UFC Undisputed 3 is a project that contains 5 years' worth of continued development. When you consider that THQ used motion-capture technology, complete with "ping-pong-ball suits" and the actual UFC fighters themselves throwing punches and kicks whilst wearing them, it's no wonder the movement looks so good.
More fighters are available this time, and you can play as any one of the familiar UFC faces. Player entrances have been added, complete with the option to customize how you enter the stage. Whether you're side-stepping in the octagon or are wrestling on the floor, the animation is so fluid I was reminded of how water flows in a stream. The animation seems almost seamless, and is quite realistic; an obvious result of the motion-capture tech used to help develop the game. New camera angles enable you to get up-close and personal without glitching out into a wall or leaving you with an awkward view; you can achieve optimal viewpoints as you beat your opponent to a pulp.
New moves have been added, including soccer kicks, knee downs, and the ever-brutal face-stomp. With the new feature of an optional control scheme for ground transitions, new users will have the opportunity to ease in to the game play without the urge to hurl the controller at the screen in frustration. Quarter-circles, both minor and major, have been replaced with a simple up or down, enabling the newbie players to get in on the action, though naturally veterans will still have access to the original transitions and control schemes if they wish.
In addition, a new submission system has been developed, where you literally try to overtake your opponent on the borders of a simple octagon shape that appears on-screen. You're one colour, your opponent another, and you must 'chase' them on the outskirts of the octagon and essentially 'catch' them. If you manage to do so, you succeed, if you don't, you fail. When you've gone through this phase of the take-down, there is no doubt left as to whether you've succeeded or failed in your attempt to overtake your opponent.
Pride Fighting Championship is another feature that has been added, representing the early days of UFC. This will offer keen players more opportunity for toe-to-toe combat.
Available January 2012 on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, UFC Undisputed 3 will be an experience that, according to UFC fighter Dana White, will be an experience that "truly takes fans inside the octagon".