Even if you choose to ignore the complex control scheme and wildly press buttons with abandon, the action on screen will still look smooth. A combination of improved animations, smarter context sensitive strikes and grapples, and a lack of specialized fighting styles means that fighters move and fight with fluidity. Thankfully the specialized fighting styles with their unique and often awkward restrictions to what a fighter could and could not do are gone. Now all fighters behave in roughly the same ways with only minor tweaks to stance and a few special moves to reflect their style of fighting. The appearance of the fighters and the environment around them have also have had a graphical upgrade. There are more details, especially in HD quality, that are noticeable. Tattoos on the fighters and the media pit surrounding the octagon itself were a few I noticed. The graphics aren't a huge leap into a more realistic realm by any means but I'm sure with time and maybe another console generation they will come closer to photo-realism.
Bass powered thumps rattle virtual and real ears with strikes that land square. The lack of any cries of pain only serve to strengthen the sudden force of a solid hit as they punctuate the din of the roaring crowd. Such forceful blows make even the commentators stop their jabbering and take heed. Indeed the sound effects, while in a fight, serve to strength the sense of being in the octagon. The commentators follow a pretty basic script but the sound bits are blended together in such a way that their commentary feels natural. The sound track that plays in the menu system and load screens however, grated on my nerves. That epic cinema quality chamber choir suspense pieces really do build up drama, the first few times you hear them. Imagine someone sitting in the passenger seat while you are driving and yelling “look out!” every time you pass a car on the road, and you will get a sense of how annoying the menu sound track is. Please THQ and Yuke's integrate the track skip feature in the next UFC game. It's a great feature in any game where there is a lot of time spent in menus.
A handful of new features and an impressive roster of fighters from all weight classes makes UFC 2010 Undisputed an improvement over last year's title, but it's not a huge evolution for the franchise. Fans of the first Undisputed will undoubtedly love the online boot camp and the new career mode, but the game still has the same high learning cure and level of difficulty that makes it rather inaccessible to new comers. As I am not a diehard fan of UFC or the games I found little added value from the online multiplayer. It's not that UFC isn't accessible to everyone, it is, but to get any sense of accomplishment requires too much commitment of time for the average gamer to invest unless they already have a personal attachment to the sport.
I recommend UFC Undisputed 2010 to fans of the series or sport only. If you're new to the series and still want to check it out there is a demo online where you can try out the controls. Because of the amount of practice it takes to obtain enough skill to become competitive (online and off) you must be either a natural at the controls or dedicated enough to master them. Having skill in only one form of fighting doesn't cut it anymore with UFC. You must be able to fight in any situation and quickly adapt if you want to get to the top. Otherwise it will just be a long series of virtual beat downs, with your fighter's blood covering the mat.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
I feel like a wimp saying it but; this game is too hard. Even on beginner difficulty it can be a struggle to achieve ultimate victory. I recommend UFC Undisputed 2010 to fans of the sport and/or the franchise only. Very few others will have the patience or the dedication required to become competitive at this game.
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