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UFC: Undisputed 3 PS3 Review - -
UFC: Undisputed 3
Reviewed by
Ash Pinch
UFC: Undisputed 3 PS3 Review. AS a whole package UFC is excellent value for money, and sees enough additions from previous, besides the enormous roster to warrant a purchase for fans of the franchise.†


Gameplay 9.5
Graphics 8.5
Sound 9.0
Value 8.0
Distributor: THQ
Review Date:
Feb 2012
Ash Pinch


UFC: Undisputed 3

The UFC games bring something pretty different to the gaming world than most other fighters out there, you either have the over the top action of series such as Tekken or you have the over the top action of games like WWE.  There really arenít many titles that portray fighting as the hardcore sport that it is truly is, other than boxing games.  UFC is now into its third instalment of the series, with a one year break between numbers two and three.  So is this title worthy of your money, whether being new to the series or sport or for an upgrade from the previous instalment.

Presentation is one of the strengths of UFC, and you can tell that a great deal of painstaking attention to detail has been paid to this.  It mimics the TV broadcast of the UFC, the menus have been improved, and the sound effects are good.  And the before and after fight presentations are spot on.  This has all been done well, and if you have ever watched UFC you know what to expect.  There are also plenty of videos of the fighters, such as during the career mode there are videos for first fight and training, each with a professional fighter describing their own experiences.  This adds to the experience and I am sure fans will like the opportunity to hear the fighters talk about these milestones and experiences.  On gripe with the presentation is the sheer volume of menus, which may not be a big problem on its own, but coupled with the loading times between menus this can become frustrating.

UFC features a range of modes that offer those willing to put in the time many, many hours of enjoyment.  There are of course exhibition matches that are excellent for pick up and play, tournaments and some classic fights.  The classic fights offers something interesting where you must complete challenges, such as landing a certain number of leg kicks or takedowns, providing extra challenge and replay value.  The inclusion of the Pride FC is also a good addition, and offers more variety to players, although not heavily featured is still a welcome addition with a slightly different rule set. 

The place where most will likely want to spend their time is in the career mode, here players are able to create a fighter, train them, manage sponsors, attend training camps to customise their fighter style and of course fight in the octagon.  The training is similar to that seen in Fight Night games, where between fights you complete training challenges, there is plenty of variety here and the training games provide enough challenge to keep them interesting.  For example, hitting the heavy bag, you must hit different zones of the bag but also keep your fighter in certain zones on the floor; this requires a great deal of concentration and really can help your fighting.  I found that this mode could feel a bit bogged down at times with lots of menus, text, stats and loading times.  However this can be overlooked and overall career mode is an enjoyable and rewarding experience and for those serious about UFC the many stats and options will be welcome.

For new players to the franchise stepping into the ring can be a daunting task, and very confusing.  This iteration adds and carries over a couple of features that ease players into everything.  Grappling is probably the most difficult aspect to learn and master, fortunately things have been simplified; there are now two options, one that involves complicated right analogue movements and one that involves simple movements and is aimed at those that do not know the ins and outs and grappling.  This is definitely a welcome addition and cuts the learning curve incredibly.  Once this has been selected there are also extensive tutorials that run through everything youíll ever need to know, these can seem tedious but I definitely recommend playing through at least the beginner ones so you can hold your own.  It can become very frustrating when youíre stuck on one challenge, as you cannot progress until you pass it.  It would have also been nice to have the option of selecting a later tutorial challenge so that if there was something you wanted to know or struggling with you wouldnít have to play through everything else until you get to that one.  The game also offers in game help in the form of pop-ups during fights, this is excellent to begin with, but much like a cars sat nav, once you donít need it anymore is very annoying and will get turned off.  When on beginner difficulty the AI does not really grapple either.  All this welcomes new players and will have you winning with KOís in no time.

Despite all the assistance for new players, the fighting can also be incredibly deep, especially on higher difficulty settings where you will need a working knowledge of most the tutorial topics and provides very challenging and technical fighting.  The game play treads that fine line between being accessible to the majority while maintaining a rewarding experience for those willing to put in the time.  Yukeís have also added some new game play features such as being able to continue striking after your opponent is knocked down and improved grappling while on the cage.  On new additions that subtracts from the minimalistic and realistic styling is the submissions mini-game, which involves the player in the hold moving a target around an octagon outline and the other player must stay within this, it does change up the submission formula but aesthetically does not fit the rest of the game.  There are plenty more subtle additions to the game play and it is evident that Yukeís have not simply been sitting around for a year twiddling their thumbs.  This is an incredibly deep fighter, but is also accessible and has really captured the UFC experience.

Despite some major improvements on the game play front, the graphics have not received the same level of treatment.  Although this is not a huge deal because the game still holds its own in this respect and has so in all three instalments.  The damage on the fighters is also really good, and with cuts now affecting stamina and recovery can also affect strategy for more serious players.  Player animations also appear smooth and can be interrupted by the opponent, it all adds up to create an authentic looking game.  The arenas also look nice if you actually pay attention, although this is hard to notice when youíre watching your opponent to try and spot their next move.

Commentary is a strong point in the game, and accurately describes the action in the octagon.  This creates a huge amount of authenticity with the actual commentators featured.  I do feel that the sound effects when the fighters make contact could have been beefed up a bit, it doesnít sound soft by any stretch but could just do with a bit more.  Playing with a surround sound is also creates a different experience, as the crowd noises come from all around creating the experience that you are in the centre of an arena full of screaming fans. If you punch your opponent when you should be bumping fists you will receive screams of disapproval from all around you.

AS a whole package UFC is excellent value for money, and sees enough additions from previous, besides the enormous roster to warrant a purchase for fans of the franchise.  For those who havenít experienced this yet and are looking for something new, there has never been a better time to sign up.  With a wealth of features for newcomers and enormous depth for experienced players this is an excellent experience for a variety of players, provided that you are willing to spend some time learning how to play, as button mashing wonít get you very far.


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