EA Sports UFC 3 takes you back to the octagon
Step back into the octagon with ‘The Notorious’ UFC Lightweight champion Conor McGregor, and more than 230 UFC superstars in EA Sports UFC 3. This mixed martial arts fighting game is developed by EA Canada, and takes the UFC experience to the next level on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
On the road to creating the ultimate UFC fighting game, the team from Vancouver at EA Canada focused on creating cutting-edge gameplay and adding massive depth to the many game modes in the game. With a new G.O.A.T. Career Mode, a new suite of multiplayer modes, and the incorporation of Real Player Motion Tech—EA Sports UFC 3 makes knockouts more dynamic and realistic than ever before.
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Take your game to the next level with tight gameplay
It’s evident that EA Sports has put a considerable amount of time and effort into redefining the gameplay mechanics of EA Sports UFC 3. There is a strong emphasis on timing and movement that just wasn’t present in UFC 2. Now, your range and angle go a long way in determining the amount of power you have in your kick or punch.
The controls have changed somewhat compared to UFC 2, but that is to be expected since changes to the striking system have been made. There is a bit of a learning curve to EA Sports UFC 3. So, it may take some players more time than others to master moves due to the sometimes involved input combinations required to full of certain moves.
For the most part you will use the shoulder and face buttons to pull of moves. This allows you to use the left analog stick to move around the octagon and the right analog stick to be used for bobbing. This allows you to dodge and duck to setup a strike at the same time.
I found that this new change to gameplay gave more life to a fight. Now, it’s not just throwing punches at each other while standing toe-to-toe. For example, if you try and get a hit in while falling away, it now opens up the possibility to getting a potential knockout.
Your stamina bar plays an important role in your success
Your player’s stamina plays a big part in your success in EA Sports UFC 3. Throwing random punches or kicks, isn’t going to win you any fights. Instead, your stamina bar will drain quickly making you a prime target to your opponent.
It’s important that you carefully read your opponent’s movement and plan your attacks accordingly. Unfortunately, EA Sports UFC 3’s grappling system is virtually unchanged from its predecessor. You still will have to use the right analog stick to transition into various moves and the submission system mini-games takes away from the overall immersion of the fight.
I found that my computer controlled opponents to be fairly overpowered with submissions if I had the skill level set to anything above rookie. Needless to say it was frustrating at times to say the least!
An expanded career mode
EA Sports certainly went to town when adding new features to EA Sports UFC 3. Now, if feels as if there are virtually unlimited ways you can create a fight within Fight Now. While mini-modes like Stand and Bang, Submission Showdown, and Knockout Mode are great, the new features within G.O.A.T. Career Mode and Ultimate Team are what makes EA Sports UFC 3 shine.
The career mode has been greatly expanded and is a complete 180 from what UFC 2 offered. Now, you must be successful both inside and outside of the octagon. Your career begins in the WFA, where you will have your first several fights. And, eventually, Dana White brings his “Lookin for a Fight” series to the WFA. If you are able to impress Dana with your skills, you can find yourself moving on up to the UFC right away.
Alternatively, if you fail to impress, an impressive winning streak or an appearance on The Ultimate Fighter can land you that first big contract. In order to be successful once you make it to the UFC, you’ll need to master the ability to balance everything on your plate. You’ll have to find time to train, learn new fighting techniques, go to promotional events, and more.
The Ultimate Team experience redefined
To be honest, Ultimate Team in UFC 2 didn’t offer much in the way of replay value and that was largely due to the face that it was very barebones. Luckily, EA Sports has fixed that issue in EA Sports UFC 3. Now you can collect real-life fighters in addition to move and power-up cards.
Your fighters will start out with basic moves and you can build them up by using the cards you get from purchased packs. Although, I must admit that it does feel a little bit weird as the nature of the sport is a one-on-one battle. Unlike Madden where you play as a team, EA Sports UFC 3’s Ultimate Team feels more like you are building a group of fighters.
Unfortunately, microtransactions are part of Ultimate Team. Though this is the only place in the game where you will find microtransactions. The good thing is that there are enough challenges in the game to earn in-game currency. The bad thing is that there is still a path to a pay-to-win scenario in the game.
Even though EA Sports UFC 3 is still using the Ignite graphic engine, it looks absolutely stunning. The likeness and mannerisms of each fighter compared to his or her real life counterpart is incredible. Each on screen fighter is impeccably detailed and animated—right down to the exact placement of Conor McGregor’s tattoo.
In addition to these gorgeous graphics and realistic animations, you have the ability to create your very own male or female fighter. With the ability to alter pretty much everything about your fighter including fight gear, visual appearance, and fighting style—you can let your imagination run wild.
Jon Anik and Joe Rogan provide some of the best commentary in a sports game, the blow-by-blow coverage of the on-screen action is shockingly fantastic. Coupled with the roaring crows, and riveting sounds of each blow you deal to your opponent—it all adds up to reaffirm EA Sports UFC 3 as the most realistic UFC game available.
It’s clearly evident that EA Sports UFC 3 is a far more accomplished and a completed package that its predecessor. Not only does it do a better job of recreating the true authentic UFC experience, its offers a full selection of game modes that will keep you busy with this game for a long time to come.
With a roster of over 230 athletes, the ability to create your own male or female fighter, an abundance of gameplay modes, fantastic visuals, and simplified gameplay—EA Sports UFC 3 is a UFC fan’s dream come true.
+ Amazing visuals
+ Astonishing amount of playable characters
+ Recreates the UFC experience flawlessly
+ Great new gameplay modes that will keep you coming back
+ In-depth controls that are easy to learn and master
– Submission hold mini-game can become confusing at times
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5