Electronic Arts start their relationship with the Ultimate Fighting Championships and have released the much hyped UFC video game. EA Soorts UFC review after the jump.
Taking over from THQ, EA Sports have finally released their new UFC game for both the PS4 and XBOX One. Although this isn’t their first game to feature mixed martial arts (They did bring out EA MMA a couple of years back) this is Electronic Arts first game to feature the UFC and they had a lot to live up too, seeing as the THQ games were so beloved by fans all over the world. They need to get off to a bang, so they decided to feature a huge name in action to build the hype – Bruce Lee.
The legendary film star is regarded as many as the first, true MMA practitioner. He developed his own style by taking out bits that worked from other martial arts and adding more of his own. He called it Jeet Kun Do. EA have put Bruce Lee in the game. Yes, you read that right, you can actually play as Bruce Lee and take him into the octagon to face off against a smorgasbord of current UFC stars.
The first thing you notice when you start up the game is how nice the menu screen is. EA have made the menu easy to understand and you can jump straight into a fight with no problems at all. Other options are to play online, against people on your friends list or start up a career. Each are fun in their own right.
As usual with these games, to start a career, you first need to build your character. This is not difficult at all. Once that is done, you start some basic tutorial and then head off into The Ultimate Fighter house. Don’t worry, you don’t have to sit around the house and do stuff like a Sims game (although that could be quite fun too, I hope you’re reading this EA), instead you are matched up and fight. If you win The Ultimate Fighter, you gain a contract in the UFC and have to make your way up the rankings towards a shot at the title.
Some big plus points to the career mode is the training is better. You don’t have to worry about decreasing attributes like you did in one of the THQ games (didn’t like). Also, the submission aspect of the fight is greater too. It’s easier to apply and escape submissions with a little practise.
For some reason though, EA Sports UFC doesn’t have as much going for it as THQ’ last game – UFC Undisputed 3. That game featured tournaments, allowing us to take part in a Grand Prix. It was a fun aspect of the game. Also, and this is a huge disappointment, the game doesn’t feature Pride FC. My favourite aspect of the previous instalment was the ability to fight in the Pride ring under different rules. They have scrapped all that in this game, leaving me with a sour taste. One more gripe was with the weight in the career mode. As my character became champion, I was given a super fight against a fighter from the next weight class above. I won that fight but that was the last of it. I was offered no more fights at that weight. If I was such a dominant champion (and I was) shouldn’t I be given the chance to fight it out for more belts? It makes a lot more sense than fighting Dominick Cruz seven times (and winning them all) because there are no worthy contenders to my crown.
The online option allows us to fight other players from around the world and puts us in little leagues, like that of Fifa. We can then duke it out for coloured belts, which in turn allows us to enter different competitions open to certain grades. For example, a tournament for brown belts and above only. This makes the battleground fair.
EA Sports UFC is a fun game that you can lose hours on. The addition of Bruce Lee is a welcome one, but more fighters should have been made available too. The current bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw isn’t even in the game, never mind some of the classic guys from the past. We have had the likes of Dan Severn, Don Frye and Tito Ortiz in the past. We want them again, as well as more present fighters. Royce Gracie is a downloadable character (along with Bruce Lee), I’m sure more will be made available as we go along, but we want them from the start, not 10 months down the line when our interest has dwindled.
Overall, EA Sports UFC plays and looks fantastic, but to take away Pride FC, WEC, Tournaments and the ability to fight in different weight divisions is not welcome at all. Let’s hope EA sort that in the next instalment.