UFC Undisputed 3 Zombiegamer Review | Brutal… Brilliant… Best

In Short

UFC Undisputed 3 is the most complete and accomplished MMA package. The gameplay, which is better than ever, caters to both the experience and newcomers while still remaining complex. If you are looking for one of the best simulator brawlers out there – look no further.

Developer: Yuke’s
Publisher: THQ
Distributor: SterKinekor
For fans of: MMA, the series
Reviewed on: Playstation 3
Also available on: Xbox 360
If we had to give it a numerical score: 9.0 out of 10

Likes

  • Technically brilliant
  • Brutal
  • Visuals
  • Extensive singleplayer modes
  • Slow-motion camera work
  • The abundance of fighters

Not so much

  • Soundtrack
  • I am not convinced by the new submission feature

Overview

Yuke’s Osaka brought us a promising UFC title in 2010 – it was not perfect but did show loads of potential and intuitive gameplay. Since then the studio has had another two goes as it and have evolved with the series quite remarkably. UFC Undisputed 3 delivers more options than ever, and it’s not just about the online mode anymore, as many would have argued about the previous instalment. There are comprehensive singleplayer modes in UFC 3, PRIDE makes its debut and just about everything else has been tweaked, nipped and tucked.

Gameplay and Features

The gameplay in UFC 3 Undisputed 3 is better than ever. Series veterans will notice small touches in many areas that add up to the smoothest, most engaging sim-style gameplay yet. The fighting mechanics allow you to recreate any situation I have ever seen in MMA fights. Newcomers shouldn’t be bowled over in the tutorials which may be a little overwhelming. You will also receive tips in game modes which can be turned off, so anyone can come to grips with the extensive moves-set.

The focus with the gameplay in UFC 3 is to cater to the experienced as well as allow novices to enjoy the spectacular sport in gaming form. Now you can choose to use the semi-circle movement with the stick to move around in the ground clinches, or you can choose a novice setting of directing the stick either up or down, simplifying the moving around on the ground bits.

There is also a new submission mechanic where you new to move your cursor in a circular motion over the opponents cursor , the longer your cursor is over the opponents, the more your chances are of submitting. This works well, but you need to keep your eye on the cursor whereas I would prefer watching the intensity of the battle. There is now also more focus on countering your opponent from ground to clinching, from take-downs to striking – there are seemingly endless ways to counter now, way more than with the previous instalments.

There is also more ways to TKO your opponent than before. Players are now able to win fights by cutting the opponent badly, by leg TKOs or beating your opponent on the barriers. The developers have clearly learnt from the previous instalments and this shines through in UFC Undisputed 3’s gameplay.

The usual game modes are on offer – singleplayer title mode where you take on the top fighters with a top fighter, and then you can defend your title once you have won it in ‘title defence mode’. You can enter tournaments with set fighters in ‘tournament mode’ and then there is the obligatory online mode. The PRIDE fights debut featuring a different set of rules – more street, less sport than UFC rules, for a lack of a more technical description. PRIDE allows more brutal moves, like face-stomping amongst others. So if you are looking for a little more brutality, PRIDE mode is the welcome ticket.

In my opinion (and I’m sure many others) the career mode takes centre stage in UFC 3, and now players can look forward to a “proper” singleplayer experience even out of the career mode. Many of the tedious aspects of the career modes in the previous games has been streamlined and your off or training-time features more variety than before – it is no longer just the tedious activities you needed to do to get your stats up. The actual fights are obviously still the main course, but it’s not the ‘only’ standout feature of the career mode.

Players start their careers down the pecking order in lower leagues and work towards getting into the UFC. The career mode is not just about striving forward, you can just as easily be demoted back down, keeping things interesting and keeping you motivated. The career is thorough, well designed and I would easily say enough for those looking for that singleplayer experience. That said pounding someone sitting on the other side of the world also never gets old.

The reason I am placing so much emphasis on the singleplayer modes is because UFC 2010 was one of my most bitter-sweet gaming experiences. I was done with the limited singleplayer portion in a couple of nights and then got hooked on the online mode. Somewhere down the line a patch did not fend well with my set-up and I grew frustrated with the online mode. With the singleplayer done and dusted, I simply packed the game away until its successor. UFC 3 has so much to do that I will be slogging at it on my own for some time to come – one fighter’s career does not look like it will settle the craving for me thanks to the new abundance of substance here. Then there is enough variation in the other singleplayer modes mentioned where you fight with real fighters .

Not only does UFC 3 deliver the most modes, the most extensive fighting arsenal and the most diverse fighting styles, but also way more fighters than ever. There are about 150 fighters to choose from throughout the usual weight-divisions, so fans should find a span of fighters now to fight well with. I remember having less than a handful with 2010 that I was confident with.

Visuals and Sound

Visually it would take a more technical eye than mine to see major improvement in the graphics department in most areas. The fighters detailing, animations and texturing all looked fantastic even in 2010, and I can’t say UFC 3 is a substantial leap forward here.

What was almost instantly noticeable is the visual progress in the advances of the presentation. We are now treated to slow-motion bits, some blurriness and more advanced camera work; all to create a more dramatic visual experience. A big strike for example and the camera slows down a bit, the panning also adds here to really give you the visual satisfaction of your achievement and the gratification of turning the momentum of the fight around. There are tweaks and additions here and there with the visuals that make for the grandest of exhibitions in and around the fights.

The presentation leading up to the fight has been upped and then some, perfectly recreating that real-life feel leading up to the fight. UFC 3 perfectly mimics the presentation as you would see in the UFC thanks to the licensing and the previously mentioned improvements. Players are treated to as-real-as-it-gets presentation, creating the tense atmosphere you would expect – just brilliant!

The sound quality has always been brilliant in the series, encapsulating the brutal sounds of the sport realistically. Again, it would take a more technical reviewer than me to report on major improvements in this department. The sound quality and sound effects are of the highest quality in UFC 3. The only gripe I have, and it is a matter of taste, I found the UFC 2010 soundtrack to be the more ‘amped’ which suited the theme of the game more. It seemed to pump me up for the successors but as I said, this is a matter of personal taste.

Final thoughts

The UFC Undisputed series has always been a proficient simulation of the sport. Yuke’s has positively evolved the series and refined it to this magnificent latest instalment. UFC Undisputed 3 is now the most complete package and the offline modes are simply staggering.

The gameplay is better than even and now even novices can pick and play the game, whereas the previous games required thorough tutorial sessions before you could come to grips with the gameplay. Fortunately there is still more than enough technically to please us more ardent fans.

Brutal… brilliant… best!

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