Xbox 360 Review: UFC Undisputed 3

Has a year off brought focus back to the octagon?

The first UFC game was a surprise hit; it had depth with its modes and a great fighting mechanic to boot. The sequel was more of the same and most expected that the UFC games would be a yearly update like most sport games, but to our surprise the franchise took a year break. So has the wait been worth it or is still treading old ground?

As much as I enjoyed the first UFC game, I was looking forward to it being improved upon in future games and while that’s true of its sequel and UFC 3, the improvements are minimal. I was hoping that the 3rd instalment would mix things up a bit, but it seems more focused on adding more fighters to the roster than making any big changes to the gameplay. That’s not to say it’s a terrible thing because the formula is far from broken, it just confuses me as to why it took a whole extra year to make more or less the same game as its predecessor.

Having said that, the game does included Pride mode which takes place in a more traditional boxing ring and the rules are pretty much thrown out of the window. Stamina is also added to this year’s game, so you can’t button-mash like you could before. I personally prefer the old setup, but those looking for a more realistic fighting experience will appreciate what the team has accomplished. There are also 2 different control types, one for professionals and the other for amateurs which helps suit your own fighting style, depending on your skill level.

The career modes have had subtle changes like stats not degrading over time, but still include mini-games to build them up. The roster is impressive with pretty much any decent UFC fighter you can think of, plus DLC packs that add even more to the line-up and each did Mo-cap for the game to add authenticity to the fighters in-game. Online play is improved and there isn’t much lag, the only thing you have to contend with are a few disconnects.

In terms of visuals, UFC Undisputed 3 looks good…but not much different from its past outings. The level of detail is nice, with some decent facial animations and the character models look the part. Commentary is spot on with what’s going on and the music is a decent selection too.

The Verdict

As a whole, I don’t feel that UFC Undisputed 3 has done enough to warrant a buy from anyone who bought UFC 09 or UFC 10, it improves the basics but that’s about it. If however this is your first UFC game, then this is the one to get. It has plenty to do and caters to the newcomer with the amateur controls.