EA UFC 3: Official Review


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William Reat Noch and Ryan Fortune review the new EA UFC 3 game, released on the 2nd of February.

What’s new?:

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The biggest difference between UFC 3 and its predecessors in undoubtedly the striking. EA’s “RPM Tech Striking” allows for a much more challenging and realistic game play. Players cannot afford to spam jabs and body kicks like they did in the previous game. The margin for error is much smaller and so is the tolerance for damage. Therefore, one player could be getting beat up for an entire round but landing the right strike at the right time will get you an instant knockout. Head movement is greatly improved and now done using the right joystick, allowing players to slip punches while they move.
EA has added plenty of fight modes which is great. Unfortunately the highly demanded Pride mode is not available, not surprising considering how many fighters outside of the UFC would have to be added. The player can chose between a striking contest in stand and bang or he can test his grappling skills with the submission showdown. He also has the possibility of creating special conditions for a fight, such as evening the stats between two characters and deciding how much endurance and power the player can have over the CPU. It makes or a much more fun and tailor-made experience.

Career Mode:

The career mode has been completely revamped. The player is now playing this mode with a clear objective in sight, becoming the GOAT. In order to achieve this, he must break a certain number of UFC records such as most titles defenses, knockouts or PPV buys.

The player starts the career mode fighting in the fictional WFA (World Fighting Alliance) promotion. After two consecutive victories, Dana White’s LFAF (Looking For A Fight) crew comes in to scout your fighter. Winning the fight impressively will directly get the player a UFC contract, or he will be brought in the UFC as a TUF competitor. Once he is in the UFC, the player will be signing 5 fight contracts in which he will be climbing the rankings as a rookie, prospect, contender, superstar and finally legend before eventually becoming the greatest of all time. In order to improve his attributes, the player has the choice to plan have his training camp at a variety of gyms, where different moves can be learned. Promoting your fights is also a factor to becoming the GOAT, this can be done through social media posts, attending press conferences or UFC events. Eventually, the player will be campaigning for a super fight against the champion from the weight class above. However, the promotional aspect remains limited as it can only be seen through the player’s social media. Cut-scenes for press conferences and weigh ins would have brought the immersion to another level.

The career mode does a much better job at keeping a realistic ranking. In UFC 2, by the time you became the champion, the division’s top 5 would consist of fictional created characters. In UFC 3 this isn’t the case but it has its own disadvantages. First, the champions never change, Michael Bisping was defending his belt at UFC 300. Because of that, many current fighters end up their career with impossible records, Carlos Condit was 65-20 at the end of my career mode.

Overall, the career mode is a big improvement and has replay value with the induction of legendary, where fight replays and fighter HUD are disabled. However, the difficulty remains in pro which prevents a seasoned gamer from having a real challenge.

Ultimate Team:

In UFC 3 Ultimate Team, you have the option to have 4 fighters on your “team”. This can be a lightweight, heavyweight, middleweight and women’s bantamweight fighters. With the “Champions edition” you can get a option of a gold variant/ Champion Ultimate Team item of Conor McGregor, Demetrious Johnson, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva. You can only choose one but is not the only Ultimate Team perk you get with the “Champions Edition”. Here is what you get with “Champions Edition”. 3 days of early access Choice of gold Champion item 5 Premium Packs (at start) 500 UFC points 20 Premium Packs (over 10 weeks, so 2 per week).You also have the standard options of “Single Player Championships” or “Ultimate Championships” (Online mode only). However, they recently added “Solo Challenges” which has  3 options, “Getting Started”, “Seasonal” or “Skill Challenges”. What you do is  a variety of challenges for rewards, which could be Coins, Tokens or Packs. You use these to get rewards in the “Store”, such as moves, perks, power ups, consumables, etc. Unfortunately, you can get the same item multiple times. They have 3 standard “Packs” in the store. Basic, Premium and Consumable. They also have on offer packs, which they will have throughout the year, and near UFC events. The other way you can spend coins is throughout “Item Scouting”, where you are allowed one daily search of 5 random Ultimate items, and you can either buy them with coins, or unlock them with UFC points. Items are a lot more expensive using this method. One negative point of Ultimate Team is that you can abuse the “Pay To Win” Format (not a surprise considering it’s EA). What I mean by this, is where you spend a lot of UFC points with real money on the game, to get the best moves for your fighters, instead of gradually saving up for your wanted items, you can just open loads of packs to eventually get them, to get a head start in front of other players, this is a problem every year in Ultimate Team.

The best aspects of UFC 3:

The new “RPM Tech Striking” in my opinion is one of the best things in game play for UFC 3. It allows you to be able to slip, dodge and counter a lot more effectively and smoothly. The “RPM Tech Striking” is way better than the striking system used in UFC 2. It also has a way better damage system, were it looks smoother and is more realistic. The combinations in the game play are great, and it works like a multiplier (if you have good stamina) the second or third punch is more effective than the first, making it more realistic. The stamina system is also highly improved, with players having to be more efficient with there cardio. Getting rocked, dropped or taking strikes to the body losses cardio significantly. Also, players experience a dump in cardio when they start grappling after a long striking exchange. Career mode is way better than the previous version on UFC 2, and this is one of the better aspects of the game, however it does have some negatives (see below in the “Bad Aspects” section, and if you want in depth analysis of career mode, look above). Tournament mode, is great on UFC 3. Tournament mode can be a Online or offline mode where you can have a maximum 8 bracket size tournament with your friends, or CPU. This can allow players to relive fights that unfortunately have not happened (Jones vs Johnson, Silva vs St.Pierre, Cyborg vs Rousey) and fights that have not yet happened (Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson, Poirier vs Gaethje, Romero vs Rockhold) in a simulated format, or played out. There is a bunch of settings that you can choose from the make “Tournament Mode” perfect for you.

The bad aspects of UFC 3:

Even though we have credited career mode, it has it cons. For example, after a while the game becomes unrealistic. Fighting Carlos Condit for the 7th time? Having Stephen Thompson becoming 92-40-1? It can get awful repetitive, especially if you don’t retire straight after you become the Greatest Of All Time. Also, UFC 3 does not allow you to go to press conferences, weigh ins or open workouts, you only see short videos from “UFC Minute”. I feel like they missed a lot of opportunities to take career mode to the next level, it is good, but not great. Submissions are not great on UFC 3, they are too good. Players will find it hard to get out of submissions, as the player doing the submission has a huge advantage. However, I do like the “Finish The Fight” submissions, such as the “Mighty Wizz Bar” (Demetrious Johnson’s armbar over Ray Borg at UFC 216).


This is TheMMATakeover’s review of EA UFC 3! What are your personal thoughts on the game? Do you have the “Standard” or “Champions” edition?

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