The UFC console game, much like its real-world counterpart, is deceptive if judged by its cover. Both appear to be mindless brawlers, where two half-naked muscled men clamber into a ring and proceed to grab at each other in a display that solicits smug guffaws from the uninitiated. But any fan of UFC and mixed martial arts in general will be quick to explain that what looks like mindless-fighting-meets-sweaty-grabbing is actually a highly technical and extremely demanding sport, where mistakes often (violently) cost someone the fight.
Last year’s UFC Undisputed game was no different: demanding and complicated, it paid proper respects to its sport, but its reluctance to cut corners also made it far from easy to pick up and play. You couldn’t just invite a few friends over and have a fight or two for fun.
Undisputed 2010 arrives hot on the heels of its predecessor, only a year after the Undisputed series debut. It could have easily been a rush job, a cynical attempt to keep the franchise alive. But 2010 is a big improvement over the first game and manages the seemingly impossible: creating a much deeper experience that is far easier to play. Three new fighting styles have been added, but in reality there are hundreds of moves and you can mix and match them to your fighter (as you unlock them through training sessions).
In contrast, the fighting system is far more intuitive, especially with ground attacks, and reversals are unbelievably simple to execute. A skilled player will still dominate, but newcomers will not feel out of control. There are more than 100 fighters, while additional online features (such as joining a team and establishing a gym) really add to the experience. Despite only a year’s gap, Undisputed 2010 is a significantly better than its predecessor, which was already terrific. Gentlemen, it’s… time!