unreal Tournament 3 unfolds as a series of tournament matches against various opponents, with plot-related audio introductions from either Malcolm or Reaper. There is also an intro and exit cutscene, with five chapter cutscenes dispersed throughout the campaign. The host computer player plays Reaper, the male human leader of Ronin. The introduction opens with the leader of the human Ronin mercenary band being ambushed by a sinister female alien figure during a planetary attack.
You can host a multiplayer campaign where other players on the Internet can play the part of members of the Ronin team. This is accomplished by choosing the Campaign game type from the main menu, then selecting to play a Public game. You will need to have set up an Online Username through UT3 first.
If you want to join a multiplayer campaign, you do so from the Multiplayer game type option, then select the Campaign game type from the drop down filter.
Within the campaign, you will play through these various game types as you progress to the end duel.
A one-on-one deathmatch. Occurs only twice: at the beginning and at the end. The beginning is a training duel against Jester, where the first one to 10 kills wins. The end is a duel against Akasha, with the winner being the first to 20 kills.
Capture the Flag
Despite the technical definition of field-lattice generators (FLaGs), it's a traditional capture the flag game. The players are on foot with no hoverboard capability, but in most cases you have the use of the translocator for faster movement.
To score a point you must run over the enemy's flag to grab it, then run with it over your own flag which must be in its base. A flag will be dropped if the carrier is killed. It will stay there until touched by another player; if the player is of the team that is the same color as the flag, the flag will be instantly transported back to its base. If the player is of the opposite team, they will pick up the flag and may continue to advance it.
Flag carriers may attack and dodge normally, but if they use the translocator they will drop the flag.
All campaign CTF games are played so that the first team to the pre-determined point total wins. The campaign CTF games have either 3 or 5 point victory totals.
Vehicle Capture the Flag
The same as the non-vehicle capture the flag game, except vehicles are involved. Players do not have translocators, but instead have hoverboards. Hoverboards may be used to grapple onto moving vehicles of your same team by using the alt-fire button to grapple and escape or alt-fire again to let go.
Flying vehicles can raise up into the air, carrying grappling hoverboarders. Note that the grappling hoverboarder will take damage if they bump into things while being towed. Flags will be dropped if the carrier tries to enter a vehicle, but the carrier can switch to their hoverboard without dropping the flag.
Hoverboarders cannot fire weapons, and will immediately fall to the ground if struck by any meaningful damage. The hoverboard will absorb some damage from falls, but large distances will do significant damage and knock you off the board.
Pretty simple format. Your team against their team. Lots of times the other team will have more people than you. For two-on-two maps, Reaper will usually be paired with Othello.
This gameplay type replaces the Onslaught type from UT 2004. It is essentially the same: Each team has a power core. To win, you must take over power nodes in a pattern that gains access to the opponents' power core, and then shoot it repeatedly until its health is down to zero, at which point it explodes and you win.
The node pattern can be seen by viewing the field map. The lines between the nodes signify what nodes must be captured to access other nodes, and the enemy power core. New for UT3 is the node-buster orb, which spawns in a team's home base area and in certain node spawning areas. Running over a node while carrying the orb will change that node instantly to your color with full health. The orb will disappear and a new orb will spawn again at a node spawner. Players pick up the orb by bumping into it in a spawner, or by running over it when it is lying on the ground. Players can carry the orb on foot or on a hoverboard, but not in a vehicle. An orb can find the ground if the player carrying it is killed or falls off their hoverboard while carrying it.
The orb for your team shows up as a yellow hatched circle on the map. You may receive an audible warning if an enemy carrying a node-buster orb approaches a node under your control while you are nearby. When that occurs, you can see the position of their orb on the map for a short period of time. When an orb finds the ground, a timer will pop up overhead and count down, usually from 15 to 1. After 1 expires, the orb will be destroyed and respawn at an orb spawner. The numbers on the countdown can be seen on the map near the orb's location.
You can hasten the destruction of a dropped enemy orb by standing near it and pressing the Use key. You will fall on it and detonate it. The explosion will do a significant amount of damage to you, and may kill you, but the orb will be destroyed and respawn at an enemy orb respawner. This may be helpful if an orb is dropped in a dangerous place, and several enemies are present that might pick it up.
Ronin is the name of a group of four human mercenaries whose exploits you follow in the campaign of UT3.
The human male leader of Ronin. Is depicted in the cutscenes as using a rocket launcher as a preferred weapon.
A human male member of Ronin, physically characterized by his extensive dental work.
The human female sister of Reaper, a member of Ronin. Her name is Sarah. She is characterized in the cutscenes as making use of dumb puns for humor.
A human male member of Ronin. Characterized in the cutscenes and campaign dialogue as a religious zealot, quoting many religious sayings out of context to make a point. It is suggested in the in-game dialogue that he is a good sniper.
The mercenary leader of the Izanagi armed forces, whom the Ronin end up working for during the campaign.
The female Necris high inquistor who ambushed and almost killed Reaper in the opening cutscene, and who appears later in the game as an object of Ronin's revenge.
A female human leader of a mercenary force that Ronin must battle in a couple of team deathmatches. It is revealed that Reaper and Othello both think she's hot.
The leader of a band of robotic mercenaries that Ronin battles in a couple of team deathmatches.
A human male member of a group of mercenaries that Ronin must battle in a couple of team deathmatches.
Leader of a group of Kraal mercenaries that Ronin must battle in a couple of deathmatches, notably in the Decks map. It is revealed that the Necris pay him well, but he would kill Reaper for free.
Certain missions in the game, when completed, unlock campaign "cards" that may be played before a mission to alter the conditions of the match. Certain cards increase vehicle strength, respawner technology, replace one of your team members (for just that match) with a more effective one, reduce the number of enemies you face, and other effects.