UFC Undisputed 3 Review (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) – Back In the Octagon

“It’s time!” to experience the best UFC game yet.

Sometimes I feel a little stupid reading over a review I typed a few years ago.  Not because I disagree with my opinion and felt like I wasn’t honest about my thoughts about the game, but mainly because I look at an improved product and wonder, “Man, maybe I should’ve mentioned I wanted this in the earlier product.”  When I reviewed UFC Undisputed 2010 a couple of years ago, I gave it a damn near perfect score, and thought there would be hardly any way to improve upon its fundamentals.  But now here’s UFC Undisputed 3, making me feel like an idiot.  What a way for this fighting champ to step up.

Everything that made Undisputed 2010 such a great game has returned in this third chapter of the series, and THQ, along with the development team at Yukes, have added even more great content on top.  It almost tempts me to say that this is the unbeatable UFC gaming experience…even with the possible danger of how excellent UFC Undisputed 4 will be.  Ah, screw it, I got a couple of years to relish with this one.

First noticeable addition to the game is Amateur Control.  For those who prefer the way the games have played in the past, you can stick with Pro Control and stick with the typical ground and pound.  But Amateur makes the game far more accessible than previous entries, with easier grappling (via a hint system, which can be turned off) and a fun mini-game that pops up during attempted submissions, where you try to highlight your player’s position on a pre-set Octagon to make them tap out.  It’s challenging, but hardly as difficult as trying to get them to tap out in the traditional manner.  On top of that, the punches and kicks feel just a slight hint more accurate this time around, especially when Anderson Silva nails someone with a kick to the head.  Such sweet pain.

What surrounds the gameplay is even more staggering.  Along with the UFC, you also get to choose from the Pride league, and although it’s not nearly as operational these days, it plays a huge part in Undisputed 3.  You can pick from its select league of fighters and rule set, then take to an even more vicious game of MMA, kicking folks in the head and showing them you mean business.  This is a huge, staggering addition to the series, and one that will have its own fans within weeks of the game’s release next week.  Hell, maybe even minutes.

Along with Pride, the game also has many modes to choose from, online and off.  Title Defense, Ultimate Fights and Career Mode all make a return, and with Career Mode, you aren’t limited to who you can take on an MMA career.  Furthermore, it focuses more on getting in the ring and doing what you do best, rather than wasting your time with all the unnecessary drills and explanations.  But don’t hastily skip through the videos.  Featuring Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk, there’s a lot of quality content in these, and you shouldn’t miss them.

Online plays a huge part in UFC Undisputed 3 as well.  The online camps return, perfect for those looking to create a dedicated fighting league with their friends; you can put together highlight reels to show to your friends out of sheer showmanship (or intimidation, if you have a fight coming up); and you can upload a heaping amount of content to the community, including customized fighters and rings.  They can even be reviewed for future use in the game.  Anyone feel like a battle in the Froot Loops Octagon?  (Note: not actually endorsed by Froot Loops, sorry.  Make that Froot-y Loops.)