Last year UFC Undisputed 2009 surprised a lot of people and took the gaming world by storm. THQ returns to the Octagon this year with a myriad of changes for UFC Undisputed 2010. Certain areas of the career have been reworked, the online system has been improved and much more. The roster has also received a bit of a graphical overhaul as well this year. The overall presentation is also much closer to what you would see if you were watching a UFC event on television. It is still not completely there yet but it is better then the 2009 version and UFC fans will definitely appreciate the improvements the developers made. It’s easy to become complacent when working on an annual sports title when you don’t have any competition and it is nice to see that didn’t happen in this case. Granted this is only the second year, however, the series is definitely moving in the right direction.
While playing Career mode it is apparent that THQ listened to their fans that played the 2009 version and addressed a lot of the complaints that people had. This year the career mode has been expanded to twelve years instead of the seven from last year.Over the course of their career gamers can expect to participate in around 50-60 fights. You also won’t be immediately thrown into the UFC. You have to earn your spot and you begin with some exhibition fights in a gym. Once you do that and decide to go pro you will be put on some WFA cards. Impress enough people during your fights in the WFA and you will eventually have Dana White visiting the gym, offering you a UFC contract. The calendar system returns from last year with some improvements and additions as well. You will need to pay closer attention to your fighter this year as your fighter does age and if you don’t train properly your stats will begin to decay. Gamers that enjoys micro managing their fighters and who enjoy completely controlling what their fighter does will love this new feature. In addition to that THQ has also introduced an “a la carte” move allocation system for your created fighter. In this year’s version you get to pick the technique and the discipline as well as pick which individual moves you want to learn and use in your fights. After each fight you have a certain number of weeks before the next one where you can train. How you train is completely your decision and if you want to learn some new moves you can visit different camps. There is a wide variety to select from including the American Kickboxing Academy, Team Punishment, Team Penn and more. You simply pick which camp that you want to go to and then pick the individual move you want to learn. Once that is done you go through a sparring session and, if successful, you will learn and be able to use that new move in a fight. If the sparring session doesn’t go very well then you can always do another one to build off the last one. Keep in mind that each action takes a whole week so if there is only a couple of weeks left before your next fight you might want to concentrate on your other training or conditioning.
As I mentioned above you will need to pay attention to the well being of your fighter more than ever this year. If you are only concentrating on your strength and speed then your cardio is eventually going to start going down. Once you see that a stat is starting to decay that means you need to pay more attention to it or that particular skill is going to start to go down and all of your hard work will have been for nothing. Fortunately there are “milestones” that you can reach. Once a specific skill reaches level thirty then no matter how much it decays in the future it won’t go below thirty. There are other “milestones” as well at level fifty and seventy respectively. The way that you improve your existing skill set is to participate in sparring sessions. Depending on how well you do in the session you will get a certain number of points. You use those points to increase a skill such your standing strikes offense, takedown defense and much more. Throughout all of this you need to pay attention to your conditioning and fatigue. It would not be a wise move to enter a fight if your fighter is completely fatigued so you will have to make sure your fighter is adequately rested prior to the fight. When your fighter is tired he is more prone to injury and the points you obtain from your camp will be reduced if he is injured. If at any time you aren’t sure what to do next your trainer can offer you some advice. He can offer you advice on how you are doing physically, how your skill is progressing, how your technique is coming along and more. If at any time you forgot how to do a move or simply want a refresher you can always visit the tutorial as well.
As your career progresses you will participate in more fights and more people will learn about who you are. Another new dynamic that has been introduced this year is the interviews you will participate in as well as the relationships you have with different fighters. Through pre-fight interviews with Rachelle Leah and post fight interviews with Joe Rogan you will have to decide how you want to be perceived. You can choose to be respectful towards your opponents or disrespectful. If you want to use a simple generic response you can do that as well or play up to the fans to increase your popularity. Your relationships with fighters also depend upon which fighters you train with and which camps you attend. It is completely up to you on which path your fighter decides to take. The “Cred” system also makes a return from last year. The “Cred” system is your fighter’s credibility and can determine your progression based items such as sparring partners or training programs. Your ability to upgrade is based on this and will affect how many points you can earn towards the progression of the different skills and attributes. Another feature that you might want to take advantage of is the “Game Plan” feature. This is where the game plan for your next fight is set. Your fighter will receive a temporary bonus for that one fight based on what you select. You can choose to focus on what you think will be a short fight or maybe focus on your submission skills if your next opponent is a submission specialist.
Sponsors are back this year and now you have even more control on how you customize your fighter. In UFC Undisputed 2009 you could put sponsor logos on a variety of things but you could only place them in static positions. In this year’s version you can edit the size and shape of the logo with the new drag and drop system. You can drag the logo to whatever place you want and dynamically control how big the logo will be. There are also brand new sponsors this year and THQ has made it a bit easier to earn these sponsorships as you progress through your career. There are well over 200 items of Sponsor Gear and Logos which can be applied to your fighter. You can also pick out your post fight clothing and other things to truly customize your fighter. Speaking of customizing your fighter, you can also pick out their pre-match ritual as well as their victory celebration. You can pick the animation of how your fighter reacts right before the fight. As you progress in your career you will also get a banner just like you see at every real life UFC event. You can edit that banner and put sponsor logos on to help boost your “cred”. As you progress through the career mode you will probably notice that the game is “watching” you. If you like to end fights with a specific move the commentators might mention that and future opponents might try to adapt so that you can’t use that move on them. This adaptive A.I. adds another layer of challenge to the game and is definitely something that requires your attention.
One of the big new features in UFC Undisputed 2010 has to do with online fight camps. You can create an online fight camp and invite all of your friends to join.Each fight camp will have a hierarchy and placement within this hierarchy will determine the amount of control an individual holds over fight camp features and/or activities. If someone in your camp is participating in an activity and they have an open slot then you can jump in and participate with them. Fight camps are tracked on Fight Camp leaderboards that exist separately from individual leaderboards. Your Fight camp can earn milestones by meeting certain requirements and these milestones represent how online camp progression is displayed. The online fight camps work similar in functionality to a “guild” or “clan” from other games and it should be interesting to see which camps dominate the online octagon.
In addition to everything I have previously mentioned there are a bunch of other modes that you can participate in. Event mode is one such mode where the player can setup their own pay per view or “Fight Night” event. In addition to creating events from scratch, players can also download events based on real world UFC events through Xbox Live or PSN. Each event is treated like a real UFC broadcast is handled. It starts out with some of the fighters talking about what they want to do to their opponent and things of that nature. After that we get the “tale of the tape” and then the introduction by Bruce Buffer. When you choose to play the cards offered online the results are recorded and tracked for use on ufc.com, undisputed.com and even some broadcasts of actual UFC events. Then there is Title Mode which will allow the player to experience a shorter path to a championship. You also have Title Defense mode that will unlock once someone has completed a Title Mode. There is also a Tournament mode where you can have different tournaments ranging from a four, eight or sixteen man tournament. Additionally, there is the Ultimate Fights mode which was one of my favorites. This is where you can pick a famous fight from UFC history. You could pick Chuck Liddell vs Rashad Evans from UFC 88 and replay that fight. If you are Chuck Liddell you need to try and rewrite history. If you pick Rashad Evans then you need to try and beat Chuck the way Rashad did at the actual event. Before each fight you are given a quick summary of the feud that took place leading up to that fight. If you happen to meet all of your objectives in the fight then you will unlock a video (among other things) that will show you highlights from the actual fight. It’s a great idea and a great way to increase replayability for hardcore UFC fans. They will want to unlock every video so that they can relive all of these fights whenever they want to. There are even a few exclusive fights that will only appear in the PlayStation 3 version.
UFC Undisputed 2010 is a fantastic title and THQ has worked on implementing a lot of improvements to the 2009 formula. The result is a title that you will have a lot of fun playing solo as well as with a group of friends. UFC Undisputed 2010 has enough content for the hardcore MMA fan while at the same time it’s doing an excellent job of introducing newcomers to the sport. Go through the career mode and prove that you have what it takes to be a fighter and then challenge the world online for bragging rights (and some achievements too!). So you want to be a fighter?Don’t miss out on this title.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network