MMA fight fans, get ready for some hard fighting action this summer as 345 Games and Spike Games prepare to bring you Bellator: MMA Onslaught. Scheduled for release on both the Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network, this downloadable game will feature at least 8 of Bellator’s premiere fighters as well as the ability to create your own fighter to participate in true Bellator tournaments to see who has earned the right to challenge the champion for the belt.
Meeting with members from the 345 Games development team and Bellator fighter Michael Chandler, I was able to play a few rounds of the game, currently still in development, at the 2012 E3 Expo. This new MMA fighting game has a more arcade like feel to the pacing and design of the game but still delivers heavy doses of action and adrenaline. Players are encouraged to continue playing Bellator through a progressive ranking system that caps out at a maximum level of 64. Choosing from four base fighting styles - MMA, Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai - players can earn new move sets and combos through leveling up in training modes and in online tournaments.
While the gameplay may be more arcade like than other MMA games on the market, there is still a varying amount of strategy that goes into every round. There are two meters that the player has to keep an eye on – the health meter and the stamina meter. The health meter speaks for itself; when that bar is depleted its lights out time. But the stamina bad is just as important – and I found that out the hard way. Playing a few rounds of the game at the 345 games booth against another member of the press I was able to come out on top using an aggressive style of fighting. But the next few rounds belonged to him as my stamina dwindled and left me open for a Flash KO. Indeed, as your stamina goes it becomes harder to pull off combos and moves and performing and escaping from submissions becomes extremely problematic.
As for the gameplay, for being an arcade style fighting game, it is very intuitive. There are no secret or difficult combos to learn. In fact, if you are familiar with games such as Tekken and Street Fighter, the fighting in Bellator: MMA Onslaught should come easy to you. If you are not an avid fighter, then there are training bouts you can learn from and help build up your fighting prowess. Once you attain certain levels, you can acquire new skills and moves to tailor your player to your specific style of play. The team behind Bellator certainly took the varying play styles of different gamers into account when developing this game. As such, depending on feedback from players after launch, the team at 345 Games plans to release regular patches and DLC content specific to what fans of the game want to see.
For MMA fans, Bellator: MMA Onslaught is definitely a game they should keep their eyes open for. For just $15 – Yes, fifteen dollars is what they told me, this game certainly seems like it would be well worth the price, especially when it plays like a game more than twice that amount. Looks for Bellator: MMA Onslaught sometime during the summer for Xbox LIVE Arcade and the PlayStation Network.