Here’s the good news: Yukes have answered our prayers and delivered a more compelling story to accompany the career mode in UFC Undisputed 2010. Now you get to fight through amateur bouts, up through the World Fighting Association and into the big leagues of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Above: You can now spring from one submission into another
You’ll also find a more user-friendly feel to the grappling as opposed to the mash-the-pad-until-something-happens system from the original. It’s all on the right stick now, so there’s no bashing your buttons to break from a choke – just rotate the stick clockwise. The thing is, it comes at a price – mainly a lot of irksome things left over from UFC 2009…
We don’t want to discredit the sterling work that the devs have put into this sequel, because overall it feels more like a visceral reboot than a flaky update, but certain things like animations, commentary and some ground-game aspects are unchanged. Here’s one for you – whenever you knock a gassed opponent (that bit when the screen all goes grey for a few seconds) on his ass there’s only one animation for finishing him with punches. Sure it all feels pretty meaty as you stand over your prone foe and rain down fists of justice to his noggin, but after the first few times it starts to grate.
Above: The new sway system makes for some fantastic counter-punches
Then there’s the commentary from the official UFC men, Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg. It creates an authenticity for your bouts but they’ll repeat lines of script over and over again to the point where you sort of want to switch it off. And although said grappling has been made easier, some mat-based tussles can be incredibly frustrating for beginners. These things, and more, shall be hereby known as the Smackdown vs Raw effect – where big changes are made elsewhere but key issues remain the same.
Aside from these niggles, UFC Undisputed 2010 is a riot. It’s a pure gaming example of one of the fastest growing sports in the world and, ultimately, a great way to knock the stuffing out of people while feeling like a big man. An improved roster now packs in over 100 fighters to choose from including Anderson Silva, Chuck Liddell and ex-WWE turned pantomime villain, Brock Lesner. There’s also the introduction of the UK’s Dan Hardy and illegal fight star, Kimbo Slice.
The new story mode now features interaction with the fans and sponsors – so thanking them will mean you either a) gain more popularity or b) more credibility for your man. You can also make or break friendships with rival fighters along the way by saying positive or negative things about them. And brilliantly, you can now train in a variety of disciplines and learn unique moves like Matt Hughes’ front kick.
Above: Ground game feels quicker but still not as smooth as we'd like it
For casual fans, or even those of us who love watching blokes get knocked out, there’s a selection of videos, which you can earn by taking part in classic matches. Repeat the result in this scenario based mode, and you’ll unlock the full fight that plays in HD. It may not seem like much but it’s a great incentive to learn more about the sport’s history.
Undisputed 2010 certainly caters to beat ‘em-up fans. Even though the frequency of flash KOs has been toned down – a move, which we feel marginalises the fans who didn’t want to learn the intricacies of arms bars and the like – Yukes have added flash submissions, so now it’s possible to bounce into a rear naked chokehold within seconds and end the fight. It’s a classy way to finish an opponent, make no mistake. But the stand-up game of big kicks and even bigger punches means that there’s something for everyone. MMA fans will be pleased to know they can wrap a fighter against the cage to counter submissions and ground manoeuvres.
Above: All the fighters, like GSP, have their individual traits and weaknesses
It’s a huge step up in weight from UFC Undisputed 2009. It’s quicker, harder-hitting and comes with far more depth than the original. It even manages to put Fight Night Round 4 on its back in terms of satisfying knockouts and killer presentation. We just hope that Yukes don’t rest on their laurels in the same way they occasionally do with Smackdown. But with EA’s MMA set for release later in 2010, we’re sure there’ll be fresh ideas when Undisputed next steps into the octagon.
Above: New fighter, Clay Guida delivers a punishing kick to the ribs. Ouch
May 25, 2010