EA Sports UFC - PlayStation 4

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7.8 / 10
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by EA Games
Release Date: 11/12/2013


In EA Sports UFC the basics you'd expect from this sort are charmingly all there, but EA doesn't go much beyond that beside adding some smile-worthy bonus characters, free updates and quickly boring tutorial-like mini-games.

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EA Sports UFC on the PlayStation 4 is a mixed martial arts fighting video game developed by Electronic Arts and SkyBox Labs. It is based on the Ultimate Fighting Championship series and was released on June 17, 2014.

UFC has a gritty and impressive realism not only from its graphics. If you're looking for the definitive recreation of the world of Mixed Martial Arts, you'll still be looking after playing this. However, if you're just in it for the fun of brawling with friends in the world of UFC, this will do nicely.

So why isn't the game itself realistic? Well for one, TKOs aren't included, which is a major oversight as their inclusion in the real UFC is part of the reason matches work as well as they do, albeit a concession that real people might get injured to which a video game need not necessarily adhere. Another reason is because penalties are out as well, meaning that you don't have to be at all careful about doing a dick move to a digital dickhead of a fighter. It would have been nice to have these as features players could turn off or on, because they would significantly change the fight and introduce a variable level of strategy similar to how lengthening or shortening match times or knock out chances in arcade fighters like Tekken change the strategies in those games.

That's not to say that EA's graphical designers don't put in the time getting the look and feel of MMA correct. Rippling muscles, disgustingly realistic sweat, and a roundup of around 100 real fighters who have had a stunning amount of attention devoted to their mannerisms and physical attributes, with few oversights, make the spectacle look great. Unfortunately, this doesn't extend through to showing their moves. Jon Jones doesn't move like the real guy does. He shuffles around like EA's somewhat clunky animation system expects him to do so. Some of the showboating the fighters do is fun to watch, but otherwise the game fulfills the promise of the uncanny valley - the weird effect when a computer is trying to approximate a human, but fails utterly.

What is especially quaint is the laughable career mode. Oh, to be sure, the ability to create any kind of real person you know or grotesque monster of a fighter is great and extremely flexible, but what kind of career mode never lets you lose? That's not how careers in the UFC work! It's also not nearly as robust as EA's other sports game like FIFA and Madden. As well, they don't put nearly as much of the entertainment of personalities into it like their NBA games do. Sure, they've got coaches and announcers, but they are as bland and ill serve the desires of UFC fans as a meal of white bread with water.

Additionally, since weight doesn't come into play in any sense but choosing a weight class (it doesn't factor into the actual fights) knocking down fighters isn't the aggressive and cringe-inducing spectacle of referees pulling off fighters it is in the real UFC. This would have really set it apart from the fantasy fighters like Dead or Alive, which seem to never use this element, but alas.

The basics you'd expect from this sort are charmingly all there, but EA doesn't go much beyond that beside adding some smile-worthy bonus characters, free updates and quickly boring tutorial-like mini-games. Online is a basic series of matches. There are no creative modes. Robotic assembly line creation, which is typical of EA, define the game, but at least it also has the typical EA production values and money poured into it to make a decent rumble with fellow UFC fans.

Nevertheless, EA Sports UFC on the PlayStation 4 is supposed to be EA's first major foray into the UFC and only the first step. On the new generation consoles, it is a notable step above THQ's efforts from the previous generation, though their technical ambitions mean the game's frame rate can sometimes chug, which is a big no-no for fighting game fans who depend on being able to read the frame data of moves to determine their priority in connecting a hit to the opponent. As a first step, this is a case of "better than we've had before," so looking back in the coming years, while it may appear as quaint, it's the best option currently on the console market.

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profile gerbil Trophies.
Jan 31, 2015

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