While not being huge fans of the actual UFC we still found ourselves immersed into the game. The presentation is gorgeous, the graphics are wonderful, and the fighting itself is addictive once you find your way around the mat.
EA Sports UFC on the Xbox One is the next in line of what EA Canada hopes to be a long lived, beloved fighting franchise. The developers over at EA have been trying to get their fighting game into the limelight as much as possible, especially with the rising popularity of E-Sports. We decided to pick up the game for the Xbox One and give it a go. We are only mild followers of the actual sport on television so we can't speak to the accuracies of the big fighters, but what we can do is assess the game for how much fun we had while it was with us. It turns out that EA Sports UFC is one of the most fun games on the Xbox One right now, thanks to its competitive and strategic fighting gameplay. Let's dive into the review.
The road to EA Sports UFC wasn't always a smooth one. Back in 2008 Dana White, the president of the UFC, had approached Electronic Arts to see if they would be interested in developing a video game based off of his league. From the reports that White let leak, the meeting did not go very well. EA essentially told Dana White that they didn't think UFC had a place in the video game world and that they didn't think it was much of a sport. So Dana White decided to go to THQ and there we saw UFC 2009 Undisputed release to critical acclaim. By 2012 EA was firmly in the camp of wanting a UFC franchise and so they purchased the rights from THQ for an undisclosed amount of cash. Dana White wasn't happy about any of this as he made his disdain for EA VERY clear. Still, we have to think he'll be smiling now.
UFC, for those who don't know, is a competitive mixed martial arts fighting league. Taking all different sorts of fighting techniques into account, the UFC allows fighters to showcase their skills against hand selected opponents in a giant octagon cage. The sport is definitely a 'blood sport' and it is revered and reviled for its violence. Most fights end in a knock out, broken bone, or choke out. Certain audiences can't stand to watch the violence while others lap it all up. For us, we think playing it on our home television is good enough.
Looking back at the old THQ UFC releases we always had the feeling, after playing them, that they were more of a button mashing event than anything else. And that struck us as completely wrong. Even though the UFC is a violent league, the matches are comprised of fighters who are beyond skilled with their abilities. Every move is carefully studied, calculated, and executed because if you lack perfection then you aren't going to last long. So why did all of our fights resort to button mashing while trying to score a knock out? The old titles ignored the capable ground game and nothing ever felt truly intuitive. That is the first place that EA Sports UFC showed us an evolution.
While EA Sports UFC isn't a completely intuitive game, you'll have to spend time learning the ropes, it handles in a way that rewards users for taking their time. Of course you can go into a fight and just slam away at the A and B button. Sometimes you might even be able to brute your way to a win. But if you play an opponent who has studied the ground game, rehearsed the combos, and learned how to grapple then you will probably lose in pretty sad fashion. Just like the actual UFC.
Once you pop the game into your disc drive and install it you will be sent to a big tutorial. This tutorial will teach you the basics of the game while 'training you' for your new career as a UFC fighter. As you go through these tutorials you will unlock points that you can spend later in the game on your fighter in order to level him up and make him even tougher. Also, these tutorials give you a good enough grasp on how the game works that you will be comfortable enough to jump into a match pretty much right away, even online against battle ready opponents.
As is the trend with most sport games nowadays, EA Sports UFC offers users the ability to create their own fighter and push him through a long and hopefully succesful career. You get to create your fighter from the ground up and design him in a way that adheres to the kind of fighting you want to be doing. If you want to be one of those knock out kings than weight your guy up and put an emphasis into that category. If you want to be tapping people out all over the mat, then focus on that.
Once you are created and in the UFC circuit you can compete for a contract to join the UFC. You will do this by playing through 'The Ultimate Fighter'. From there you will be assigned a weight class and pushed off into the world of brutal beatdowns and championship glory. In between matches you will have comprehensive training segments that help you beef your character up while keeping your skills sharp. Over time your fighter will collect damage and that damage will start to wear down on their body, just like in real life. The end game for career mode is a nice retirement with a great record in your back pocket. Once you are done playing in the career mode you can take your skills online to play human opponents.
While not being huge fans of the actual UFC we still found ourselves immersed into the game. The presentation is gorgeous, the graphics are wonderful, and the fighting itself is addictive once you find your way around the mat. We definitely suggest this game to anyone looking for a fighter to add to their collection.