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Eurogamer Expo 2011: UFC Undisputed 3 hands-on

Eurogamer Expo 2011

Although UFC Undisputed 2010 did make some worthy changes to its predecessor, it didn’t do enough to give it the desired sales figures as many people were still happy with, and figuring out the intricacies – of Undisputed 2009. It’s certainly a good thing that the UFC have decided not to release an Undisputed title every 12 months and have instead sought quality over quantity.

My hands-on demo allowed me to choose from a selection of fighters from the lightweight and light-heavyweight divisions. Unfortunately, the Pride FC section was out of bounds as it would’ve been very interesting to play the game in this setting – something that will hopefully be a faithful representation of the UFC’s one-time rival. I began an exhibition match and my many hours of previous Undisputed playtime soon came back to me. The fighters looked more like their real life counterparts than in the previous games and it wasn’t long before they were engaged in a violent display of martial arts prowess.

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There is a long list of advancements present in this edition of the series and some of the most immediately obvious were the removal of auto-block, against-the-cage ground positions, ground-based defensive weaving and the ability to punch out of clinches. Indeed, it’s great to see the substantial task of attempting to simulate the many potential situations of an MMA bout being ever bettered by Yuke’s. For evidence of this feat, the in-game control menus now have details for no less than 79 positional scenarios (encompassing standing, clinching, ground-work etc). As this could appear thoroughly inaccessible for new players unfamiliar with the series or the sport itself, Yuke’s have mercifully included a simplified control system.

Possibly influenced by EA Sports MMA, Undisputed’s submission system has now been completely overhauled. Setting them up by the tap of a button when in the relevant position, a mini-game then appears whereby you have to follow your opponent’s red bar around a rectangle and try to get your blue bar over it for as long as possible. Although this new method will save your controller from the intense button-mashing and joystick spinning of old, it’s not as fun and not as well executed as the system used in EA Sports MMA.

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One thing the series has always excelled at, however, is in capturing the presentation of an actual UFC event. The music, arenas, sounds and commentary are as good as ever and instantly get the adrenaline flowing before a bout. With its massive roster of fighters (including two new weight divisions), Pride FC mode and impressive list of improvements and tweaks, I can confidently state that UFC Undisputed 3 will be the best and most enjoyable title in the series.

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in November 2009. Get in touch on Twitter @P_Worth.

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