So you want to be a fighter? Well now is your chance with UFC Undisputed 3. I recently had a chance to get a hands-on preview with the developer and got a chance to see exactly what has changed since the last iteration; let me be among the first to tell you that there is a lot in there for both the casual and the hardcore fan of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Since the real life UFC does not have a season in the traditional sense, it allows the developers more freedom between titles to add content and add in as much as possible without being under a time crunch. I sat down with a beta version of the game which is scheduled to release on Valentine’s Day of next year and I was impressed, read on to find out why.
This year there are quite a few additions made to make the experience so that the game feels even more in depth. This title is far from just a roster update even though there are now over 150 fighters to choose from as well as two new divisions: Featherweight and Bantamweight. There are now new touches added like fighter entrances which include your trainers wearing your entrance t-shirt. The original game engine is still in place, but the graphics have been polished up tremendously and the game runs at a smooth 60 FPS.
Some new options have been added to the game as well like the ability to perform mirror matches with the same fighters. There is also a new HUD that not only shows the fighters energy bar but also a figure of the fighter and where they have taken damage. There is also a new option to change how you can handle grappling, Pro versus Amateur, which means that transitions can now be handled with a simple flick making the game more accessible to those players that may not have mastered the classic transitions. There is also a few new options: Stamina Simulation mode where you need to more closely manage your fighters energy levels, Competition mode where flash KO’s are eliminated and Stat Equalizer where all stats on fighters are leveled so that fights come down to player technique alone.
Aside from visual upgrades the developers have worked to tweak the gameplay to make the depth of being a fighter more evident. A new submission system has been adopted where the player must engage in a mini game of sorts where they need to chase their opponents bar around an octagon and try to cover it as long as possible in order to cause a tapout. Leg kicks have now been given more emphasis and players can now check leg kicks; even cause a fight-ending leg kick TKO.
Successfully checking a leg kick causes your opponent damage and a fighter can even break a leg from consecutive checks. Also added is a new mechanic called quick strike intercepts where quick jabs can be used to break up big shots from your opponent. There is also a new feint system which allows a player to feint a punch and set up a takedown or a totally different strike, which I used a bit successfully in my playtime. Takedown intercept knees have also been added which can rock your opponent coming in for a takedown and turn the tide of a fight quickly.
This is the first UFC game to include Pride Mode, which includes the Pride Rings, fighters and even commentary by Bas Rutten and Stephen Quadros. I know this may sound like a miniscule roster change, but it is far more in depth than that as the Pride version of certain fighters have different stats and even appearances than their UFC versions, which allows you to create fantasy match ups like vintage Rampage versus current day Rampage.
Pride mode is authentic down to the techno music in the intros of each fighter. Unfortunately there is no knocking a fighter out of the ring as there is an invisible barrier. There is also a referee cam for replays. Pride adds in soccer kicks and knees to the head which change the flow of gameplay considerably. Pride mode is like having a game within a game and really adds a lot of value to this title.
During my hands-on time the game ran smooth and all the new tweaks and additions really worked well to add accessibility to the game via the simplified grappling and tons of depth due to the the new striking and positions available. Veterans of the previous titles will be able to pick this one up and jump right in while enjoying the added versatility of the add-ons. The ability to turn the game into a Competition mode could see UFC Undisputed 3 make a move into tournaments now with the likes of other fighters, like something you’d normally see in Street Fighter.
During our discussions while getting hands-on the developer mentioned to expect Career Mode announcements to come in January. So keep your eyes peeled for some interesting changes from the aspect of the game as well. There is also a planned Closed beta to test online play that will be coming shortly so pay attention as this will probably be community based and we plan on having more info for you.