UFC Undisputed 2010 Review
|Release Date:||May 28th, 2010 (UK)|
|Reviewer:||Andy Hemphill (Bandit)|
Just like last year, the arrival of another UFC game didn't exactly have me jumping up and down with excitement, but then I have the build of a stickman, and about as much martial arts training. The previous game, UFC Undisputed 2009, was a fun, if flawed, fighting title that brought all the brutality of the octagon to your TV.
This time around the guys and girls at Yukes & THQ have alleviated several of the last game's problems, but have added a few more at the same time. So, without further ado, let's get in the octagon and some questionable positions on the mat.
Like the last game, 2010 includes an extensive career mode, a suite of multiplayer options, a 'build your own brute' mode and, as a new addition, a chance to replay some of the climactic battles in UFC history.
The gameplay itself is largely unchanged from the previous title - in that it's as true a representation of UFC combat as any committed to shiny shiny disk. All the controls are still easy to adapt to, and the added ability to sway from side to side reduces your reliance on blocking, and allows you to land a punishing counter attack with precision and force.
One welcome improvement is the ability to mix your martial arts a little more. Where as the previous title restricted you to just two forms, 2010 lets you be a little more experimental, and if you create your own fighter from scratch you can even mix the move set you favour. This allows you to cherry-pick the best the best the martial arts world has to offer, and can make the game a whole lot more fun.
The octagon itself has also had something of an overhaul, and is now a much larger part of the action. Get a guy pinned against the fence and he'll struggle to keep his defences high, allowing you all the angles you need to pummel him into submission.
Conversely, countering or routing your opponent while he's got you pinned becomes much more difficult when you're on the ground, but that's what the game is all about.
The dizzying variety of martial arts on offer means a lot of button combinations to learn, and the tricky upgrade system doesn't help matters, but once you get the basics of controlling your bruiser, the game becomes a hell of a lot more fun.
Once you've got your move set, you can jump straight into a lengthy career mode, which thankfully now features less menus and faffing about. That said, learning new moves by going to dojos the world over and constantly answering emails gets a little tiring, especially as the octagon combat is so exhilarating - it's a downer to have to check your fighters statistics and micromanage everything in the relative weeks between bouts.
As well as building your fighter up into a killing machine, you can also play with the media, threaten other fighters and get yourself a reputation, all of which adds to immersion of the game.
The roster of UFC legends is all present and correct, featuring a cast of contemporary names, with a few older legends thrown in for good measure. The voice cast are also of a high quality and can really bring the characters to life, even if, like me, you only rarely watch UFC on the small screen. The PS3 version of the game also includes a variety of clips and a few fully recorded matches for you to enjoy.
If you tire of the single-player action, the multiplayer offering is sadly largely unchanged from the previous title, consisting of the same ranked and public matches with no provision for tournaments, spectators or leaderboards.
This is something of an oversight, as UFC is clearly built for tournaments, and it would have been nice to punch your own weight, so to speak, online. There is the opportunity to train with other players, but this is a waste of time really, and seems to have been pegged on as an afterthought.
Graphically the game is a little sharper texture-wise, and shows the action in all its brutal glory. The animation is sharp and accurate, and though the rag-doll physics can occasionally result in some hilarious knockouts, the sight of a huge, muscled bloke going all gooey and flopping over after a perfectly-aimed elbow to the face never fails to get the pulse flowing.
The sound has also had a tidy up since the last title, and the commentators (including ringmaster and UFC legend Bruce Buffer) are all in fine form, coming out with only a few repeated phrases once every few games.
The crowd and atmosphere that made the combat so electric is once again in abundance, though the TV interviews after every bout can start to vex you pretty quickly, despite the Mass Effect-style conversation wheel.
All in all, UFC Undisputed 2010 is an improvement on the previous title in many ways. Though the developers have eased up on the complicated menu system, the lacklustre multiplayer and irritating micromanagement of the singleplayer campaign knock the game about a bit. Either way, if you're looking for the latest, greatest UFC brawler, and a chance to enter the octagon your own way, look no further.
- More choice for move set
- Sharper graphics
- Less menus
Not so good stuff
- Multiplayer misses the point of a UFC game
- Ridiculous micromanagement