UFC Undisputed 3 E3 Demo Preview

THQ took time to show off some of what they have in store for UFC Undisputed 3 at this year’s E3. With the game set for a 2012 release they still have a lot of time to tune, tweak, and finish up the game – but what they were showing already looked impressive.

It is nice to see a sports game getting off the yearly cycle in order to focus on making a quality title. While UFC Undisputed wowed gamers, Undisputed 2010 left a lot to be desired. And while the previously released trailer gave gamers a taste of what UFC Undisputed 3 would bring to the table, what THQ showed at E3 provided an even deeper look.

First and foremost, they wanted gamers to know that they viewed Undisputed 3 as a fighting game. Yes, it could be a technical fighting game for sure, but it was a fighting game none-the-less. To better reflect this, they brought the camera closer into the action. No longer were gamers playing the fight from a TV, outside-the-octagon view – but, instead, they would be playing down in the octagon itself.

They also brought in, not only hardcore Undisputed game fans, but hardcore Tekken, Street Fighter, and other fighting game fans to play test the game too. They are looking to make a game that still appeals to the all the people that loved Undisputed but that will also attract new gamers too. To this end, they have included a new, simplified control scheme, while also keeping the traditional Undisputed control scheme in for the more experienced and hardcore fighters. They hope the simplified controls will allow new gamers to get into the game and learn the basics – and then give them a reason to learn the more complex controls that allow more options and possibilities when fighting on the ground, for example.

A help mode is also included. During a match players will have the option to see recommendations for what they should do next. While this will certainly break-up the action of a match, it will serve as a great way for new or inexperienced players to learn the ropes. Think of it as an “ask Madden” like feature. It certainly will not be for everyone but having it included as a option doesn’t hurt. In addition to this optional in-game advice system, they plan to include the ability for players to see prompts during particularly difficult moments or moves in the game. Again, seems like a nice feature to provide as an option.

The game also features a new submission system consisting of an octagon with two bars around the edge. The player trying to submit their opponent will have a bar that is colored on the outside, while the player trying to avoid the submission will have a filled-in bar. The player trying to pull off the submission will have to place their bar over the other player’s for a period of time to successfully pull off a submission. ┬áIt might seem complicated but watching it in action, it made a lot of sense. One reason this method was picked was because they thought it made it easier to see why a submission was achieved or avoided. They wanted to make the system more transparent.

Hopefully Undisputed 3 can right the ship for the franchise and successfully walk the line of still appealing to its hardcore fanbase, while also attracting new customers. There’s still some time before the game comes out and it looks like THQ will be using that time to deliver what they believe is the best possible UFC game.

UFC Undisputed 3 is scheduled for release in January of 2012 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.