I’m not sure what I was thinking when I spent $20 just to try out a mod for Unreal Tournament 3 called Hazard – The Journey Of Life. When I first saw the trailer on Rock Paper Shotgun months ago, I was intrigued by the premise but not interested enough to checked it out. Then I saw it again yesterday and knew now was the time to finally try this.

There was a problem. I don’t own a copy of Unreal Tournament 3. I thought I did. I installed the mod and tried to start it. Crash. The error was that UT3.exe did not exist on my system. So, now I was left with a choice: should I go buy UT3 or just scrap this whole plan? Since I had already invested time into getting the mod and reading up on it, what was $20 more?

I don’t know what is going on within this game. Is this a game? I’m not sure. My goal is, I think, to make it to the exit. But most of time is spent trying to figure out where I am and how to move forward. After wandering hallways, falling down holes and generally being both frustrated and amazed, I think I came to the answer. The story, the graphics and even the objectives are meaningless. The experience is supposed to teach you and the primary mode of learning is to first fail.

My first act was to try to leap across a chasm. That failed. I fell down a long tunnel and found myself face to face with a message. I moved down a hallway and found another message. Then I tried to run across a bridge. That failed and I fell again. Now I was face to face with blue colored walls that had holes in them. I pressed the Escape key. I was back at the beginning. I selected where I wanted to start and tried again.

Fail and try again. The journey of life is full of hazards. The best we can do is learn from our mistakes and try, try, again.

I really encourage you to try this mod, this game, this…experience? However, if you would rather look at what I saw, you can browse some screenshots I took while playing.