UFC 2010: Official Review
by Curse

Basic Information:
Developer: Yuke's
Publisher: THQ
North American Release Date: 25th May 2010
European Release Date: 28th May 2010
Trophies: 1 4 12 20

After the first UFC game of this generation, UFC Undisputed 2009, Yuke's went back to the drawing board and made significant changes to the gameplay. UFC 2010 is simply put one of the best sports games I've ever played, in the MMA category it's by far the best, most realistic game out there.

The gameplay in UFC 2010 is by far the strongest element, due to many reasons. The main reason to the game playing so great, is the realism it generates. When you throw a punch with a lightweight fighter who favors submissions, it wont have same effect as when you're using a massive heavyweight who favors throwing punches. It may sound simple, and something that you'd come to expect but it's the manor of which it is done. You'll find yourself trying to force your playing style onto your opponent vice versa. By this I mean you'll be trying to stand on your feet and brawl if its how your fighter would enter the fighter, or you'll be trying to wear your opponents body down and force them to submit if your fighter would. All of this generates a fairly authentic feel to the game, and it greatly benefits the true fans of UFC/MMA

More often than not, the choices of fighting styles clash

Any newbies to the franchise may feel a little swamped at first by the depth of styles, control scheme etc. Saying that, it is fairly easy to pick up a simple fighting style, of punching and dodging etc. But it takes a while to master submissions, ground transitions, the clinch etc. And although this will be aggravating for new users, it adds a lot of depth and diversity to the gameplay and you wont feel like every fight feels the same. Due to the fairly advanced control scheme, as I've mentioned you have a fair bit of freedom to fight in your own way. They have bought in new fighting styles such as karate and sambo, advanced floor transitions using the cage to get ontop of your opponent, but my personal favorite is the swaying feature. Swaying greatly benefits those that tend to keep the fight to straight out brawling on their feet (Which im a sucker for) and gives the feeling that you can greatly use speed and agility to defend yourself, whilst setting yourself up for a big strike.

The whole singleplayer aspect to this game kept me hooked for a great amount of time, mainly due to the career mode. Within the career mode you have the freedom to create a fairly unique character, and go through the motions of a career in MMA. Rather than just training one section, fighting etc. They've truly recreated the MMA lifestyle to an extent. Your career spans 12 years and you start out in lower fighting leagues. Between fights you need to plan out when you'll rest, which areas you wish to train in, do you want to learn new moves, etc. Ontop of that you'll be balancing sponsorships, making sure your character looks as awesome as he can, ending up in rivalries, going to pre-match weigh-ins, going to post-match interviews and listening to the commentators describe how sick your character is. The career in '09 was really missing something for me, and those missing aspects truly have been bought into '10, bringing an addictive, truly authentic career experience. Although it can be a little tricky to navigate and find things at the start, especially to those new to the series, there is a lot of fun to be had in the career mode.

Uppercutting an opponent has never been more satisfying

But on the other side of things, I've had friends coming to me complaining at how they couldn't get into the career, things were a little bit too much to take in at once and you're kinda thrown in at the deep end. All of those can be true to an extent, but to those among us who follow UFC/MMA it's a treat to play through the career multiple times. The unique feel to playing with your character that I mentioned is helped heavily by one of my favorite character creators from recent times. Most of the time, especially with THQ (Im thinking of the old WWE games mainly when saying this) you get the same old stuff thrown in, that only really caters to those who want a laugh and make unrealistic characters. I feel that with UFC '10 if you put in the time you can really create a real looking and feeling character. As for the rest of the singleplayer aspect, there's enough to keep you playing through a little more, but the true lasting appeal lies within the career mode. The other gameplay types are just based around exhibition matches, sure they're fun at first but they do grow tiresome and similar. Ultimate fights is the only other real highlight, this pitches you in a clone of a historic UFC fight, you can either relive it or recreate it, in the sense that you can change the outcome. There are a handful of objectives for each fighter in the fights and you'll receive footage of the build up and the physical fight, which creates a nostalgic feeling for those who've already experienced them, it's also a showcase of how awesome the fights can be to any newbies watching.

Multiplayer in any sports game is always great fun for myself when playing locally. Playing between friends at parties or get togethers is always a barrel of laughs, and the more people there the better. UFC 2010 plays into this really well and I've had some great times playing the game locally, re-enacting the fights of the UFC event we'd be watching later on or just playing for the fun of it. But the online multiplayer has been mainly hell. I will say this, on the site we ran a UFC 2010 official tournament, this was a rare case of good connection for myself and I had a great time. But for the most part, when trying to connect online it has just been a massive pain to say the least. Matchmaking is horrid, then when you get into a game you're having to guess what's going to happen due to the massive amounts of lag. Weirdly enough though, when you do get in a game, the majority of players have fought in a massive amount of fights. And I have heard of many people explaining the good times they've had online with the game. This made me wonder whether I'd been missing out on something, but my personal experience of the online has been dire.

Graphically it is bloody brilliant (literally). the realistic levels of damage that are visually represented onto the characters looks great, hit an opponent in their face after they've received a cut to the cheek or eyebrow and you'll see blood fly through the air, often staining the canvas below you. When you've got an opponent weakened on the floor, and you're in full mount going to town with the hammerfists, your opponents mother will barely recognize them. The commentary is good on first impression, but it becomes weak after a while. I did enjoy the career mode commentary but it too became stale after a while. I came across no major bugs or glitches in my time with the game which is always a bonus. The only real problem a player could come across is the control scheme, it does take a bit of time to get used to it, but when you do, it is wonderful.

Not a massive fan of the games trophies, mainly due to the inclusion of online trophies. As I've mentioned, I had a large amount of trouble with matchmaking, making the trophies nearly unobtainable. The singleplayer trophies were a lot of fun however, no real tricky ones in there but they will push you. They get you to experience everything which I enjoy

Closing Thoughts
The best in the business so to say, not that there is much competition. If you're an MMA fan you'll love the game, and even for the non-fans if you give the game some patience I'm sure you'll learn to love it.

Gameplay: 9/10
Really strong gameplay makes this game a joy to play time after time

Singleplayer: 8/10
Career mode and creating characters is fun, but that's pretty much as far as it goes

Multiplayer: 6/10
My personal experience was dire for the online. But I can appreciate that without the match making issues it could be great

Technical: 8/10
Not the best looking game out there, but a strong looking sports game, feels authentic throughout

Overall: 8/10