UFC Undisputed 3 Hands-On Preview -- Bruising More Than Egos in Pride ModeBy Blain Howard - Posted Nov 04, 2011
The original UFC Undisputed started a trend in games that most have not been able to duplicate, play Supremacy MMA to see a prime example. Wait, actually don’t do that…just trust us on this. Anyway, during a recent press event in Las Vegas, we took a look at some of the new features THQ is introducing with UFC Undisputed 3 and chated with the developers, fighters, and UFC President Dana White to find out more about what players can expect from the latest, brutal brawler.
Producer Neven Dravinski, who has worked on the previous games, conducted a demo and ran down a lengthy list of added features in Undisputed 3. While we have seen the new and improved submission system that resembles, for lack of a better term, a mini-game, what we hadn’t really had much of a chance to look at was the addition of Pride FC. For those who are not big fans, Pride FC came out of Japan and sat atop the fighting event world in the late 90s and early 2000s. Fighters from Pride eventually made their way to the UFC after Zuffa bought the company. Now we get fighters like Wanderlei Silva, "Minotauro" Nogueira, and Mirko Cro Cop…thanks Japan!
The Pride addition in the game allows players to not only fight in the Saitama Super Arena but as the iteration and with the Pride rules that took place at the time. Wanderlei is thinner and can actually win a fight, sadly, unlike his real life UFC counterpart, by landing punt kicks and knees to the head of a downed opponent or reigning stomp kicks from above. If you are a fight fan, this is a huge bonus in barbarism. There are tons of names, and it is just fun to play in the Pride ring with the Pride entrances fans grew to love and the epic brutality that kept me tuning in from across the world.
As you can probably tell, Undisputed 3 tries, and has so far succeeded, to appeal to new fans and hardcore fans alike. New fans can rest assured they stand a chance against a more experienced opponent with the Amateur Controls. This setting allows quick up or down flicks of the Right Stick to advance in ground position or defend. Alternatively, turning on Pro Control will give you the classic, more complex system.
If you feel like you are advancing and need to alter from Amateur, you can switch on the fly. Also, good for you on the learning! The easy control scheme has a counterpart with the in-game tutorial. Gamers are told how to defend, strike, submit, or advance position during the action. To quote the oh-so-wise producer Neven, “Who plays the tutorial anyway?” If you no longer need assistance of a tutor, anyone can turn it off at anytime. Just don’t blame THQ when you get dismantled the first fight; they tried to help.
Now for the core fans. Those gamers who are into realism in games can turn on Simulation which tracks the energy of a fighter. Think of it as an energy meter that is not displayed. If you try to throw 10,525,793 high kicks in a row, the game will tell you to "stop it" when the fighter is gassed out. Too many attempts will leave you open for an easy takedown or potential knockout.
Personalization is also back with a new addition that will make UFC fans fist-bump with delight. Fighter entrances can be personalized and set to a song of your choice. They may not have everything--trust me, if I could, I would enter to the theme from "Saved by the Bell" just for the giggles--but they will have enough songs to make you get ready to virtually kick some ass.
Commentators Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg get some game time with commentary that will rival any sports game out there. As I was receiving a beat down with a head kick that would send the real me to the hospital, Goldberg exclaimed, “That was just fun to watch.” Shut up Mike! The kick hurt enough, no need to kick me when I am down (PUN!). They also provide insight in the Corner giving players reactionary pros and cons from the previous round and telling them how to improve and win.
For my hands-on time, I picked a relatively obscure fighter from Pride who has had ZERO success in the UFC, Sokoudjou. This guy was a favorite of mine in his heyday. THQ got it right as his Pride explosiveness was easily seen in the game. Then I switched out to Jon Jones, the current champ known for outlandish and powerful moves. Again, the style from the ring was brought to the game, though that is not new for this series. What is new is that I can fight Jon in Japan and have him destroy someone with all new rules. It is like winning a whole new division. All in, the game plays smooth and moves are as easy or complex as the player wants. It's choose your own destiny, UFC style.
"As real as it gets" is the brash motto that the UFC has adopted. The sport’s mantra implies the realistic and genuine nature in relation to other sports (and also life). You want to know what it looks like to be in a fight? Well, this is it. This sentiment is even more apparent in UFC Undisputed 3 releasing February 14, 2012. Dana White is a big fan of THQ saying that they were the only company committed to “making it as realistic as possible,” and Undisputed 3 is a great example of how he got a business decision right…again. Furthermore, THQ has stepped up their game to blow the doors off the barn from what we have seen thus far.