UFC 2010 Undisputed Hands-On Preview
Xbox 360 | PS3
UFC 2010 Undisputed box art
System: X360, PS3, PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: Yuke's Media 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: THQ 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: May 25, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Back to the Octagon
by Jonathan Marx

April 28, 2010 - UFC Undisputed 2010 is likely going to be quite successful. After playing through the preview code, I got a great feel for what the full game will have in store in terms of fighting mechanics. In truth, fighting is strikingly similar to what was available in last year's outing. Nevertheless, the changes that are there make this a more fluid experience that fans of the sport and of the last game should appreciate a great deal.

UFC 2010 Undisputed screenshot

Perhaps the best innovation this time around is that of better control over standing grapples. By simply making quarter-circles with the right analog stick, your fighter will adjust his positioning to set up a takedown (get double under hooks, single collar tie, over hooks, etc.) or keep the opponent at the perfect distance to get some knee drives to the stomach. It feels very natural and is straightforward to execute, resulting in some awesome setups and the ability to wear your opponent's stamina down.

Similarly, the ground game has also been made even more fluid. Transitioning between positions as well as applying chokes and other submissions is seamless. If your opponent is able to foil your initial attempts to pass guard, taking up a new position, hitting him with a couple knees while on the canvas, and then employing a different submission (executed at the right time) can certainly make the difference. Of course, being on top isn't a guarantee of success. In fact, the dev team over at Yuke's has implemented an auto-guard system that allows a defensive position on the ground to be more easily maintained and subsequently transitioned into a counter hold. That means, as a downed fighter, you'll be able to take advantage of the attacker's mistakes more readily and press an advantage that wasn't there a few moments earlier.


Though learning all of the control combo variants is a lot to take in at first, things begin to set in quickly because all of the moves, regardless of position, are pulled off in the same manner (i.e. the same button presses, stick inputs, and control modifiers are used, just with different results depending upon positioning). Also, by pressing start mid hold and selecting the actions list, you'll instantly be taken to the appropriate hold and be reminded of how to get side control or how to go for the win with a kimura. This makes learning the ropes much easier. Setting up your foe professionally is a challenge worth besting because you'll be rewarded with some stunning and satisfying submissions, assuming you time your moves right.

UFC 2010 Undisputed screenshot

Grappling on the ground, while a major part of a lot of fighters' repertoires, isn't the only game in town. In fact, toe-to-toe brawling is often every bit as devastating with the right fighter. UFC Undisputed 2010, from what I've seen so far, makes brawling an important element. For example, if pitted against an opponent that likes to charge in for takedowns, you can time your kicks to the shins and knees to the midsection to keep the shooter honest. If an opponent is too greedy, sticking out your foot and connecting with the on-rusher's face can stop them cold.

On the other side of the spectrum, if your opposition likes to keep things off the ground, you'll be able to thwart this strategy too. That's because dodging, called Sways, has become more important this year. Rather than just blocking incoming strikes, you can time an evasive maneuver, with a quick tap of the left analog stick, to make your foe flat-out miss. Naturally, this sets up counters extremely well; depending on how well you time the dodge, you'll get a power boost behind your punch, or perhaps catch a leg and give him a loaded strike of your own.

UFC 2010 Undisputed screenshot

Not only are countering strikes destructive to an overly-anxious opponent, but unwary ones can be knocked out with just one punch or one instep drive to the face if they don't properly guard against standing attacks; watching the competition crumple in a heap after delivering one of these blows almost makes you want to keep your game off the canvas. It's apparent that the developers have decided that timing is paramount in MMA bouts, whether it's for dodging a brutal hook, stopping a charging fool in his tracks, passing guard, or pulling off a slick reversal.

Playing UFC Undisputed 2010's preview code was an awful lot of fun, but it definitely won't do the retail version justice. I was only able to get my hands on the exhibition and tournament modes, and I could only work the octagon with four fighters (Shogun Rua, Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, and Rashad Evans). The full game is going to have loads of options, including an expansive career mode, tournaments, a fight camp, web-driven community features, a deep custom character creator, and tons of top fighters with which to brawl. Stay tuned to Cheat Code Central when we give you the full low-down hopefully before the game launches on May 25th.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

Game Features:

  • UFC Fighters and Personalities - Navigate an unparalleled roster of more than 100 prolific UFC fighters, each fully rendered to convey a photorealistic appearance. Prominent UFC personalities, including the commentary team of Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg, veteran voice of the Octagon Bruce Buffer, Octagon Girls, referees, trainers, and more return to showcase an authentic and memorable UFC videogame experience.
  • Enhanced Combat - Step into the Octagon with improved combat. A new Sway System with full upper body and head movement allows for the dodging of attacks, while on the ground, a new Posture System delivers strong, fight-ending strikes from every position. Manage Octagon control with new strikes, submissions, transitions and cage positions, as well as experience added realism with the introduction of Southpaw stance.
  • Fighter Customization - Enjoy customizable freedom with created fighters by combining move sets from numerous MMA disciplines. Choose from an array of moves from all available disciplines, including newly added Sambo, Karate and Greco-Roman Wrestling, to become a true mixed martial artist.
  • Expansive Online Play - Encourage camaraderie by forming fight camps and leagues to participate in ranking and champion tracking systems. Join forces, train like real-life UFC fighters and go online to compete against other camps in the virtual UFC world.
  • Career Mode - An intuitive "Game Is Watching You" system tracks every action and uses this information to dictate in-game commentary, opponent intelligence and overall career progression. On the quest to reach the UFC Hall of Fame, enhance the Career Mode experience through online co-op sparring sessions with respective fight camps and form unique personalities for created fighters to increase their cred, popularity and sponsorships based on interactions during weigh-ins and interviews.
  • Title and Tile Defense Modes - Fight through one of UFC's five official weight classes to earn and defend a championship belt in Title Mode. In Title Defense Mode, a fighter's condition remains persistent, with milestone challenges built in along the way.
  • Tournament Mode - Explore up to 16-player individual and team tournaments within one system. Utilize UFC fighters or created fighters and select from arcade-style play with repeated fighter appearances or experience simulation play with fighter representation limited to one appearance.

  • Screenshots / Images
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