UFC 3 Beta Offers Limited, But Promising, Fun

  • Playstation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Sports
UFC 3's beta doesn't offer much, but what it does show off is very impressive
UFC 3's beta doesn't offer much, but what it does show off is very impressive EA

UFC 3 is currently in beta, ahead of its Feb. 2 release, and Player.One had the opportunity to step inside the octagon and put the latest MMA game through its paces. While the beta is fairly pared down in terms of gameplay options, it does show there is a lot to be excited about in EA Sports’ latest.

The UFC 3 beta only includes three different modes: a quick online mode, a quick one-off fight against a computer mode and UFC Ultimate Team. Additionally, only the Lightweight division is included. This means you can fight with big names like Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz, but not others like Demetrious Johnson and Daniel Cormier or women like Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg. I understand not wanting to give away the entire game in a beta, but even one more division would have helped extend my interest. As it stands now, seeing everything the beta has to offer takes around an hour, maybe even less.

Once in a fight, it’s clear how smooth UFC 3 can be. Combat is fast and intense, with most matches ending in the first round. Once the bell rings, fighter movement is a major highlight. Thanks to a revolutionary new motion capture system developed for the game, UFC 3 fighters shuffle, skip and move around just like their real-life counterparts. It’s a little thing, but being able to punch while on the move goes a long way in helping fights flow more naturally and look more realistic. This in-ring gameplay shows the shine we can expect when all the other weight classes unlock at launch.

Submission finishes are also exciting, if you can lock one in. The system manages to feel like a struggle between two people, even if you’re just moving a few bars across a screen. Advancing a submission all the way to the last step and getting your opponent to tap out feels just as rewarding as landing a huge knock-out blow. The only problem with the submissions is how it keeps your focus entirely on the UI. The fighters are going through the motions of fighting to lock in each move, but you don’t get to see that. If you do take the time to actually watch the submission unfold, you’re either going to have your move broken out of, or you’ll be the one tapping in no time.

The online mode seems to work well. I fought a handful of people online and matches were made quickly with no lag while playing. I don’t know if ranked online matches will run as smoothly, since that isn’t included in the beta.

Then we get to UFC Ultimate Team. This mode is very problematic, while also not being that big of an issue (if you avoid it). EA is back to its money-hungry, greedy practices with Ultimate Team. Every fighter, move, skill and perk you need to be successful is locked behind loot boxes. That means you’ll need to either grind through challenges or spend tons of money to have a competitive team. We’ve already seen this with Star Wars Battlefront 2, but EA obviously hasn’t learned the lesson.

Still, all these loot boxes are locked to the Ultimate Team mode. You can still play online, get in ranked matches and play the single-player mode without spending an extra dime on UFC 3. If you want to see the end of loot boxes in gaming, DON’T SPEND MONEY ON THEM. Yes, this means your Ultimate Team might not be competitive compared to the person that dropped $2,000 on loot boxes, but it will send a message to EA that pay-to-win models are ruining gaming. If nobody buys boxes, EA will have to do something different in the future.

So what do you think? Are you interested in trying out the new UFC game from EA? Who is your favorite competitor in the UFC right now? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

EA Sports UFC 3
UFC 3 Review: Even The Best Fighters Aren't Perfect
UFC 3 is amazing to watch and fun to play, but there are still a few problems that hold it back from perfection.
  • Amazing graphics and gameplay
  • Presentation feels just like the real thing
  • Framerate issues after long play sessions
  • Career mode doesn't go far enough
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