Last year, playing UFC Undisputed was quite a surprise for me: I wasn’t expecting much going into the game, and it didn’t take long to turn me into a fan. With its graphical prowess and ability to fully covey the sport of UFC, it was also a hit with the fans of the event itself. There were a few things that didn’t work perfectly, so like any good company would do, THQ went back into the War Room and laid out some changes for the second iteration. And while UFC Undisputed 2010 is still not flawless, it’s a good take on a game, especially when they are currently the ONLY game.
First in the change category for UFC Undisputed 2010, the controls have been slightly simplified for clinches and grappling, which to this player was a godsend. It was much easier this time to maneuver through the different positions and actually perform real moves which clinched or on the ground. New strikes have been incorporated as well, and as a corollary new a couple of new fighting styles have also been added, and thanks to the decent create-a-fighter mode, you can mix and match any group of grapples, submission and strikes you want to make a real Ultimate Fighter.
The Career mode in UFC Undisputed 2010 is where you’ll be spending a majority of your time, and my complaint about the emails and promotional activities from the previous review still hold true here. Fortunately, the emails aren’t as invasive this time around. Training has also been overhauled, allowing for better progression through the ranks as well as a boost to the realism of the game. If you concentrate too much on certain skills others will degrade, so spending points and training takes a little more thought than it did last time around. As with the 2009 edition, in UFC Undisputed 2010 new moves can be taught to your fighter via camps that other fighting groups offer. A change this time around, though, is that you can enter online camps run by other gamers, or even create your own online camp for others to train at. This addition alone really amps the “hey, I’m a UFC fighter” immersion factor, and it lets could-be trainers put their money where their mouth is.
Other modes include the standard Exhibition Mode for quick one-on-one fights; Title Mode, which is a stripped version of the Career as you vie for the top ranking; a Title Defense mode in which you’ve already claimed the title and need to fight off 12 challengers to retire the champ. For the latter mode, however, you need to beat Title Mode first. Two other modes allow you to create a Tournament for up to 16 men, and you can also create your own Pay-per-View event to either fight in to watch as a bystander complete with Joe Rogan commentary. For those who want to relive or even alter past events, a slew of classic UFC fights can also be replayed. In doing such, you can unlock more videos and fight footage from real UFC matches. A PS3 exclusive for UFC Undisputed 2010 also includes the full-featured fights of some other classic UFC bouts, which to a true fan is a great addition.
Being an upgrade of a prior version that was both very sharp and well assembled in its audio and visual presentation, it’s no surprise that things with UFC Undisputed 2010 are similar. Hits all pack punches, both in terms of aural feedback and visually; clipping is a rarity, which is very good because of the sheer amount of time bodies are in close proximity to one another; and streamlined controls make fighting that much more fluid and visceral. Still, because the 2009 edition was so solid, the impact between last year’s outing and UFC Undisputed 2010 isn’t that prevalent. With two new MMA titles coming to market soon, particularly one from the juggernaut that is EA, THQ is going to have to up the tweaks to continue being on top. Curiosity will certainly get the best of some players, and the other two guys will get some sales if THQ lets up in the least.
- Score: 8.5
- Still a great fighter with great graphics, and some nice updates over the prior version, but the franchise needs to evolve to compete next time around.
Platform reviewed: PlayStation 3
— Jeff Paramchuk