Getting to Grips – UFC Undisputed 2010

Last week Tony and I were invited along to a swanky bar in London’s West End by our friends at THQ to check this year’s release. When it launched last year UFC Undisputed 2009 was well received by gamers and UFC fans alike and this year’s follow up looks set to build on that success and push the game to new heights of realism, control and immersion.

The first thing you’ll notice, as with most games, is the visuals. In the case of Undisputed 2010 you won’t be disappointed, sports games often suffer from looking just a little bit ‘off’ when recreating real people that you will be viewing up close but in this case the game looked pretty damn real. Looking over the many screens in the bar you would be forgiven for thinking you were watching live action on the screens. Obviously this isn’t quite the case when up close and playing but it’s pretty damn impressive.

Winner! - Don't worry, that guy at the back isn't dead!
Winner! – Don't worry, that guy at the back isn't dead!

Neither Tony nor I had played Undisputed 2009 but we soon got to grips with 2010. As you would expect from UFC game bouts you’ll be in one of two positions when fighting, put simply, standing up and on the mat. We picked up the standing part very easily, each face button controls a limb (Tekken style!) with shoulder buttons used for blocking and attack modifiers. Once you’re on the floor it’s a whole different game, using the analogue sticks you position yourself, offensively or defensively, and once you have the upper hand go for the submission by clicking the stick. Without the aid of a manual we found the grappling a bit daunting but we had something better on hand: the game’s producer Neven Dravinski, fresh from his presentation of the game. He soon had us rotating the right analogue stick using quarter and half circles to  adjust our grappling position in order to setup a submission or, in the case of the man on the bottom, escape before a submission can be started.

Keeping the standing and grappling controls so separate is a stroke of genius, it simplifies the game and forces you to develop a preferred style that suits your chosen fighter. When it comes to choosing a fighter you have over 100 UFC stars to choose from, each realistically recreated in game right down to their tattoos. If that isn’t enough, you can create your own fighter in one of the most open systems I’ve seen to date in a game. Visually you can adjust and change just about every aspect of your fighter but you can also map any available move to any button or modified button allowing you to create a truly unique fighter that you can take through the career mode to become a UFC champion. Your fighter will even age on the way! During your fighting career you will be able to choose how and when you train to sharpen your skills for upcoming challenges.

Pummeling someone into the mat is very satisfying
Pummeling someone into the mat is very satisfying

We were both very impressed with the build of UFC Undisputed 2010 that we were let loose on and enjoyed playing the game far more than we would have expected. Undisputed 2010 is a responsive and realistic representation of UFC and offers the dedicated player an absolute treasure chest of of customisation and control while leaving the casual player an accessible arcade style for playing with your mates on a Saturday night when staying up till 3am to watch the UFC live!

UFC Undisputed 2010 launches on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on May 25th 2010.


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2 responses to “Getting to Grips – UFC Undisputed 2010”

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