It will come as no surprise to hear that UFC 3 looks incredible – Every punch, kick and hold feels real, combine that with the games fantastic presentation it’s the perfect game for UFC fans.
The build up to the game features Conor McGregor, show his rise through the ranks to the superstar he is today, which sets you off perfectly into the games career mode. You’ll start off by creating your fighter, perfect their look, their fight style and stance and most importantly their social media name. I might have overlooked that when creating my star so ended up with the name @createdfightersocial – catchy right?
You’ll begin fighting in some smaller matched to prove your worth to the UFC, once you get a foot in, it’s where the fun really begins. Before each fight you’ll choose which training camps you want to take part in, over time your stats improve and if you complete certain challenges you’ll earn modifiers that give you more audacious strikes to use in your fights.
I’ve struggled in the past with the UFC control schemes but with UFC 3 I felt much more comfortable, there have only been subtle changes but I felt much better equipped to take my opponents down. The ground game doesn’t feel like it has changed, which is a shame as I found it pretty cumbersome. It’s great fun too, the fighting is fantastic, which is mostly down to the exquisite animations you can really feel each punch and kick, its great watching your opponent take a beating.
Over time you’ll become more experienced at understanding the styles of fighting each opponent has, during your training you’ll get to spar with a partner who uses a similar style to your opponent and the game will help you understand what to watch out for, of course when you are in the octagon during the fight, timing and movement is key to winning. You’ll need to keep a close eye on your stamina otherwise your attacks will have less of an effect on your opponent. The action can get quite intense, especially when mixed with the noise of the crowd and the fantastic commentary.
Although the career mode is much improved, with a better focus on training and actually helping you understand all the different fight styles within the UFC, it felt a bit soulless to me. All the actions you take leading up to a fight build hype, but I never felt hyped, it would have been great to take part in press conferences and actually have dialogue with other fighters rather than having to read and respond to tweets.
The difficult in the Carer mode seems to spike wildly too, early on I went 13-0, but as soon as I started ranking in the top 10 fighters I got a beating every time, your opponents tats are way higher than yours and it will take many, many defeats to get anywhere near the levels your opponents are at, which makes the game a bit of a grind fest. EA have always been good at making bug improvements to their game modes and generally they have managed this with Career mode, I fully expect them to have ironed out loads of issues when UFC 4 undoubtedly comes our way in 2019.
Ultimate Team Mode returns to UFC 3, but I wish it hadn’t. You have a team of four fighters that you can equip in the lightweight, middleweight, heavyweight, and women’s bantamweight divisions. But to improve their stats you need to earn cards that can be applied to them, which require coins eared in game, or UFC points that can be bought with real money. There are plenty of ways to earn coins in game, but generally it’s a tough mode to play, because progress is very slow.
Beyond that there are your standard fights modes, including multiplayer, which is fun until you end up against a laggy opponent and we all know how that ends!
UFC 3 has made some great improvements, stand up fighting is excellent, yet it’s let down by the cumbersome ground game. Career mode is a big improvement, but there is plenty of room for improvement there too. Much like any of EA sports titles, if you are a fan if the sport you’ll still enjoy playing, but you’ll be longing for the next title soon enough.