Couple weeks back, Senior Producer Matt McEnerney and Creative Director Carlos Giffoni from 345 Games sat down with us to discuss their newly developed fighting game Bellator: MMA Onslaught, a direct competitor to UFC Undisputed.
Without getting too deeply into the differences between the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fighting leagues, MMA simply focuses on light and featherweight fighters who have to earn their shot at title fight, rather than being selected by an executive board. With this in mind, Bellator strives to deliver this core experience to players over the PSN and Xbox LIVE networks.
Closely resembling the UFC league in fighting techniques and styles, fighters are in a caged ring and use their skills to try and beat their opponent into submission. In Bellator, this is accomplished by striking or grappling until the stamina bar is reduced enough to go in for a knock-out or a final take down. Whether you're grappling on the floor or standing at the ready to kick someone in their face, Bellator feels ready to take on anything you can throw at it. The controls are simple to learn, yet can be a challenge to master when facing off against the right opponent. Best of all they are intuitive and don't feel forced.
Every fight earns you experience points which you can use to unlock moves or skills and assign them to your fighter. But don't think you'll get away with maxing out your strongest skills and dominating every single match. Every stat has a maximum cap of 75 percent. This is to help even the playing field, and keep players from abusing the stat system. As Carlos told us, "We want everyone to feel like they can take on even the toughest opponent and win."
Another thing Carlos told us -- and the rest of the team was adamant about -- is their willingness to listen to the fans. Their goal is to support Bellator long after its release. They want to make certain fans have input into the future of the game and encourage everyone with something to say, whether good or bad, to contact them through the game forums on the official site.
If you're still hesitant to take the plunge, Matt informed us anyone who created a character for the demo would be able to import it into the full version once purchased. This is becoming more common with newer releases, and I'm very happy to see developers embrace this idea with open arms.
Bellator also features the ability to take your customized characters online and go head-to-head against other players, but the fact they will be announcing top players in the leaderboards during official televised matches really impressed me. If you're intimidated by the complex controls of Undisputed and are looking for a solid fighter with intuitive gameplay which doesn't sacrifice quality, I highly recommend downloading the demo and giving a shot at the title when Bellator: MMA Onslaught becomes available in July.