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UFC 3: 4 reasons why this is one of the best sports games you’ll ever play

Brutal, bloody and brilliant - EA's latest cage-fighting epic is an absolute triumph

Ever fancied yourself in the Octagon? No, thought not.

However, for those after all the blood-thirsty thrills from the safety of your sofa, then EA’s UFC 3 is the next best thing.


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In fact, it’s so brutal that squint your eyes and you’ll think you’re watching the real thing.

Here’s why it’s worth taking UFC 3 for a few rounds – we guarantee you’ll be knocked for six.

McGregor is super quick one the game – and deals massive damage if you don’t keep your guard up

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McGregor is super quick one the game – and deals massive damage if you don’t keep your guard up

Visuals

UFC 3 is powered by Frostbite – the same engine behind FIFA 18 (and the upcoming FIFA 19). Only here it’s arguably put to better use.

Character models are insanely detailed while animation, gameplay and framerate is silky smooth.

Muscles tense when blows land, sweat trickles down faces, eyebrows burst and send blood splattering on to the mat… the level of detail really is mind-blowing.

Visually UFC 3 is laps and bounds more impressive than FIFA 18

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Visually UFC 3 is laps and bounds more impressive than FIFA 18

Same, too, goes for the sound design. It’s hard not to wince when you hear a front kick connect to the face or an arm break in a submission move.

It’ll be some time before we see this visual quality come to FIFA, but on this evidence, there’s a lot to look forward to.

Gameplay

Obviously, at the heart of the game is the combat system, which – thankfully – is  a real triumph.

There’s a fantastic amount of control you have over your fighter – and they’re as responsive as you would want them to be.

You can even move your character’s head independently of general movement – allowing you to fake, dodge and weave.

The damage model is very sophisticated with cuts, bruises and broken bones all modeled

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The damage model is very sophisticated with cuts, bruises and broken bones all modeled

To help keep things accessible, there are different fighting styles – each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Strikers, for example, are fast but are vulnerable to up-close-and-personal attacks.

Wrestlers and brawlers, meanwhile, will look to wear you down with big blows before trying to get you on the floor and force a submission.


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To keep fights tense and tactical, a damage and stamina system is in full view throughout a bout.

Charging in will tire you out and leave you vulnerable to attacks. You’ve been warned.

Customisation 

This is where UFC 3 really comes into its own.

The character creation tool is an absolute joy – and allows for a breathtaking amount of detail.

You can even scan in your own likeness via EA’s Game Face – something we really want to see in the next FIFA.

You can your hands on the new Fifa for free, honestly!

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FIFA 18 used Frostbite but looks nowhere near as good as UFC 3

For the football fans among you – you can create your favourite stars.

We created a (albeit botch job) Cristiano Ronaldo and put him against Conor McGregor – who then broke his arm.

Better stick to football, Ronnie.

Multiplayer and modes

There’s plenty of stuff to do in UFC 3, but the most talked-about feature is the Career Mode.

This sees you fight your way through the ranks to become the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of all time). Along the way, you’ve got to manage everything from social media, to pre-fight prep and training.

It does feel slightly underdeveloped when compared with FIFA 18’s brilliant Career Mode, but fight fans should still be pleased.

Character models are on the whole far more advanced than FIFA 18’s

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Character models are on the whole far more advanced than FIFA 18’s

Elsewhere, the UFC equivalent of Ultimate Team returns – and sees you pick four fighters then battle others online.

There is a lootbox mechanic in there, where you have the option to get more powerful versions of your fighters, so be warned.

Arguably the most fun can be had locally – it’s one-v-one couch combat where UFC 3 really shines.

For the older gamers among you, you’ll definitely be taken back to playing Knockout Kings against your mates / younger sibling.

UFC 3 is out now for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.