UFC 2010 Undisputed was an utterly fantastic videogame; deep and extremely involving once you knew precisely what you were doing, it found a sizeable fan base as briskly as its predecessor had done. But this success was at the expense of an even more sizeable audience: those who weren’t patient enough to get their heads around it in the first place.
It was a staunchly hardcore game to say the least, and although UFC Undisputed 3 is no less hardened, there are some very shrewd new options in place that should make things palatable to newcomers and casual gamers alike. The recipe hasn’t been simplified at all, but some simplified control options have been implemented to entice a different kind of gamer into the fray.
There is a new ‘amateur’ control scheme available to newcomers in UFC Undisputed 3, and what it primarily does is simplify your ground game. Instead of using the dual thumbsticks for transitions, which was the most rewarding (but also the most intimidating) part of the previous two games, in amateur mode you use only the up and down commands on the d-pad.
There is also an optional extra called ‘Game Education’, a rolling tutorial of onscreen tips and solutions that appear between rounds during the career mode. If something keeps happening to you during bouts – you keep getting accidentally led into devastating bouts dirty boxing, say – the text tip that will appear onscreen will advise you on the best technique to employ in order to avoid it. A new submission system has also been implemented. It’s superficially very similar to the one seen in last year’s much underrated EA MMA, but featuring octagons instead of circles (of course) and allowing for things like health and energy to determine how quickly you are able to move your cursor around it.
The hardcore UFC fans will rejoice at the news that Pride Fighting Championships are now included too. This mode is a throwback to the early days of the UFC, featuring Japanese rules that allow for soccer kicks, face stomps and knees to the head. The game looks outstandingly slick too, even though it’s several months away from a release. A new camera option, which has the perspective sitting just beyond the cage at ringside level, is said to have been inspired by both hardcore 1V1 beat ‘em ups like Tekken, and some of the work that has been done by renowned sports photographers at UFC ringside over the years. The new customisable entrances are a nice touch too.
The game’s producer Neven Dravinski says that, despite the fact that so much has been done to appeal to those who have always found the UFC Undisputed games too intimidating, “make no mistake, this is still a game about knocking your friends the f*ck out…” Happy days.
UFC Undisputed 3 is currently due for release on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in early 2012.
Watch the UFC Undisputed 3 trailer here: