Xbox 360 Review: UFC Undisputed 2010

Can UFC 2010 up the ante?

UFC Undisputed 2009 was a surprisingly deep and enjoyable game. It was my first time playing a MMA type game, so my expectations were mixed, but found myself liking the game a lot. 12 months have passed and the 2010 sequel arrives, but does this year have enough firepower?

UFC 2010 contains all the similar modes from last year like career and exhibition, but tweaks them for better results. The game also contains new modes like Ultimate Fights Mode, which is a collection of classic fights like Marcus Davis vs. Dan Hardy (UFC 99). Event Mode allows you to set up your own event, venue and number of fights. Title Mode lets you pick a fighter and choose a number of fights to win to gain the title, there’s also a Title Defence mode.

The career mode is more deep thanks to more creative tools to make your fighter, but also makes you work from the bottom leagues to get to the UFC. You can also get relegated from the UFC if you do poorly, so it’s pretty smart…perhaps not the most original idea, but good to see it nonetheless. Online is an oddity as the game comes with a code to activate it, if you don’t have it then it will cost you 800 Microsoft Points! So be forewarned if you get this game second-hand, check if it has an unused code or it will hit you in the wallet!

There’s also a Tournament mode which lets you simply create your own, like the event mode. Personally, I don’t think we needed both event and tournament modes since they do more or less the same thing (unless I’ve completely missed the point, in which case I apologise in advance). What is nice about UFC 2010 though is that you can check your overall progress, unlock Topps cards, check records and see some nice stats that is quite rewarding.

You won’t get bored of UFC Undisputed 2010 since there is a wealth of things to do, be it playing online, trying to complete your card collection, gain all the achievements or just play a quick tournament…it doesn’t run thin. Combat has also improved from last year…despite having more moves, the simplicity has been raised so that anyone can pick up and play the game, and even newcomers have a shot at beating veterans of the series.

There are a number of different fighting styles, including the Southpaw stance that has now been added to the list. Every blow is incredibly realistic to the point where you can almost feel it yourself. There are a few irregularities with the animations for some moves, but these are incredibly rare and don’t hinder your experience of the game. In terms of a technical scale, UFC 2010 is a more polished game than 2009, load times are shorter, the framerate is steady and character models are detailed wonderfully. The only complaint I have is that the only facial emotion that anyone can seem to show is pain, so the others aren’t really believable…despite the brilliant voice-work from the commentary team of Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg, veteran voice of the Octagon Bruce Buffer, Octagon Girls, referees and trainers.

The Verdict

UFC Undisputed 2010 knocks its predecessor out with a powerful blow. It’s a much deeper experience with more emphasis on character development, variants of modes and an improved combat system that is accessible to almost anyone. This is the ultimate MMA game at the moment and it will take quite a lot to top it. Time will tell if anyone can knock it’s crown off…