And, while the story-based campaign and leveling system provide plenty of thrills, it takes about 50 hours to actually get to the real shit. The endgame is where I can now choose between playing as a sniper, a bomber, or a non-specific character who can do a bit of everything, and join up with other super-achievers to take down a tougher gang called the Black Tusk.
Even with simplified grappling and submission controls carried over from the last edition, EA Sports UFC 3 is probably the least pick-up-and-play game in the sports genre. It takes real dedication, and understanding of one's fighter, to draw out the game's virtues. But they can be found in the anticlimax of a career bout that ends in a fraction of the time spent training for it. For those who can take a staggering punch and remain focused on their game plan, EA Sports UFC 3 is as close as it comes to professional fighting, without the bruises and welts.
Need For Speed Payback doesn't do many favors for itself. It's a fun racing game whose flashy story would be fine if I felt like I was building a blinged-out career worthy of it. Instead, I felt driven toward pure stats upgrades, heedless of what the car was or what it looked like.