If you’re a fan of martial arts and you love a decent fight – and you so happen to own an Xbox 360, then UFC Undisputed 3, developed by Yuke’s Co and published by THQ is going to be right up your street! The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the world’s largest Mixed Martial Arts promotion company in the world and UFC Undisputed 3 features a roster of 150 fully licensed fighters with the addition of new bantamweight and featherweight fighters in this year’s iteration. As well as the well-known rules of the UFC – Undisputed 3 comes complete with PRIDE options in-game to relive the intense combat action of the PRIDE Fighting Championships. PRIDE for those unfamiliar is a way more brutal and aggressive combat fight than UFC. THQ have truly raised the bar for the fighting genre and this game will take some beating, which is of course if it doesn’t beat you first! Career Mode is quite a tough challenge.
Mixed martial arts is a very full on aggressive contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques either standing or on the ground. These can include boxing, wrestling, kickboxing, taekwondo, karate, judo and many other fighting styles with the game taking on the sport in the form of a highly charged UFC Televised Event with you as the star of the show. If you’re new to the series, the amount of menus and features to browse through before you get to have your first fight can seem a little intimidating, but the best plan of action is to follow through the games tutorial setting which will allow you to get more comfortable with the fighting controls. Button mashing any old way is a good tactic, but really learning how to fight and defend for yourself will reward you in the long run – learn the skills of the in-game Mixed Martial Arts and you’ll be fighting your way to the top in no time… well it’s not quite as easy as it may sound, but persistence and quick responses on the controls certainly help.
You definitely get a great deal for your money though as the game comes with a huge amount of game modes to keep you occupied for a complete full season. If you want to just have a quick one on one match without all the extra hype then Exhibition Mode will suit you just fine, but if you want to take control of a fighter and train him from the ground up – UFC Undisputed 3’s Career Mode will keep you in it for the long haul as you learn new skills, train excessively and take on a variety of fighting challenges on your road to victory in becoming the UFC Champion. There’s also an arcade style Title Mode to ladder your way to the top, a Tournament setting with variable rules to play Tournament matches with your fighters in a way that suits you and an Ultimate Fights Mode to relive some past exciting matches that will actually unlock historic video footage to browse over. Last, but not least, you also have the option to create your very own UFC event in Event Mode – so by now you can see how busy this game will have you if you take advantage of all the options on offer. The great thing with UFC Undisputed 3 is that if you are not typically a gamer who rushes out to buy a fighting game because like some, it just can feel like £40 for a few minutes button pressing to eventually hit the ground, this game will teach you how to improve yourself and develop an in-game fighter that can grow from strength to strength. With the mass amount of modes on offer it shouldn’t take too long before your competitive nature kicks in and you want to take your fights online. If you’re not a great fighter when it comes to this genre, I can almost guarantee that this UFC will have you hooked in no time – this one is not just for the hardcore UFC fans as all the training and tutorial offerings within cater for the newbies. If you’ve been tempted, but feeling a bit cautious – a free demo is currently available on the Xbox 360 Marketplace.
The Career Mode is obviously the bread and butter of the game and here is really where you will want to spend most of your time to experience the thrill and intense fighting action. It’s all about keeping your fighter fit and statistically able to fight in the next round. You get to train in Camp Sessions from all over the world and schedule your own fights choosing from the different fighters available – if you’re up to it. Career Mode also features a Cred system, an amount of reward points for each great match you complete. You can spend your Cred’s by joining new Camps and purchasing new clothing items for your fighter, in-between matches are also real life interviews with UFC Fighters and match highlights. The game really feels like a live action set at times with beautiful presentation and certainly gets the adrenaline pumping because of course – no one likes to be a loser…
For the hardcore UFC fans that have purchased every edition under the sun, there are plenty of new additions and improvements in UFC Undisputed 3 so it doesn’t feel the same old same as before. The brutal PRIDE rules, a new submission system, a new Stamina Simulation mode, Competition Spec mode, Stat Equalizer, New KO animations, Pro and Amateur control setups – and now roster fighters from both the UFC and PRIDE can be taken through the complete career mode, but if you would rather have your own created fighter then you still can as the Custom Modes are still raging for your creativity.
Custom Mode allows you to create your fighter from a mass amount of options available ranging from performance style, fighting abilities, techniques and styles, physical appearances, weight class and tattoos from the presets or from your own design using the in-game tattoo designer. The tattoos should you choose to use one can also double up as clothing logo’s so you can place them literally anywhere. If you are familiar with the emblem designer in Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops, then you will recognise the layering system automatically and feel at home with the use of pre-set emblem designs, colour options, sizing options and lettering styles to create your own in-game tattoo for your fighter. Using the same tattoo designer, UFC Undisputed 3 also additionally allows you to create your own custom banners to show off throughout your matches as well as the ability to ‘content share’ your designs online over Xbox LIVE – but do remember that even offensive user generated content can still warrant you with the ban-hammer before you go all in on the offensive.
On line gaming is usually the saviour for when you have virtually completed all you can in the offline gaming modes or you fancy a play through with some of your new found friends from all over the globe, and UFC Undisputed 3 also features a fancy set of online gaming modes to keep you even more occupied… with Ranked and Unranked Exhibition Modes as a quick and easy way to join an online fight, and an online Fight Camp familiar from previous UFC games. Online Exhibition is the online equivalent to the offline Exhibition mode mentioned above – you probably got the gist, but here is where you can fight against various people all around the world and try and get famous on the Leaderboards. Fight Camp on the other hand is something completely different, here you can train your fighter and chat amongst other Fight Camp Members. You need to create your own Camp, invite your friends or hop on over to someone elses Camp in Camp search. It’s like starting or joining a clan basically, but you don’t feel so alone if you’re a bit shit as you can train your fighter from the ground up to improve your skills with other players in the same boat, or even your own online friends list – invite them all if you wish!
Visually the game is faultless with fantastic detail to the fighters and a sense of realism in the ring. It’s heavily polished, complete with real life videos, interviews and match highlights you’ll soon be on the road to becoming the Ultimate UFC Fighting Champion in no time, and wished you’d been a UFC fan if you aren’t already. Career Mode is there for the long haul if you’re looking to spend a lengthy amount of time nurturing and developing a custom fighter from scratch, it’s challenging and time consuming but you get what you pay for. Those who fancy a quick session of kicking, punching and heavy button mashing, the Exhibition Modes on offer cater for you to vent some aggression whether it be online with random strangers to showcase your winning streaks or offline for some private gaming time.
The controls are really quite easy to pick up since there aren’t that many buttons after all and there are on screen prompts and tutorials to teach you along the way, but it’s knowing and teaching yourself how to defend your body in quick response time that will ultimately determine if you end up better than your opponent – timing is key. The skill is in knowing what to press and when, it’s almost like a form of responsive choreography with a battle for the will to win…
…and there can only be one winner, UCF Undisputed 3 is the one fighting title to own this year. It’s a fantastic fighting game with tons of events and modes to keep you busy; even if you’ve never owned a fighting game – this one you would not want to miss out on, download the demo today and try it for yourself.
UFC Undisputed 3 is available now in North America and releases Friday 17th February across Europe.