Tag Archive: Undisputed 3

King of the Octagon

Up to this point we had seen the new Amateur control scheme and the Pride rules set for UFC Undisputed 3. But the elephant in the room had been “What about the career mode?” since we all knew that would comprise the bulk of the game. Well, the elephant is loose and I had a chance to go hands on and try to tackle the behemoth that this mode has become with all the changes that have been introduced to it.

The first thing you’ll notice when entering career mode are new live action movies that highlight everything you do. From first deciding to become an MMA fighter, to your first victory, to your first defeat, to your first championship, all the major moments of your career come with a short video revolving around a similar moment of either a UFC Hall of Famer or current superstar. Some of the footage has been repurposed from previously released UFC DVDs, but some stuff is completely original for the game.

We then entered into one of THQ’s staple character customization modes. Whether tweaking every fine detail of our fighter ourselves, or using a new “quick face” turn wheel with hundreds of pre-set faces laid out on it, the customization process has never been smoother. After choosing our weight class, we were then asked to select our MMA background. Whether we wanted to be a karate master, a Muay Thai monster, or an all-around MMA all-star, the choice was ours and different moves and move sets we would start with and could later learn would be affected by our choices here.

After deciding what path I would walk down, with UFC Play-by-Play man Mike Goldberg talking us through every moment, we learned about all the in-depth options we now had as we crafted our Ultimate Fighter. The first new feature was “Creds”. By participating in fights, and more so by winning them, we would earn Creds, which basically serve as currency in the game to unlock new gear and sponsor logos and better sparring partners and training equipment in order to increase the ceiling of where we could boost our stats to.

Then came the actual training. With 14 new mini-games, seven in the gym and seven in the octagon with a sparring partner, we could begin working on our stats. From tire lifting, working the heavy bag, and sprawl drills to working on our takedowns and clinches with our partners, the choice was ours in what areas to work on and when.

We were then shown six real world camps, including the legendary Greg Jackson’s American Top Team, where we could learn new maneuvers. From simple things like spinning back fists to more complex submissions, depending on where you study depends on whom you work with and what moves you can learn. After trying all the gyms, you’ll be locked into one and by training loyally at that gym you’ll unlock the right to learn even more involved moves.

Once learning some new moves, we were shown the game plan mode where instead of training, you could come up with a strategy against a particular opponent and if you succeed in the subsequent training, you’ll receive a huge boost to one statistic for one match. For example, if you choose the “Aggressive” game plan, you could end up with a +12 to your punches and kicks.

After all this, we finally got into the octagon and began our careers and played the game as normal. What is great though is that after you go through all the tutorial stuff of each activity you can do, you’re only allowed to do one or two of those listed activities above before your next fight. This still gives you the sense of control you’d want in personalizing your fighter, but it also keeps the action coming at a good pace so you don’t drown in mini-games trying to improve your submission defense stat or trying to learn a spinning back kick.

As you begin advancing up the ranks, that’s when things get the most fun as you start in the WFA and then you start getting a lot more choices about your fighter than the last game’s career mode. More opportunities to change weight classes along with the chance to go into the UFC or even Pride, which has been resurrected at least in this game, and earn their respective championship belts offers you the career management aspect many people have been looking for.

All in all, the Career Mode in UFC Undisputed 3 looks to have finally found that balance of fighting, character management, and customization that should allow players to feel like they are truly in the octagon themselves. This is shaping up to be a simulation worthy of making your wallet tap out and cough up some cash when it is released in February.

So what do you folks think? Are you pumped for the newest chapter in the UFC franchise? Are you excited about the new layout to career mode? Let us know with your comments below!

Back in September we went hands-on with an early build of UFC Undisputed 3 and detailed the new control schemes and new weight classes you could use. We recently were able to go hands-on with a more complete build and while the controls still amazed us with the ease we were able to pick them up and play, and many of the fighters seem to be better balanced than before, we were more focused this time around in taking a step back into the MMA past.

For 10 years Pride Fighting Championships hosted some of the best MMA fighters in the world and saw the rise of superstars like Rampage Jackson, Wanderlei Silva, and Mirko Cro Cop. Taking place in Japan, the men who competed in Pride were the ones who helped put MMA on the map as when they launched in 1997 they immediately began an AFL-NFL type of rivalry with UFC that propelled both organizations into the limelight. Unfortunately, the larger, American based, UFC would buy out Pride and attempt to perform an AFL-NFL merger circa 2007, but instead simply absorbed many of Pride’s best fighters and let go of everyone else, basically disbanding the organization. But, since UFC owns all the rights to Pride now, they decided to tip their hat to their former number one rival and offer a Pride rules and fighter mode in UFC Undisputed 3.

From the second we hit the character select screen we knew we were in for an intriguing new experience. Since many current UFC fighters cut their teeth in Pride, we were able to choose from both Pride fighters and UFC fighters who once competed in Pride and given new, younger looks to reflect the time period in their lives for which they fight with Pride. We saw a leaner, younger looking Rampage Jackson, a meaner looking Wanderlei Silva, and Mirko Cro Cop with a better head of hair. Their stats were also very different from their UFC versions to help represent where they were in their careers. It’s not just about the fighters though. Pride mode sports a completely different feel to it. The announcers are different. The arenas, rings, and referees are different. And most importantly, the rules are different.

Pride was so intensely popular with some people because it was also so brutal compared to many other MMA organizations as it allowed moves that would be considered fouls elsewhere. And all those moves are allowed in Pride mode. Piledrivers (called ‘spiking’ an opponent in MMA), elbows, soccer style kicks, and (my personal favorite) foot stomping an opponent’s face while they are down are all legal and even encouraged in Pride mode in order to get the victory and adds a whole new level of brutality to the game. On top of this, the time and weight class rules are laid out much differently to UFC and so fighters who might be in different weight classes and can no longer compete against each other in UFC, can go head-to-head once again in Pride.

After several bouts in Pride mode, I admit I can see why it was so popular and had me wondering if it was based in the US instead of Japan if it would have been able to compete better with UFC. But what’s done is done and all I can say about this new game mode is that if you were a fan of Pride more than UFC, you have a big reason now to buy this game now as this is easily the most accurate representation you’ll ever get now of that once great organization.

What do you folks think? Are you a former Pride supporter or is it UFC all the way for you? Will you dabble in this new mode? What do you think of the different rules? Let us know with comments below!