Review: UFC Undisputed 3
After taking a year break from the series, THQ has launched UFC Undisputed 3 — a game which could either be really good, or really bad. Will it fight its way into our hearts?
- Worth The Time?Yes — if you're a fighting fan.
- Things LovedThe new modes, the way fighting was portrayed to be simple but is still complex, gaining skills with practical experience opposed to pure stats, the addition of Pride and the huge amount of fighters and modes available, and the overall simplicity added for gameplay.
- Things HatedIt's a Mixed-Martial Arts game, therefore, the learning curve is tough for new comers, somethings are too simple, the lip syncing, the loading times, limitations of Pride FC, and there's no Steve Mazzagatti as a referee (again). Being knocked-out.
- RecommendationIf you're a MMA fan, or if you like fighting games but want something a little more realistic.
- Name: UFC Undisputed 3
- Genre: Fighting
- Players: 1+
- Multiplayer: 2+
- Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
- Developer: Yukes
- Publisher: THQ
- Price: R500+
- Reviewed On: Xbox 360
The unfortunate thing with mixed martial arts games is that there’s never a middle ground. A game is either stunning or it’s annoying.
For one to buy a fighting game, it shows that they have some sort of competitive nature. In life, they don’t want to lose — especially in a fight. Fighting games are no different.
That being said, a fighting game will either blow you away with visuals and gameplay that works, or it will frustrate you with buttons which do nothing when pressed. And, in the heat of the moment, this can cause a lot of rage.
And that’s the thing. UFC Undisputed 3, upon it’s return, could either be a great success boasting great visuals and fantastic gameplay, or it could be a one-hit knock out.
Fortunately though, UFC Undisputed 3 is the title fight we’ve been waiting for. The George St. Pierre versus Anderson Silva, if I may.
THQ’s decision to develop the game for an extra year is great one. The game bounced back with numerous changes, all of which one should welcome with open arms.
One of the most welcomed additions to the game is the key configuration. One can now simply walk into Mordor, as punching, kicking, and submissions are a lot easier to achieve.
In the beginning of the game you’re prompted with the choice of two control layouts: one really complex — from UFC 2009 and 2010 — and one really simple. Depending on your experience with the game, you may choose. This is editable whilst in game, if you choose wrong first time round.
This, on its own, is a great addition. It was often noted that the leading problem with UFC Undisputed is the control system. No-one knows how to do anything once the fight moves the ground. It was utterly unfriendly for newbies. And, very cool for veterans. Fortunately, there’s now the chance for newbies to understand the game and how it works with a basic controller layout. Thereafter, nothing stops them from kicking ass with the big boy buttons.
Now That The Game Is Easy To Play, Let’s Fight!
Starting off, the game has been modified to look like the UFC. Then, it has been adapted to be like the UFC with 150 fighters across seven weight categories. The Champions, the underdogs and the veterans — your favourite fighter should be in the roster.
Following this, UFC has added Pride Fighting Championship to the mix. For those questioning what that is: Pride was like UFC, but in Japan, and in a boxing ring. The significance of Pride in UFC reveals two things: UFC doesn’t blow their own horn, and they are more than happy to offer variation. The Pride mode offers the chance to fight in a ring — opposed to a cage known as an Octagon — and the chance to fight under different rules. For example, in the UFC ruleset you may not kick a grounded opponent in the face. In Pride, the Japanese allow you to kick grounded opponents in the face. A big, and enthralling, change which is really fun.
Unfortunately though, with the upside comes a downside. Pride seems very limited as it offers significantly less fighters. That means, all the great Pride fighters who previously existed don’t exist anymore. The fight card feels shallow and somewhat limiting. With Pride, it’s fun to mix it up, but that’s all.
After the great addition of Pride, the game now offers a Head-Up-Display when trying to submit someone in the fight. This is very useful.
In the previous UFC titles, it was a mystery and a mission to submit someone. One was under the impression that to submit someone successfully, you needed to undergo a six month training camp in analogue trigger usage. In other words, it was seriously difficult.
UFC Undisputed 3 changes this dramatically. The HUD which appears once a submission is attempted allows you to see what the chance of you achieving that submission is, and what you need to do to achieve that submission. Basically, it’s like two snakes, where the dominant snake needs to hover over the submitting snake to achieve a broken arm, or a choke. Way better and easier to do than before.
Gameplay wise, it’s great. Buttons work when pressed, and fights become interesting. Spamming X no longer has the same effect with punches and kicks — one needs to move and be strategic.
The general aspects of UFC and MMA exist in the game — as they did in the previous versions. However, they have been tweaked and bettered over time. One can high kick, low kick, punch, gut punch and clinch with ease. Performing a takedown attempt is easier to do and easier to stop — resulting in a fierce physical and tactical battle.
It’s almost set out so that every fight will be a good one.
Whenever fighters are pushed to their limits, they begin to slow down. Fatigue sets it. It becomes more real. Fighters are tougher this year, however. Before you knock someone out, you usually “rock” them where they become somewhat dazed, and this is your chance to pounce on them, like a mongoose eating snake. In previous versions, once a fighter was rocked, they were easy to finish. This year, not so much — if they are rocked there’s a great chance of recovery — especially if it’s early in the fight and they aren’t tired. It seems as if fatigue plays a much larger part this time round.
At the end of the fight, once you’ve won or lost, the game will give you a table. This shows the kicks and punches thrown, as well as where you hurt your opponent and where he hurt you. Also, it shows you the amount of Shop Points earned.
Shop Points are useful to buy things at the in-game Store. Things like, clothing, movies, fighters, moves and taunts.
In UFC Undisputed 3, there’s various modes which offer different experiences. There’s an Exhibition Mode, Title Mode, Tournament Mode, Event Mode, Task Mode, Career Mode and online play.
The Title Mode has play in a ‘league’. Expect to fight against various fighters to win the Title. Basically, you need to work your way through an amount of fighters to get to the Championship. It’s less serious than Career but more rewarding than Exhibition — which is a normal game with no strings attached.
Tournament Mode offers you the choice of a tournament type, either Pride or UFC. You can create your own tournament with various players. Basically, it’s a lounge mode where if you had friends over you’d set this up. It’s knock-out based, therefore, if you lose you’re out. This mode will help decide on a winner at the end of the night.
With Event Mode you’ll be able to create your very own UFC event. Choose the event name, where it is and the number of fights. You can include Title Fights too. The layout for Event Mode is very similar to the UFC, where the whole introduction and build up is the same as it is in real life. It’s like a virtual re-creation of the UFC.
In Task Mode one is required to complete certain tasks in a fight, in a given time. The Task Mode is basically legendary fights which you get to replay, with the original fighters. This mode allows you to unlock fight videos of the ‘Ultimate Fights’ which you are recreating.
Career Mode is what you expect it to be. A Career. You create your own fighter, with in-depth settings to make it very unique. In UFC Undisputed 3 the Career Mode has changed. It no longer focuses on stats as much, but rather training games and fights. There will be drills and sparring sessions to boost attributes and hone skills. In the Career Mode one can either create their own fighter or play with an existing fighter and modify their attributes. Then, you will be able to plan your future as a fighter and join various training camps to improve.
The Career Mode also allows you to set a gameplan, where if you follow it, you get points to better your fighter’s ability. This year is all about increasing skill through practical experience, rather than just offering bland points for punching a bag. So, perform better practically and win the Championship.
Naturally, online play has various modes: Exhibition — like above, it’s just a normal game, a Fight Camp, Leaderboard and the ability to share content. It’s really simple, actually.
In the online mode, sharing content will offer social interaction. Basically, you’re able to make your own videos and montages of knockouts or submissions which you achieved. All your replays are automatically saved, so it’s easy to go back and create great knockout videos.
UFC Undisputed 3 also offers the ability to create Custom logos and banners. The logos you create can be used on banners, or as tattoos. Banners you create can be shown in the cage.
It’s A Lot Different
It’s clearly evident that a year break was quite possibly the best thing that ever happened to the game. The developers, publishers and the UFC sat down to discuss what they want to do and how they want to do it.
UFC Undisputed 3 puts itself forward, more than the previous games. There’s tonnes more features and a style of game which is more practical than the normal attribute based system often found in sports games.
As for commentary, Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg are great. They feel knowledgeable and hardly repetitive. It almost feels as if you are watching the UFC, or listening, at least.