I’ve seen quite a lot of the UFC game before its release and everything I’ve seen has been good. The graphics looked great, the presentation was spot on and the fighting system, if a little complicated at first, had enough variety to keep it fresh without sacrificing the realism the fans wanted so much. Thankfully, it’s all still good when you go into the shops to buy it. Let me tell you why.
UFC is the fastest growing combat sport in the world right now and it’s easy to see why. It’s brutal. Fighters with different skills are pitted against each other and it’s interesting to see how they size up against each other. Mixed Martial Arts (or MMA for short) is what it’s all about here and karate, Muay Thai, Judo and boxing are all fair game as each fighter attempts to get the most points. Of course what usually happens is a knock out and it’s the same in the game.
Career mode lets you create a fighter and uses a calendar system to schedule training, sparring and rest days between fights. Trudging through a calendar isn’t my idea of fun so luckily the fighting makes up for this rather dull career setting.
Boxing and kicking works just like Tekken, but it’s the clinch and grapple system you’ll want to properly learn to get the most of this game. Using quarter turns and clicks of the analogue sticks, you can get your opponent onto the ground and smash them into submission. You can also use the same technique to defend. You’ll want to go through the lengthy tutorial at the start if you want to play this game to the full.
The cage fighting is fantastic. Every punch and kick feels weighty and it’s a proper struggle when on the floor as you try to wriggle free or lock in a submission. It also looks amazing. Each fighter was scanned from head to toe and mo-capped and this has to be the most realistic fighting game to date. Even blood and sweat looks real and damage is gauged by how the fighters react.
One word of warning, do switch on the stamina meter in the options when you first play, because if you run out of the stuff, you can get KO’d in one hit. Something which frustrated me at first until I figured out that was where I was going wrong.
If you liked Fight Night and you love wrestling games, this is something you definitely want to check out – even if you’re not necessarily a fan of UFC. UFC 2009 Undisputed gets a ball-breaking 9 out of 10.
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