EA Sports UFC 3

Games TM - - CONTENTS -

Face the pain, no es­cape, can you step to this? So goes a line in one of the ufc’s theme songs. It’s a sen­ti­ment that ap­plies to the real sport as much as it does here. to master EA Sports UFC 3, you must sub­mit to the fact that there are no short­cuts, that you will have to ded­i­cate se­ri­ous time to it and that les­sons learned in other fight­ing and/ or sports games don’t nec­es­sar­ily ap­ply here.

More so than the rest of its ea Sports sta­ble mates, UFC 3 is an ex­pe­ri­ence aimed squarely at con­nois­seurs of the sub­ject mat­ter. Where ca­sual fans of foot­ball can en­joy FIFA and watch­ing only the Su­per Bowl pro­vides enough knowl­edge to un­der­stand Mad­den, the part-time ufc fan is not catered for here.

If you don’t know your full guard from your side con­trol or can’t ap­pre­ci­ate the sub­tler dynamics of the clinch then this isn’t for you. Vague sem­blances of a tu­to­rial sys­tem ex­ist, but they’re not fit for pur­pose if you’re look­ing to learn mixed-mar­tial arts from scratch.

the ben­e­fit here is that ea canada can con­cen­trate on pro­vid­ing ex­haus­tive depth and not tie it­self in knots try­ing to make an in­her­ently com­plex sport ap­peal to all play­ers. Learn­ing to em­ploy and guard against sub­mis­sions, kicks, strikes, grap­ples and more is a process that re­quires adapt­abil­ity and pa­tience. Just when you think you’ve mas­tered it, a new level of com­plex­ity and op­por­tu­nity re­veals it­self to be stud­ied and in­cor­po­rated into your fight strate­gies.

While the core of the of­fer­ing hasn’t changed in a ma­jor way, UFC 3 serves a more bal­anced and in­ter­est­ing bout of MMA than its two ea Sports-made pre­de­ces­sors. Su­pe­rior an­i­ma­tion qual­ity ren­ders the awk­ward tran­si­tions from the strik­ing phase of a bout to the ground game a thing of the past, and a larger reper­toire of at­tacks and take­downs means there are more ways to trig­ger those tran­si­tions.

ca­reer mode is not per­fect, but does a bril­liant job of keep­ing you in­ter­ested by set­ting you a con­sis­tent stream of small goals on your way to achiev­ing the longert­erm mile­stones. there re­mains a feel­ing of ‘grind’ to your progress as a fighter, but the car­rot and the stick are bet­ter aligned than they have been in the past.

Im­prove­ments could be made in com­mu­ni­cat­ing the raw en­ergy and ex­cite­ment that ac­com­pa­nies a ufc event, though. com­men­tary is wooden, ring en­trances are dull, and you can’t shake the feel­ing that, for all its tech­ni­cal wiz­ardry, the shock and awe fac­tor of an MMA fight is miss­ing. how, though, in a sport in which you can be knocked out with the first punch, do you make a game that’s fair and re­wards skill over luck?

the an­swer is out there some­where, but for now UFC 3 comes clos­est to it.

Messy to the lay­man but full of pos­si­bil­i­ties for the pro, the MMA ground game re­quires tech­ni­cal skill, ev­er­last­ing stamina and fear­some strength to master. The UFC 3 vari­a­tion, whilst in­con­sis­tent, repli­cates that need to learn and em­ploys a range of...

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