Hands-onUFC: Tapout 2

We got a good look at Crave's UFC: Tapout 2, which will ship exclusively for the Xbox next March.

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Ultimate Fighting Championship fans should be pleased to hear that production is going well on the latest UFC title for the Xbox. We recently had a chance to play the game and ask a couple of the team members working on UFC: Tapout 2 a few questions. Here's what we found.

UFC: Tapout 2 is nearing completion, and even in its current stage of development, it already looks quite good. The game will feature a roster of 43 fighters that includes favorites like Tito Ortiz, Chuck Lidell, Matt Hughes, Jens Pulver, and Carlos Newton. The game also features several different gameplay modes, including exhibition, tournament, and career modes. The game's career mode and especially its create-a-fighter mode have seen some additions that will raise the number of possible character variations to 149,292.

Fans of the original UFC Tapout will find that the gameplay mechanics in Tapout 2 have been largely unchanged. For those that have never experienced a UFC game, UFC Tapout 2 can best be described as an ultrarealistic fighting game. You can strike with every limb and execute various holds and grappling moves, all in an attempt to either knock your opponent out or cause your opponent to submit. Experienced UFC fans will be happy to learn that the designers at Dream Factory have finally added side mounts, which make some of the grappling moves a little more realistic.

Visually, UFC: Tapout 2 is already quite impressive. The character models in the game are incredibly detailed and feature high-resolution skin textures that come complete with the same tattoos, wrinkles, and scars that the real-life fighters have. The development team is also using a real-time mesh deformation system, which makes it so the fighters' muscles even flex appropriately. Plus, a new dynamic lighting system has been added that enables effects like self-shadowing so that the fighters now look accurately shaded by each other. Last but not least, the designers have also included a new particle system for the sweat and blood, which now splatters a little more realistically than in the previous game.

New in the audio department is the ability for Xbox owners to select their own ring entrance music. The producers of UFC: Tapout 2 wanted to give fans the ability to use the Xbox's CD ripping feature to create a custom ring entrance soundtrack. Bruce Buffer, Big John McCarthy, and a few of the other UFC referees will be providing some voice work for the game to give it an extra bit of authenticity.

While we were impressed with what we got to see and play of UFC: Tapout 2, we'll have to wait for a newer build of the game before commenting further. Check back for more on UFC: Tapout 2 soon.

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