Crave announces UFC: Tapout 2

Crave will be bringing the sequel to its Ultimate Fighting Championship game to the Xbox.

Crave Entertainment has announced that the sequel to UFC: Tapout is currently being developed-- exclusively for the Microsoft Xbox in Japan--by Dream Factory. UFC: Tapout 2 is the sequel to the reality combat game released earlier this year.

According to Crave, Tapout 2 will feature a completely overhauled core game engine. "With the changes in the engine, an enhanced AI, upgraded career mode, and new fighting moves, we're practically putting the gamer right in the middle of The Octagon," said Rob Sandberg, senior producer at Crave Entertainment. "Tapout 2 will look and play noticeably different from any previous version, and I think fighting game fans will be very impressed."

This new engine will allow for fighter models with more points of articulation, as well as much more fluid and lifelike animations. The new engine also supports real-time mesh deformation, letting developers create skin that moves and ripples when fighters flex their muscles. Also introduced in Tapout 2 is the ability for AI fighters to taunt and fake out players, hopefully throwing off their timing.

UFC: Tapout 2 will feature an enhanced roster of real-life mixed martial arts superstars, the most of any UFC game to date. Confirmed on the roster are UFC notables Tito "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Ortiz, Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell, Carlos Newton, Pat Miletich, and B.J. Penn. Released screenshots also show off character models for "Big Daddy" Gary Goodridge, "King of the Streets" Marco Ruas, Bas Rutten, and Jeremy Horn. One of the new fighters making his debut in UFC: Tapout 2 is Middleweight Champion Murilo Bustamante.

UFC: Tapout 2 also focuses on improved fighter AI. In-game characters behave much like their real-life counterparts, with many new strike combos and grappling maneuvers, as well as new counters and reversals--thus, the CPU AI should be much more aggressive this time around. Rounding out the new additions to the fighting system is the inclusion of new positions for the fighters to engage in, including the standing clinch, side mounts, and half guards.

Returning to UFC: Tapout 2 is the tournament mode, which allows for eight human or CPU-controlled fighters to battle in open weight free-for-alls. The career mode has been expanded--players can now create custom fighters from the ground up, with a variety of body types, clothing, faces, and hairstyles to choose from. By sparring with CPU-controlled opponents, players will be able to develop their fighter as desired, choosing from techniques drawing from 10 different fighting styles. The returning training mode lets players experiment with each fighter's individual abilities. Also available are the championship mode and the challenging legend mode, in which players need to defend their belt against seven of the UFC's all-time greatest fighters.

Visual improvements in UFC: Tapout 2 will also be made to the game's presentation so that the game more closely resembles the UFC pay-per-view broadcasts. The game will feature an improved interface, enhanced sound effects, and a new music soundtrack with a customizable playlist, including the ability for players to rip their own music to the Xbox hard drive. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available. UFC: Tapout 2 is currently scheduled to ship in November.

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