Coming into a UFC game, you know what to expect… huge, muscle-bound dudes, beating the hell out of each other using a variety of punches, kicks and grapples. It’s a pretty simple concept to grasp, and the last two UFC games (titled UFC Undisputed) have done a fantastic job of recreating the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. UFC 3 finds itself having to build upon this already relatively established franchise, all while trying to avoid slipping on a proverbial bead of sweat.
It’s a good job, then, that UFC 3 doesn’t mess with the basic fundamentals of the game. The same basic one-on-one combat is still pretty much the same as it always has been, along with the exceptional fight presentation (both in terms of graphics and sound). Bruce Buffer, I’m looking at you. What UFC 3 seems to do, rather than change things, is just add things to build upon the solid base that the Undisputed games have previously created. The biggest addition being the inclusion of PRIDE. PRIDE, for the uneducated, was previously the biggest MMA company in the world before it was bought by UFC parent company, Zuffa. PRIDE is not only cosmetically different from the UFC (it takes place in a more traditional ring rather than an octagon, features a pronounced ‘stage’ and the fighters wear their PRIDE attire) it also features different rules, which allows you to do things not allowed when playing on the UFC side such as soccer kicks to the face. Ouch. Another addition, albeit a more minor addition, is the option of a simplified control version for ground transitions, which is sure to ease newcomers to the game into the brutal battleground that is the mixed martial arts ground game while at the same time angering seasoned veterans by making it easier for people to block their professional submission attempts.
If you enjoyed the Undisputed games, or have recently been converted to a MMA fan, UFC 3 is looking like your game. It’s fun, fast paced and utterly brutal that brings out a competitive streak you may never have known you possessed with every passing blow.
With UFC 3 promising a huge roster of both UFC and PRIDE fighters, alongside a few gameplay tweaks, new modes and the same great fighting spirit that was present in the Undisputed games, UFC 3 is looking like a knock out.