During GDC, Deadliest Warrior publisher 345 Games showed off its latest licensed project, a mixed martial arts game based on the "Bellator" MMA organization, which can be seen on 345 partner Spike TV. 345 informed me that the major hook of Bellator is that fighters advance through single-elimination tournaments rather than having bouts chosen.

In general, however, the idea is that you don't have to be a person who knows the nuances of MMA organizations, or an armchair MMA strategist, to understand the gameplay of Bellator MMA Onslaught, as it's designed with simplicity and pick-up-and-play qualities in mind.

In the demo I saw, punches and kicks were mapped to one button each (left and right punch, left and right kick), and grappling maneuvers are mapped to the right stick, allowing you to reach out and then push the right stick in different directions to perform different holds, attempt to get out from a hold, etc. -- the technical stuff of MMA fighting, turned into a simple mechanic.

The version I played was considered early -- the TV-style UI was not yet present, and developer Kung Fu Factory and 345 had yet to even decide on all the mechanics to be included. The final game is due this summer.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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