UFC is back in the gaming world for fans of the octagon. Step into the shoes of the greats and enjoy the new striking system that makes the game stand above its predecessors. While standing high above past outings UFC 3 seems to have gone the extra mile but stumbled a bit towards the end making this entry not entirely perfect.
Firstly I’m not the greatest with UFC games. The first entry was a real struggle to get through, so I didn’t stick around long. UFC 2 was a substantial improvement. However, with that achievement it still had its issues. UFC 3 seems to have solved a lot of issues that I had in their past titles, especially with their striking system. Thankfully it is way easier to perform certain combos and punches this time around. There are still a lot of buttons that need to be held together to pull off a certain move, but I didn’t find this too much of a hard time as I have in the past. There are a lot of commands and thankfully with some training and time with the game you will soon master you favourite type of weight class and dominate online. Just don’t do what I did and jump online straight away, or you’ll get messages from sore winners who like to gloat after whopping your butt. Before jumping online however I decided to give the custom character suite a little look over and create my own UFC fighter. You of course pick from the selection of weight classes, I chose heavyweight. Then you go about the fighters design, name and even what kind of shorts he will wear in ring. The character creation suite isn’t as in depth as the one in WWE 2K18, but it is still pretty damn good.
While the main striking system is a significant improvement over recent entries to the series, I still have my gripes with the submission and grappling system. It is nowhere near as polished as striking is which is a shame considering these types of moves are some of the central points within the UFC. Multiple times I’d be down on the floor trying to get up out of a submission only for my movement of the right stick to not even register with the option on screen. I had to flick the right stick multiple times for it to finally register. Bear in mind as well that I tried another of my official Sony’s PS4 controllers to see if the one I was using might have been the issue. It was not. The ground work also felt killed the flow of the fight. One second we would be throwing punches and kicks only for me to be put into a hold and then the crowd cheering would die off and I’d have to play what I called the unfortunate fighting controls (UFC), clever I know. But it is a huge let down when this mechanic is a big part of the games control functionality. It was certainly easier to manage then past UFC titles, but not one I’m happy to have to go through.
While there are those issues the controls are better in other areas than ever before. You have access to dodging and blocking punches and kicks which is fairly easy to master. Body movement control is definitely a major plus in UFC 3. The stamina system must also be closely watched as whoever has more stamina towards the end really brings out the winner, so make sure to give a break in throwing fists when you can. One mode beside the usual career and straight up fight modes that I enjoyed was knockout mode which featured commentary by Snoop Dogg which was kinda funny to hear; a nice little touch to the game.
Ultimate team mode is one that can divide fans and it is a huge fan favourite in the FIFA series. However, for me not so much. The mode stinks of microtransactions. Yes, I know big shocker considering who it is made by. These microtransactions come in the form of card packs, ones that are at higher levels as well. You can thankfully get in game currency to purchase them and it isn’t entirely hard to do so. The allure to purchase cards however will still be there but it will cater to some people out there. If the sound of microtransactions in any sense turns you off, then you are not going to like this mode. So skip it entirely, because you won’t like the mode at all.
Graphics and Sound
UFC 3 fighters look downright spooky in the sense that they all look so realistic. The damage as well that can be seen on different body parts as well is rather impressive. Bruised and bloodied limbs look gruesome but bring a real sense of realism to the game.
Thankfully the multiplayer section has a nice selection of modes for those that want to try their luck online. I want to also say that I did not find a single issue with my online experience. No lag or dropouts. Fights went on as smooth as butter, so I got to see my butt get kicked in perfect quality.
Multiplayer is the perfect place for you to use your custom fighter. It also helps to see where you can best improve when you come across tougher opponents.
UFC 3 is a step up from previous iterations. It delivers an experience that fans of UFC will love. It does falter in some areas that are critical for the game to walk upright. Hopefully for the games sake it does see some patches down the road that might improve the issues I came across. Alas there is no denying the quality mixed martial arts experience that UFC 3 delivers. UFC 3 throws an almost amazing punch. One that fans won’t put down any time soon.
Thank you to EA for providing a copy of UFC 3 for review purposes.