- Publisher: THQ
- Developer: Yuke's
- ESRB Rating: “T" for Teen
- Genre: MMA Fighting
- Pros: Fun gameplay; nice visuals and sound; tons of fighters; plenty of modes
- Cons: Long load times; online lag; training in career; learning curve; submissions against the A.I.
Gameplay is the key here, and thankfully it is much the same as UFC 2009 but with some notable improvements. For gameplay basics, please see our review from last year. New in 2010 is that the octagon itself now comes into play. You can press your opponent against the cage on the feet or on the ground and you'll have a significant advantage simply because it is harder for them to move and defend, just like in real fights. Another change is the sway system that lets you lean your body out of the way of incoming strikes. It is tricky to use because your timing has to be very precise, but it is rewarding when things work out right. My favorite improvement is that fighters are no longer limited to just one striking and one grappling style and can now use moves from many disciplines.
It has to be noted that the gameplay in general is extremely deep and the learning curve is very steep. It is highly recommended you play through the tutorial before doing anything else. The tutorial is kind of slow and dry, but you'll appreciate it when you get into a tough fight and need to know how to do specific things. Something else that needs to be addressed is that the submission system is still semi-broken when playing against the A.I.. Getting a submission against human players is easy, but near impossible against the A.I..
Between fights you have several weeks to train or rest up, and how you spend those weeks influences how your fighter grows and advances. By sparring with an opponent you earn points you can use on your basic stats and skills. You can also learn new moves by visiting training camps. That is all the same as last year. A new problem, however, is that if you don't continually invest points in all of your skills, the ones you neglect will actually deteriorate. It becomes a full time job just to keep your fighter from moving backwards. The problem is that sparring kind of sucks and isn't all that fun, but it is the only way to earn skill points.
Once you get into the game and figure out the rhythm of the training and everything it isn't too bad, but it definitely isn't an optimal system. When all is said and done, though, your fighter's 12 year career is undeniably satisfying. Taking a no-name fresh meat newbie and training them into exactly the fighter you want is awesome. Winning fights and titles and having a Hall of Fame worthy UFC career really makes you feel like you accomplished something.
Features and Modes
All of the modes earn you points that you can spend on new attire, taunts, win animations, and Topps UFC trading cards.
The only real complaint I have is that the load times are kind of long. Just going through the menus takes a few seconds. Training in career or doing the tutorial is marred by long load times that suck any rhythm you might have had right out of you. Even with the game installed to the Xbox 360 HDD the load times are noticeably long.
It also has to be noted that online play requires a one time use code printed on the manual, or a $5 fee if the code has been used, which we aren't crazy about. Give us more stuff for more money. Don't take away features and make us pay extra.
As far as the presentation goes, UFC Undisputed 2010 is pretty much like last year's game, which is a good thing. The fighters are detailed and look great and the 100+ real fighters, referees, and other MMA personalities included in the game look just like their real life counterparts. The screen graphics and octagon and arenas you fight in all look exactly like they do in real life. The sound is also very authentic with UFC ring announcer Bruce Buffer and great match commentary from Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg.
In the end, UFC Undisputed 2010 is an improvement over last year's entry in just about every way. The gameplay changes are fairly subtle, but fans of the sport will definitely appreciate them. The most important improvement comes in the wealth of modes and unlockables and plain 'ol "stuff" to do this year. The career mode will keep you hooked for days (for each fighter you run through it ...), but the ability to make a created fighter outside of career paired with the scores of real fighters and all of the modes to use them in means there is a lot of gameplay value here. I will say that it isn't a huge change over UFC 2009, which kind of puts THQ's intent to make it a yearly series in question (which we've already seen the results of with the inconsistent quality level of the WWE Smackdown series the last few years), but for now at least UFC Undisputed 2010 is unquestionably a better game overall than last year. If you are a UFC fan, I highly recommend it for a purchase.