Regardless of your interest in the sport there’s no denying that UFC Undisputed 3 is a solid fighting game. The character models are spot on and when coupled with the theatre of a main event you could, at times, be forgiven for forgetting your playing a game. Saying that, on the rare occasion a camera angle during one ... Read More »
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release Date: 17/02/12
Order on Amazon
UFC Undisputed 3 Review
It’s been a while since we last saw a UFC Undisputed game, but THQ have returned to the Octagon ready for a fight with Undisputed 3 and they couldn’t possibly have crammed any more onto a disc.
Visually the game nails the main fight nights; they bring the sense of theatre and event that you get from watching it on a big screen, or to some extent being there in the flesh. It has a real sense of occasion to it and everything you would expect is present, from the ring girls to the commentators jamming in an advert for some shaving foam during their intro to the fight. It goes without saying that no two fights are the same, but what surprised me most was how no two events are the same. Not once have I heard the commentators repeat themselves and everything they say seems very natural… and to a point it’s kind of weird when they start talking about your past fights; you wins, your losses and even start speculating as to how you might fare during the fight.
Don’t get me wrong it’s not a bad point, it’s just once every so often you’ll forget that those guys are just pre recordings cleverly sewn together. Depending on how important your fight is for the night depends on the kind of experience you’ll be treated to. If you’re just filling in for the evening, or in a lower class, your experience won’t seem as grand, but when you enter the Ultimate Fighting Championship and start taking part in those big main events, that’s where the game really shines.
You’re not confined to a single mode alone though and UFC 3 really packs in the gameplay and controller options to ensure there is something for everyone, and more importantly anybody can pick it up with out having to be a hardcore fighting fan or veteran of the series. Exhibition mode is your one off fight and lets you choose between two rule sets, UFC or Pride. From there you can then pick your weight class, number of rounds, and select a fighter from either the UFC series or the Pride series regardless of the ruleset you choose and any custom fighter you’ve created in career mode.
Game mode, as the menus so creatively calls them, is a list of various choices for what makes up the bulk of the game. Title mode is more the arcade mode of the game, and has you competing in a ladder to become the ultimate fighting champion. Three losses and your out though, which at first might not seem to be to difficult but you’re going to have to earn the top spot if you want it. Title Defense has you protecting your belt and only becomes available after completing the title mode. Tournament mode speaks for itself and lets you just get on with the fighting in a knock out competition. Ultimate Fights Mode lets you relive and replay landmark fights in UFC history, while giving you a set of tasks to complete during the fight. As if they weren’t enough, Event Mode allows you to create your very own event with the options you choose.
Career mode is where the bulk of the game takes place, and gives players the chance to really flex their muscles. Here you can create a fighter from the ground up, making him look how you like and laying the foundations for your chosen path to the title. I wont lie to you, this game when you first start out is tutorial-tastic; they absolutely would not stop, and while they annoyed the hell out of me and I couldn’t press skip fast enough they are needed for both the series vets and newcomers. They do a good job of easing you into the many different features available to you in career mode.
After completing a fight you’ll be asked to choose your next opponent, each of which will normally carry a set number of “Action Points.” These allow you to play out one of three training modes; Training Sessions have you play out a mini-game of sorts, which involve anything from punching set sections on a heavy bag to flipping tires around a mat. Successfully completing them will grant you a stat increase in things like footwork, defense and speed. Camp Sessions is where you learn new moves and level up your exiting ones by practicing them out with a sparring partner in your chosen gym. Game Plan lets you choose a set of criteria that you need to meet during a training session, and if you pull them off will award you a temporary boost to your stats to see you thorough your next fight.
The shop speaks for itself and is where you purchase shorts, shirts, hats and other bits and bobs for your fighter. Each of these acts as a sponsor, so if you want the cool set of TapouT shorts you’re going to need to stick the naff hat on a few times, or the TapouT logo on your banner, to unlock it. At first I thought it a little odd that I have to spend my money, or “CRED” as the game calls it, on sponsor’s gear but then I thought maybe it isn’t supposed to be money, maybe it actually is cred and I’m selling out by purchasing these shorts.
When it comes down to the actual fighting the game is friendly enough to pick up and play with a limb mapped to each of the face buttons. By default your punches will always go for the head and kicks to the body, but pull on the left trigger and they both move down a level to body punches and low kicks. Left bumper is best thought of as your power modifier button, making each blow harder but often slower – pair any of those combinations up with factors like your stance and what you are doing with your left or right analogue stick and suddenly you have a lot of moves to master. UFC Undisputed 3 does a good job of easing you into all of those things though, and it’s surprising how the game can be ‘pick up and play’ for one person, and full on fight simulation to another.
Regardless of your interest in the sport there’s no denying that UFC Undisputed 3 is a solid fighting game. The character models are spot on and when coupled with the theatre of a main event you could, at times, be forgiven for forgetting your playing a game. Saying that, on the rare occasion a camera angle during one of the close-up intro scenes will take you on a trip down the uncanny valley and break that forth wall for just a moment, and the loading screens between menus at times are a lot longer than they should be.
Fans of the fighting genre, and gamers with an open mind, will love UFC Undisputed 3 regardless of whether or not they have any interest in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and will be perfectly happy playing this be it for a whole evening or for just a quick round.
- Looks beautiful.
- Captures the essence of a fight night perfectly.
- So many game modes you’ll accidentally find one you didn’t know existed a week later.
- It really feels like your knocking the crap out of somebody.
- Easily accessible while remaining in-depth enough for the ‘core.
- Getting somebody to submit while in a clinch has one of the most out of place mini-games in the history of gaming.
- Loading screens for simple things like the menus at times spoil the flow and pacing of the game.
- The very first tutorial is longer than a Monday in the office with a hangover.
I’ve struggled with this for a week now, and I’d come to the conclusion that it was going to be a 7 just because the load times, while not massive, were just a little to long for my impatient hands, and the constant trickle of tutorials at the start (while necessary) just made me want to shout at the telly and twist my pad. That is just me nit picking though, and I wouldn’t have a problem recommending UFC Undisputed 3 to a friend. The rest of the game is solid and like I said captures the atmosphere and theatre of the Ultimate Fighting Championship perfectly, which is why it scores a healthy 8 out of 10.
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