UFC Undisputed 2012, Chuck Liddell Enter the E3 Octagon

By Ryan Winslett in Previews/Impressions
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm
It's gonna get real
I'm something of a Mixed Martial Arts fan, so when THQ offered me the chance to speak with former UFC light heavyweight champ Chuck Liddell during last week's E3 event, I jumped at the chance.


The developer took a bit of extra time between it's previous MMA title, UFC Undisputed 2010, and the upcoming Undisputed 2012, set to release in January of next year. According to a closed-door showing of the title at E3, the goal was to turn the newest MMA fighter into, well, a better fighting game.


Find out about some of the expected changes, as well as Liddell's thoughts on the upcoming game and the future of the sport, after the jump.


The voice of veteran UFC announcer Mike Goldberg greeted members of the press during a short video shown off at E3, introducing everyone to the upcoming Undisputed 2012. Breaking from the traditional sports game cycle of one title every year, THQ opted not to release a 2011 edition of it successful fighting game, choosing instead to put in an extra year's worth of work to fine-tune the gameplay and add additional modes.


The development team apparently spent a lot of time talking to fans of the series in order to find out what they liked and wanted to see changed in the upcoming title. In an effort to make Undisputed 2012 a true fighter, though, apparently they also spent some time with some of the biggest Tekken and Street Fighter brawlers on the planet. The goal was to keep Undisputed true to its technical roots while crafting a game that could stand toe to toe with some of today's best fighters; to make it deep, but also accessible to the uninitiated.


While I wasn't able to get my hands on the actual game, this all certainly sounds great in theory. I don't feel too bad about not getting to play the new Undisputed yet, though, as even "The Iceman" Chuck Liddell has yet to take it for a spin.


"They haven't let me play the new one yet, but it looks really cool," Liddell said. "I've played the others but, you know, I'm not very good at it. My son kicks my butt."


Liddell said he, like everyone else in the game, was brought in for body scanning and motion capture.


"That was basically my involvement," he said. "But from what I've seen it looks very realistic. It's really cool to see what they're doing with the game."


Liddell was in the theater during the Undisputed 2012 trailer screening and said he's excited for some of the upcoming changes.

"I'm glad they're including Pride and that new way to pull off submissions looks great," he said. "I'm excited to play it. It looks like they put in a lot of work."


The inclusion of Pride is perhaps the biggest Undisputed announcement so far. The sport, along with all its top fighters and rule sets, will be included in the 2012 game.


Also a nice addition is the new submission system Liddell referred to. In previous iterations, players had to quickly rotate the analog stick to pull off a submission. There was no way of telling who was winning until the hold was broken or a fighter tapped.


The new system, while a bit invasive, certainly takes the guess work out of the process. Now a mini octagon appears on screen with two colored bars representing each player--one for the submitter and one for the guy getting his arm ripped off. The size and speed of each bar is determined by the fighter's stats and what sort of damage they've taken during the current fight. The defender's job it to keep their bar away from the submitter by guiding it around the indide of the octagon for a set period of time. Fail, and it's time to tap out.


Also promised is a greater influence on finishing the fight, recreating those big moments when a player has to go to work on their opponent during a moment of weakness. This will be accompanied by "more moves than ever," meaning Undisputed 2012 is shaping up to be a pretty complete package. Given the meteoric success of MMA (And especially the UFC) in the past decade, Liddell said he's not surprised.


"The sport's just going to keep getting bigger and bigger," he said. "It's going to keep on growing."

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