EA Sports UFC screenshot
EA Sports UFC screenshot

EA Sports UFC is an ok game, and while that may be acceptable for some, it’s a huge missed opportunity for the company. Hopefully this is the the start of a long-running series, giving the developers a chance to build on the foundations. Having reviewed the game, I’ve come up with a list of 7 things to make ‘Round 2’ the game this entry should have been.

Modes

EA Sports UFC lacks any modes outside the basics: Fight Now, Online and Career Mode, plus some more detailed tutorial offerings. Fans expect more, and UFC ‘Round 2’ should include some extras like tournaments. It should also allow us to choose whether we include fighter’s entrances in Fight Now.

This may be a based on a real world, highly competitive sport, but it’s still a game. More modes are needed to keep players interested in the roster at their disposal.

Creativity

EA Sports UFC screenshot

The UFC puts on some excellent pay-per-views with incredible fights top-to-bottom. Give players the chance to do the same with a 'create your own PPV' and open up the opportunity for us to stream the card on Twitch.

With livestreaming becoming a big pull for next-gen consoles, I’d love to be able to put together an event and invite players to watch and even fight on the card.

This creativity also needs to extend to fighters. Players should have the tools to create whomever they can think of and put them in the game. The ability to share these creations also needs to be readily available.

As I said in my review, a combat sport game should offer WWE-levels of creativity and customisation, and it’s inexcusable that this title not only doesn't, but lacks the basic creative suites offered in the earliest Fight Night games.

Controls

EA Sports UFC screenshot

The control scheme needs to be completely reworked. Right now, it’s overly complicated that requires claw-grips for some of the more extravagant moves and suffers from the problem faced by the first Fight Night games: there's an overdependence on quarter circles on the right stick coupled with shoulder button modifiers for needless complexity.

EA MMA’s scheme was far better - the simplicity of control meant I never had to think about what I was doing, which meant I never hesitated and therefore was never frustrated. Revisiting this old layout would be a huge benefit to UFC.

Presentation

I know the presentation was one of the main selling points for this game, but this means more than great graphics.

EA Sports UFC lacks touches that make the real sport so special: weigh-ins, taunts, coaches screaming at their fighter in the intervals while the cut man goes to work, pre- and post-fight interviews. All of these would make fights go beyond the few minutes spent in the Octagon.

EA Sports UFC screenshot

Even some elements of this year’s entry could be improved: Bruce Buffer’s face capture looks great except when he speaks; the commentary feels canned rather than calling the fights and knockouts that occur on the mat suffer a slight delay between the punch and the fighter going down - it's more like they faint than get knocked out.

Career

Gameplans are a nice addition, but more choices are needed to feel like I’m having an impact on my fighter’s career. Having a choice of two or three opponents for each fight each with their own strengths and weaknesses, sponsor bonuses and training camps with some of the world-famous gyms would help flesh out the mode more so that it has the longevity to keep you invested through multiple fighters.

Yearly wrap-ups of the year’s top fights would also be nice. I had 17 fights before realising it was the year 2019, and that I had won Knockout of the Year in 2017. A rundown of the year’s highlights across all divisions would be great if put together in the broadcast style, with the award winners being shown off in style.

Women

The game may have the women’s bantamweight division, but it’s absurd that I can’t create a female fighter in career mode. Although the UFC itself lacks sufficient female fighters right now. Hopefully more will be added to the roster by the time ‘Round 2’ is released, making female creative options essential.

Legends

EA Sports UFC screenshot

Having Royce Gracie and Bruce Lee is great, but when the likes of Ken Shamrock, Randy Couture, Bas Rutten, Tito Ortiz and the entire Pride catalogue are missing, you can’t help but wonder why.

The next game has to go all out, much like WWE ‘13 did with the excellent Attitude era content. A scenario mode that allows players to recreate classic fights from unforgettable cards is a must and would again give us more reason to fight with the entire line-up, giving lesser-known fighters a chance to shine.

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ExiledA's Avatar

ExiledA

Man, what a whiner. What I gather from this is that you refuse to spend any time learning new controls, would rather it be the lame layout from the old UFC games, and want it to feature all the same crap as the WWE games.

While the career mode could offer more diversity, (After you've defended the title 20 times, it gets boring), the suggestions you offered were just rehashes of the old UFC game.

The ground game has been simplified compared to the predecessor, with controls that actually make sense, and are position-oriented.

The modifiers, for both grappling, take-downs, and striking are the only thing they can do to add another 20 moves, on a 4 D-button controller.

The online ranked 'seasons' mode that EA has implemented into all of their sports games is great, although I wish there were 10 divisions, not just 5.

And I agree with the limited roster, but I don't think we need all the heroes of yester-year. People tend to go for the highest over-all ratings, which sucks in one or two weightclasses, but depending on what your strategy is, you don't need to have a 95 Stand-Up rating.
Posted 01:32 on 17 July 2014
DragonGuard666's Avatar

DragonGuard666

Wait so Create An Event is not in game? Not buying then.
Posted 15:36 on 17 June 2014

Game Stats

Release Date: 20/06/2014
Publisher: EA SPORTS
Genre: Sports
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 221 16
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