The session was introduced by Don Gold (Executive VP of UFC), who opened the afternoon comparing Australia to Canada; both English-speaking countries, with fighting as part of our national (convict) culture and how we appreciate some good fisty-cuffs. This too is reflected in the sellout speed of UFC 110, where there are no spare tickets for Don and others to hand out to lovely ladies of the Sydney night-life.
- While Undisputed 2009 had 80 fighters which were essentially created via the create-a-fighter system, 2010 sports. More than 100 fighters, each individually photographed and textured (as such, bruises/cuts from training immediately prior to a fighter's photo had to be Photoshopped in some instances!)
- Fighting archetypes have been removed; while Undisputed 2009 had your fighter as a Boxer/wrestler, or perhaps Muai Thai/BJJ, now it is a more a la carte representation where players select individual moves from certain techniques including strikes and submissions). Karate, greco-roman wrestling and sambo move sets have also been added.
- The number of animations is up on 2009's title to the tune of:
- Certain fighters can now fight southpaw, with the ability to swap to Orthodox if the fighter supports it.
- Sways and leans are now included for dodging, rather than the purely range-based fighting of Undisputed 2009 where it was typically throw-and-retreat style standup gameplay. So now standup utilizes the inside game as well as range game.
- A new risk-reward based move system where moves with greater risk (eg such as swaying left-right to dodge punches rather than simply ducking) reap greater reward (where a swaying counter then has more damage than an uppercut from a ducked position). This was seen for both striking as well as takedowns.
- The cage now plays a role rather than just being an invisible wall; it now deforms and players can get pinned up against it, which then lessens damage that is thrown from the pinned player (and increases what damage they receive) as well as limiting their range of available movements.
- In the ground game, players can adjust their posture in varying positions; such as in the mount you can posture up to rain down fists of pain, or stay low to prevent your opponent from transitioning. Players can strike from any position, knocked out from any position, submitted from any position (2009 was only one submission per position, while in Undisputed 2010 posturing will increase that).
- Post-fight outfits are now included; player's official kit will be there, as well as the option to create your own for custom players; be it a gi, shirt and/or hat, etc
- Online feature of fight camps - similar to clans in other genres, where you can do training online where you're learning with your other friends - show each other new takedown defenses, etc
When asked about the raging mane of fighter Clay Guida, which with clipping issues caused his late omission from Undisputed 2009, Neven "couldn't confirm nor deny" that Guida would be included (and fixed) in the up and coming title. If we were the betting sorts though, we'd be thinking this would be one of the first improvements they'd have made over Undisputed 2009. Randy Couture was one UFC fighter who he could confirm won't be making an appearance, due to contractual arrangements with EA; at least not in this Undisputed title.
And as for the big elephant in the room regarding PS3 MMA titles, Neven had surprisingly little to comment on feature comparisons between the two; given that Undisputed 2009 is currently the (pardon the pun) undisputed MMA title, THQ already has the jump on EA. The strength of the UFC isn't just one or two fighters, but rather it's the best of the best in every weight class and division too. While the PES/FIFA rivalry has shown that licenses aren't necessarily required to 'own' a genre, THQ's definitely in the stronger position given the scale and popularity of the UFC.
That said, UFC Undisputed 2010 is definitely looking just as pretty as 2009's title, and with the extra gameplay additions and improvements it'll be a title that we're definitely looking forward to putting through it's paces closer to it's release in May.
Article By: Chris Gobbett
Big thanks to THQ Australia for the invite to the media event reported above.