3rd July 2010 - Its been 12 months since our very first helping of UFC gold on the current generation, and its hard to think just how THQ’s official UFC could get any better. So if its just more of the same, then is it still worth dishing out your hard-earned to get your hands on this? Or is this game a noticeable improvement on the original masterpiece of the fighting/sports genre? Read on to find out…
This is where the magic of this game happens, that’s for sure; the basic gameplay and also the more technical side of things. Beginners will love this game for its awesome simplistic controls and easy fighting mechanics. It’s easy to pick up and ever-so-hard to put back down. It’s a ton of fun and an adrenalin heavy punch-a-thon. But players who want more of a challenge will also love this game. For all the same reasons as those just starting out, but also the fact that the game gets taken to a whole new level of extreme when two talented gamers are pitted against each other; it turns from a face punching button mash to a technical ground-play game of wits and hard hits. It’s actually very cool to see a fighting game being able to be played in such different manners, and while some games that allow that kind of thing aren’t designed for it- UFC 2010 is. It’s made for gamers of all skill levels to be able to find some comfort in shirtless bashings and head kicks. And quite personally, that is my most favoured and respected thing about this great title.
The game doesn’t just give you a nicely overhauled fighting system though, THQ have gone all out and given us a complete system overhaul and a ton of new modes. Firstly there is a detailed Create-A-Fighter, then the very detailed Career mode in which to use this fighter. It has everything you could want in a sports game here, with a load of options of how to go about progressing, a good amount of customisation and then the inevitable drop in good praises; the repetitiveness. Not just in the Career mode either, but essentially every game mode is pretty much the same thing -fighting- with a different skin and a different heading. Sure, it may be what the game is all about, but its sad to see that all these great unrealised features don’t get the flesh-out the deserve and repeat themselves every playthrough.
In my experience, like a good racer, there is nothing as fun as playing with a friend on the same screen; it provides a lot more fun and the ability to hurl insults and elbows at one another without some little kid mouthing off down the microphone about all manner of family members he’s never met. But that’s not the only reason that offline multiplayer is the best bet here; not for a long shot. Firstly, online play doesn’t provide anything more than a lagged up heavy-hitting experience. Nearly every player will pick the strongest fighter and just go in for constant head punches and body kicks till even a talented fighter gets his head knocked in for the count. All made worse by said lag too.
The offline single-player is a step up from this, but still isn’t without its downfalls. The AI in the game is terrible; mainly due to everything in the submissions department. It’s practically impossible to land a successful submission on the enemy without them slipping out in an instant, and then the further-annoying fact that almost every fighter with half a skill-set of submission moves will constantly try them on you. Not in a challenging kind of way either, but literally constantly try them once you’re on the floor (one of my very first fights saw a stint of 12 consecutive submission attempts before I finally gave-in and each one before I got a slight chance to get up, and this is a very common thing to see too). It ruins a lot of the experience, but if you can look past this little factor there is still a lot of awesome moments and fights to be had through the many different game modes.
Its not an ugly game, that’s for sure. Same can’t be said for a few of the characters though, but that’s a story for a different time. UFC Undisputed 2010 certainly has been as greatly overhauled in the graphics department as it has been in the combat side of things too. Every fighter looks amazingly real, the animations life-like and all the hardest moments and biggest hits all look so spectacular you will almost feel it as your character plummets toward the floor. The crowd in these types of games are looking a little more realistic as time marches on, but nothing special, and then there’s the bikini-clad women employed to carry the round dividers… Where was I? Oh yeah, the graphics. Things certainly look better this time around, and show off just what a fighting game’s animation and character modelling can achieve if worked on properly.
Apart from the match commentators and presenters (all voiced by their real, respected commentators and presenters) and the fighters usual grunts and growls as things heat up in the octagon (no word on if these guys were on call for their voice work), there is pretty much nothing to be heard here. The decent soundtrack of the last game has been ditched, and replaced by a repeating stock menu tune that will get on your nerves for sure.
Despite having a ton of gameplay modes on offer, this game’s true value is in how often you like to play games with your friends. Not your online friends, but rather real mates that visit your humble abode. If you always have a guest or two or just love a good brawl, UFC 2010 is a great title. You may get sick of the career once things start to get on and you realize your repeating the same things over and over, but there is a lot of fighters in this game and even more ways to use them.
Its as good as a fighting game gets -better perhaps- , but where the game tries to take on the sport side of the real sport is where it lacks depth and execution. While the real value is in multiplayer, the game features a load of new game modes and options. Look past the flaws of this unique MMA game and you have yourself possibly the greatest sport fighter on the market. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if any of the other MMA games will manage to take the title from Undisputed in the coming months, but for now this is as brutal as realism gets.
AAG SCORE: 8/10
+ Amazingly fun and overhauled fighting system
+ Great animation and graphics
+ Big improvement on the original game
- Career mode is repetitive and over-based on all but the fighting
- Terrible AI that ruins a lot of matches
- Online is laggy and predictable
Reviewed and Written By John Elliott