UFC Undisputed 3 is the first UFC game in 2 whole years. Why? Because THQ did something unheard of when it comes to a yearly franchise in gaming. It took a year off. And it’s a very good thing that they did.
2010’s UFC Undisputed game left many fans of the sport shaking their heads. It was an almost exact replica of the first UFC game and left a bad taste in our mouths and an empty space in our wallets. This year, THQ has made the game worth every penny. Added are the new weight classes and the WEC absorbed fighters bolstering this year’s roster (with DLC fighters already available and more on the way). Also added, is Pride and it’s a real service for fans. Pride rules are different than standard UFC rules which means you can head stomp and soccer kick opponents while they’re on the floor. It sounds brutal because it is, but it’s so fun. And that’s what the game is all about. Even if you’re not a fan of MMA, you’ll find a fighter you know like GSP or Jon Jones and have blast beating the crap out of your friends.
The game looks great but it always has. The character models look clean and real and the physics are fun to watch in slow motion. THQ really amped up the production this time around. There are weigh ins and pre fight video introductions that add to the authenticity of the game. Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan do an excellent job on commentary as usual and the only gripe I have is with the walkouts. They’re too short and I wish there was the option to add customizable music, but it’s a small issue that I’m sure will be available in future editions.
The big changes in gameplay really help the game appeal to a wider audience. First off, there’s an option to switch from standard grappling controls to simpliar ones. If you’re an Undispiuted vet, you’ll likely stay with the standard, but it’s nice to have the option to switch to an easier method. Gone are the vigorous rotating of the joystick in order to get or escape a submission. Instead, a minigame pops up on the screen requiring you to chase (if attempting a submission) or avoid (if trying to defend against a submission) the other player’s icon. It’s a much, much simpler and easier method than the last. If I have one complaint about it is that the HUD of the octagon looks very out of place, as if it was just poorly placed on top of the action. Another change is an improvement when it comes to recovery. In the previous installments, once your fighter is rocked that’s it for you. In this year’s game it’s much easier to recover after being rocked with a hard shot. This makes fights last longer and it brings a better sense of realism to each match.
There are all kinds of things in UFC Undisputed 3 that will keep you busy. A revamped career mode (no more stat deterioration!), title mode and then title defense mode, create a fighter, online matchups (although THQ servers leave much to be desired) as well as the opportunity to relive classic fights or change the outcome. UFC Undisputed 3 is fun for fans of the sport and even for those who aren’t. Do yourself a favor and go get a copy and stomp on a friends face right now.