UFC Undisputed 2010 delivers a punchy Ultimate Fighting Championship experience, all from the safety and comfort of your own home. It's all about the big fight atmosphere, and whether you're familiar with UFC or it's your first time, you can only appreciate the sheer level of polish and attention to detail gone into its presentation.
From the glitzy menus and screen transitions to the pre-fight build up, everything is designed to mimic the sport's television pizzazz. Rings are surrounded by eager crowds, TV and press camera crews, and even background video screens that show off the action. Octagon announcer Bruce Buffer, referees, trainers and Octagon girls create an engaging build-up, complementing the tale of the tape commentary and each fighter's personalised walk to the ring.
Naturally it's the warriors of The Octagon cage who steal the show. Brilliantly recreated from their real-life counterparts, the 100-plus fighters included in the game look, act and battle every bit as you'd expect. Their nuances are expertly portrayed, from stances to individual moves, everyone is recognisable and fluidly animated. It's an authentic showpiece that captures the blood and sweat of UFC.
UFC Undisputed 2010 isn't just about showing off, it's also about educating you on the growing sport. With a wealth of options, including the ability to watch classic televised matches in High Definition so you know your Brock Lesner vs Frank Mir 1 from your Brock Lesner vs Frank Mir 2, there's always something to indulge your UFC cravings.
Let your fists do the talking
As well as updating its popular predecessor, UFC Undisputed 2010 has increased its repertoire in-depth to make sure you really feel like you're in The Octagon. Combat is more intuitive, meaning there are even more strikes, submissions, stances (including southpaw), transitions and positions than before. Fighters can sway their upper body and head to dodge attacks, and counter with a stinging strike if the timing is right, offering a clever risk verses reward mechanic to master.
As a result, the gameplay is quick and deep and extremely satisfying. Learning the advantages and disadvantages of the different disciplines is made easy with a comprehensive tutorial, while the game is smartly designed to make sure you learn from each bout. Tips are given through the lively commentary and trainer talks, while the in-game camera zooms in and out to increase tension, or turns a stylish black and white to indicate your fighter's critical condition.
Making sure you want to take advantage of all this great gameplay are a number of play modes. Title and Title Defence Modes let you fight through one of the five weight classes, with a defence of your belt should you reach the top. Career Mode lets you create and customise your own fighter from scratch, build up their cred, popularity and sponsorships through successful match-ups and even interviews and weigh-ins where you can trash-talk your opponents and build bitter rivalries.
There is also the Ultimate Fights Mode, which allows you to relive some of the more memorable fights in UFC history, complete with a pre-fight montage to explain the history and relevance of the bout. Then you can either try to recreate the outcome of the battle, or re-write history by upsetting the real result. Adding more incentive and replayability are the Challenges in each fight where you have to perform certain moves, avoid damage or something else which reflects the bout's original outcome.
There are 20 Ultimate Fights to play, five exclusive to PlayStation 3, including the explosive conflicts of Nate Marquardt vs Demian Maia, and Matt Hughes vs Royce Gracie.
So, you wanna be a fighter?
There has been a lot of effort made in UFC Undisputed 2010 to ensure taking the fight to friends has never been easier or more expansive, with a nice array of multiplayer options that are spread across the numerous game modes. You can go online to form fight camps and leagues, training with friends and competing in tournaments. Your rank and stats are tracked, so you always know where you stand compared to other competitors.
The full Tournament Mode lets you create up to 16 player match-ups (either in individual fights or teams) if you want to recreate your favourite fights in arenas around the world, such as London's O2 or the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Nevada. You can also play the Ultimate Fights Mode as a two player experience, ensuring you'll be back for more even when you've played through it in single player.
Each mode in multiplayer brings the full depth of UFC Undisputed 2010's satisfying gameplay, making it an addictive and exhilarating experience that's simply unmissable to fighting fans.