UFC 3 Review | Manages To Impress

Growing up with wrestling, where matches have two sides working together to provide viewers with an exciting experience, the UFC scene is on a whole other playing field. The rivalry between contenders feels raw, with some exchanges before the match feeling just as intense as the match itself. The UFC scene is also rife with bloody fists and is definitely not for the fainthearted. And yes, the game does translate this pretty well into its core.


Customization Galore

When it comes to customization in UFC 3, the options are vast. From being able to select your character's fighting style and weight category, to the design of their mouthguard, your character can look as serious (or wacky) as you want it to be.


Customization does not just stop at looks, you can also select how they perform in the ring through perks and move sets. Enjoy beating the crap out of your opponents? Do you like it close and personal? Your character can behave the way you want them to.



Progression


As you would expect, UFC 3 comes with a career mode that players can ride the zero to hero "wave". You start by joining small regional competitions, all the while competing against other small fries in the hopes of landing a UFC contract and making it big.


In the weeks leading to each match, you will be given time to prepare for it. The game gives players a wide array of gyms to train in, and learn new moves and perks. Additionally, it also provides a sparring partner that fights similarly to your upcoming opponent.


As a small fry, you will not be able to afford an agency to help you with your marketing. Instead, you will be your own public relations manager. Some of your training time will have to be used to work on building your followers as well as hype up your upcoming match.



Is This Real Life?


On the path to fame, fans (and rivals) will be gained. All of these will also happen while garnering the attention of media. The game does these pretty well with live-action videos of reporters, and (mixed) reactions from viewers and your followers every now and then.
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KO or TKO?


As you have guessed, there are two main types of fighting style - Striking and Grappling. Striking has a low skill floor, while providing players with a high skill ceiling through variety in timings and moves. Strikes feel hefty, especially when catching your opponent off guard. Although it is fun to learn the combos, through button mashing, the game punishes this terribly.
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Each character has a pool of stamina, which drops whenever a move is used. This worsens if the fighter misses. Once the pool depletes, the fighter performs sluggishly, with each strike being slower and causing less hurt. This forces the player to rest and play defensively.

On the other side of the spectrum, grappling has a learning curve and the game does not do a great deal to teach you. Although, mastering it rather satisfying and adds variety to the combat.



Conclusion


Although there were some minor visual issues, with a subtle yet unnatural jerkiness to strikes, UFC 3 is a great pick-me-up when you are itching for some action. It managed to turn my skepticism to interest, even if I am not a fan of fighting games.

TLDR
+ Ridiculous amount of customization
+ Pretty fleshed out progression system
+ Inclusion of life-action makes it feel real
+ Combat is entertaining and engaging
- Hits were not entirely smooth with some unnatural motion





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