UFC Undisputed 3 has officially arrived, and it came as a nice box of chocolates to the MMA fans for Valentine’s Day.
The game is the third installment of the new and popular Undisputed franchise by THQ, and ninth UFC video game ever made.
It started back on the Playstation/Dreamcast, and now has evolved into a truly enjoyable experience on today’s new generation of consoles.
The preliminary numbers for the game’s launch success are not out yet, but MMA fans should rest assured this is certainly a game worth buying. Simply, if you enjoyed Undisputed 2009 and 2010, you will love UFC U3 even more.
The most marketed aspect of the new installment is the introduction of Pride mode. After tasting the demo and now the full-fledged meal that is Pride Mode, it leaves fans quite satisfied.
The roster, including some of the old-time greats and big names, are included to be used in both Pride and UFC modes. Who wouldn’t want to put Brock Lesnar against Bob Sapp? The arena, sounds, commentary and overall presentation is a very refreshing change from the traditional UFC mode.
The roster is huge, and with other packs on the way, the list of fighters is greater than it has ever been. With all seven weight classes, there are more than enough fighters to try out and use. The only downside is that some of the big up-and-comers of 2011, and others are absent from the game.
This is due to the timing of the game presumably, among other factors, but will hopefully be remedied with some DLC. For example, Chan Sung Jung is not in the rosters, but Leonard Garcia is.
The great thing about the rosters is being able to do special matchups. Ever wish in the old games you could fight Anderson Silva vs. GSP or Jon Jones? Well, now you can. Also, you can do mirror matches and put Silva vs. Silva, or Jones vs. Jones, etc.
The big part people were curious about that wasn’t as clear in the marketing of the game before release, was the Career mode. After one or two fights of tutorial-esque introduction, gamers will be treated to a Career mode that is much more streamlined and easier to manage.
In previous installments, the Career mode seemed more like managing stats than actual fighting. This time it is all about activities and preparation.
Another way you can approach career mode is to construct a new legacy for a roster fighter. Instead of creating a fighter and making him fight his way to the top, you can take real pro fighters from the Undisputed roster and rewrite their careers.
The Ultimate Fights feature is still there, and has also become much more accessible. Instead of a task list that needed to be opened constantly, the new tasks come in a timed fashion that takes place live during the fight. Anything that you miss can be retried, without having to redo the other tasks you completed.
Online seems to run much cleaner, but other reviews have indicated that “losing connection to opponent” is still there, meaning either people have bad connections, or are bad losers.
The overall gameplay though is fun and enjoyable, especially with the new ground game system that was put in. Pro controls are still there for those pretzel-like movements, but you can set the controls to do simple gestures instead, like just hitting up or down on a stick.
The submission game is new, and is much more understandable and easier on the palms. Your controller will thank you as well, since the only time you will be rotating the stick is working for/defending a takedown.
New camera angles help make the game feel fresher, despite graphically it has not improved by leaps and bounds from 2010’s edition. It does look smoother and plays better with all the new mechanics however. Using feints to psych out your opponent and then hitting them with a hard shot is both satisfying and effective.
Getting rocked in the game is no longer an indication of almost certain death, and helps add much excitement during the match. When you get rocked, it still is a more dangerous situation, but it is more of a precautionary signal.
THQ and UFC had added quite a bit of extras to the game, especially in the “Shop” where you spend CRED earned from miscellaneous game modes. For instance, there are over 100 different ways for your fighter to move and act when Bruce Buffer is announcing you before the fight.
There are just as many “Victory,” walking out, and climbing into the cage motions to choose from, and then you can customize Pride mode-specific ones, too. You can even choose the color of spotlights that span the crowd as you walk out, along with your choice of “walkout music”.
UFC Undisputed took off a year, but being a sport that is not seasonal, it wasn’t something that would truly hurt the series. It took the time off to add and change things, and THQ and UFC certainly delivered.
Once again, the graphics themselves have not improved exponentially, but the amount of new features and tweaks, with a stellar roster makes UFC Undisputed 3 a game worth the wait.
UFC Undisputed 3: 8 out of 10