We think it's fair to say that UFC Undisputed 2010 is the most fun we've ever had with well built, topless men. Not that we make it a regular habit, you understand.
Not only does the new instalment up the man count significantly (up 30 to over 100 fighters) but the act of twatting them in the face is even more visceral, tactical and authentic. Oh yes.
THQ's last UFC instalment, though only 12 months old, is still one of the most enjoyable combat games of the generation. Developer Yuke's absolutely nailed the combination of satisfying punching-and-kicking combat mixed with strategic on-the-floor grappling. The result was a game that was fantastically authentic to the actual sport - and brilliant fun too.
For the obligatory 2010 version, the publisher could've easily have slapped a new lick of paint on its predecessor and we'd most likely have run to the shops to buy a copy. But it hasn't. In fact, the sheer amount of content poured into Undisputed 2010 is quite impressive for a 'mere annual update'.
2010 adds entirely new game modes such as Tournament, Event and Title Defense. In addition, it offers a huge and stupidly in-depth character creation mode, switchable southpaw stances, new fighters and a cinematic career mode that - although it feels designed almost entirely to sell ESPN subscriptions - offers a fantastic look at what life might be like when you're carrying 20st of muscle.
Outside of online and multiplayer fights, the latter is UFC's meatiest offering. It has you starting out in the World Fighting Alliance, which is a bit like the MMA world's version of the Football Conference. Just like real life, you'll kick off your career fighting plumber-by-day-karate-expert-by-night fighters until you rack up enough wins to gain the attention of the big boys - namely UFC overlord Dana White.
The personalities play a big part in the career mode and although most of the liberally presented cut-scenes are as dodgy as Del Boy's sat navs, Undisputed 2010 does a fantastic job of presenting the media storm that comes part and parcel with the sport.
As your custom fighter climbs the ranks he'll appear in post-match interviews, on chat shows and in pre-fight weigh-ins, where you can chose to 'respect' or 'disrespect' your opponent. This is just one of many RPG elements in the single-player game, including improved training sessions that can now be automated for those that want to jump straight to the action.
Lover and a fighter
Where the 2010 game really makes strides, however, is in its many tactical improvements over last year's already superb fighting system. Combat's now more strategic thanks to the introduction of a Fight Night-style leaning system, which enables you to opt for a counter-attacking strategy involving catching your opponents off guard with a quick dodge.
It's a simple feature that has a big effect on the depth and accuracy of the game. Another addition that does the same is the arrival of fence interaction; which allows you to pound you opponent against the bottom or jump off it to escape a beating.
Sudden, random knock outs also seem significantly less prevalent in 2010; which means more often than not you'll actually have to fight for your win - rather than hoping for that lucky punch on your dominating opponent's chin.
Grappling floor gameplay has seen even bigger improvements thanks to the addition of posturing, which allows you to better position your fighter for attack mid-grapple, though risking counter-attack from your opponent in the process. It's a fantastic risk-reward system that really adds depth to multiplayer bouts.