It’s that time again when the yearly foray into the mixed martial arts comes to town, and with it the ingeniously titles UFC 3. Developed by EA Canada this is the third iteration of the MMA artform since EA took over the licensing for it. So does the game deliver those knockout blows, or is it more at home on the ground. Let’s find out.
The controls on UFC 3 are both simplistic and incredibly complex all at the same time. Yes you can stand and trade shots if you so wish, but the real reward comes from being a well rounded fighter. Being able to throw those big hits, but at the same time be able to sink in a deep guillotine is as rewarding as it sounds.
So the controls in a nutshell, the face buttons on your controller of choice control your four limbs, left and right arms and legs. Then you have the modifiers, allowing you to throw your signature move as well as throwing body shots. Different combinations of these modifiers bring out different moves, and the move list is huge. From simple jabs, through to superman punches, everything that you see your favourite UFC fighter carry out is well replicated in the game.
The left stick allows you to carry out locomotion, no not the dance from the 1980’s hit from loveable Aussie, Kylie. The locomotion in UFC 3 is where the game is controlled, the feet on the floor of the mat, and with new animations this is all buttery smooth. From closing the gap quickly and trying to manage the distance to your opponent, you have total control. Using that right stick, you can dip and dodge and slip and slide out of the way of your opposing fighter. Use them both in combination and you can be deadly, slipping a shot and landing your counter punch to terrible effect.
Onto the next massive element of the game, the roster. With around 230 fighters covering all the weight classes, including female fighters that you can take into the octagon. You definitely wont struggle to find someone to fight with and against.
Next let us take a look at some of the new additions to the games available modes. Knockout Mode lets you trade heavy hits with an opponent to try and deplete the predetermined life bar, all the while listening to the dulcet tones of Snoop Doggy Dog. Then you have the Ultimate Team mode where you build up a team of superstars by purchasing packs in the same vein as FIFA Ultimate Team.
The game mode that I expect you will spend most time will be the GOAT mode. Greatest of all Time will see you take your UFC 3 created fighter through a career from the lowly WFA and breaking into the UFC ranks. You have to control your popularity by carrying out a selection of tasks in the weeks leading up to a fight. These can be anything from streaming the EA Sports UFC 3 video game, through to doing a meet and greet at your favourite restaurant. This year its not all about what goes on inside the ring that effects your performance.
Some great little touches come along with the GOAT mode, from seeing peoples tweets about your fighting style, from positive to negative, through to being able to respond to the odd tweet from both your rival and other personalities within the UFC world.
You also then can head online and take on other fighters from around the world and see if you can rise the ranks to the top tier of the game.
Where do you start? From the broadcast camera angles to the blood its all here.
Player models are some of the best that I seen in a sports title, the skin tones and muscles are all a joy to look at. Yes looking at ripped bodies never has been so much fun. Even when you get the slow motion replays of your knockouts, you can see all the muscles moving on the bones. EA have really outdone themselves with this, and if this Ignite engine is improved the future is really going to be scarily realistic.
Cuts and bruises are horrendously accurate. Hit your opponent in the same spot and they will get a visible bruise in the area, catch them with a particularly vicious shot and you will see their skin open up and blood starts pouring. Without sounding too gruesome, this is when it starts getting beautiful. The blood effects and the amount of the lovely claret is astounding. Open up a particularly nasty wound above an opponents eye and the blood will literally get everywhere. All over you, all over the injured party, and all over the ring mat. Its quite frankly awesome!
As ever the soundtrack to an EA game is filled with Hip Hop and RnB tracks, but the welcome addition of the couple of more Rock based tracks give the game a good variety. Then you have all the exclusive to UFC 3 tracks curated by a number of different artists you cant go wrong.
The fight sounds are brilliant, from the crushing shots to the corner men shouting instructions at you its all here. There is even an option in the sound menu to have authentic sound, where you skip the commentary for louder ring shouts from your corner. Its quite immersive when you get used to it. Although I do enjoy listening to Joe Rogan getting excited when I land an overhand right straight to the temple of my opponent.
How long is a piece of string? That is quite literally how long you could be playing UFC 3 for. With the number of modes at hand you could quite easily lose days of gameplay fighting in the octagon. Add to it the fact that each time you take on the GOAT mode it can be completely different depending on your fight style and how you train.
UFC 3 is possibly the most complete UFC game to date. It has everything, from the bone shattering heavy hits to the blood stained mats, everything you could possibly want from a video game depicting one of the most brutal sports out there. UFC 3 superman punches its way to a Thumb Culture Gold Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.