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The time has come to step into the octagon, and our UFC 5 review is in. The expectation for the game is explosive, hard-hitting action, and EA Sports has not disappointed on this front.
UFC 5 review first impressions
Jon “Bones” Jones is among the best in the game, and it is with him that you will see your first action in UFC 5. Jones’ upcoming fight against Stipe Miocic at UFC 295 is expected to be available in the game as part of Fight Week from November 6.
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It is this fight that you jump into upon loading the game. A badly cut Jones is on the back foot as you receive a brief walkthrough of the game controls.
Not only is this an exciting introduction to the game, but it also provides you with your first experience of the gritty gameplay that is to come.
EA’s new Real Impact System provides authentic damage in the game. This also includes doctor’s checks and stoppages, all adding to the realism on show.
This is just one of several new features in the game that all add to the authenticity within the game.
New strike mechanics do feel crisp, and you can feel the thud of a heavy leg kick. We all want to see spectacular knockouts, so this is a feature that will benefit the heavy hitting knockout artists among us.
Uppercuts are now easier to execute too thanks to the mapping adjustment on the controller. This is definitely my favoured strike when I have my opponent backed up.
On the receiving end of these blows, the defensive adjustments are one of the features that have improved most noticeably.
Blocks are still a little iffy, but the head movement is far more responsive. This allows you to duck, weave, and sway out of danger, although it will impact your stamina.
One of the new elements that I am struggling to get to grips with is the groundwork. EA Sports UFC 5 offers different controls for grappling, so you will have options.
There are three settings to choose from when it comes to Grapple Assist. You can select Assist, Legacy, or Hybrid.
If you are an expert grappler, then the Legacy setting is for you as it offers more control. Assist mode is the simplest setting. If you are new to the game, I would recommend this while you are finding your feet.
As you’d expect, the Hybrid setting is a bridge between the two. This is the perfect stepping stone to Legacy, especially if you are looking to compete online.
Once you have dispatched Miocic in the opening scene, I did so by way of knockout courtesy of an uppercut, it is time to make your name in UFC 5.
UFC 5 Career Mode review
I’m of course talking about Career Mode. Start off by importing a licensed UFC fighter, or better yet, create your own!
The custom options for your own fighter are fairly extensive. Whether you want a signature hairstyle or tattoos, the choice is yours as we have come to expect in EA’s sports titles.
This is where I will spend most of my time in the game. My first foray into The Yard and I was hooked immediately.
The first KO of my career and the bug has been caught. Now all I am seeking is the next fight, the next punch, the next big knockout.
Let’s be honest, who cares about grappling? I must admit to some extreme frustration through the grappling tutorials, but once they are out of the way the fun can begin.
Your coach, Coach Davis, will guide you through the early stages. This is brilliant in helping you learn more of the fundamentals of the game. There is also a not so subtle nod to the game itself, so keep an eye out for that.
Obviously, as soon as you enter the octagon it all goes out of the window and you just land shot after shot, but at least the skill set is there when required!
The progression through your career feels natural and exciting. In simplistic terms, games are meant to be fun, and this is just that!
While the gameplay and Career Mode is ticking a lot of the boxes, let’s discuss some of the not so great aspects of this year’s game.
As we have come across in each of EA’s sports games this year, the menus are slow and cumbersome. The load times are pretty slow too, and not what we have come to expect on PS5.
Coupled with this, there are still some visual issues that can be quite jarring. Whether its a seemingly impossible movement of the body, a fighter passing through another, or splatters of blood or saliva spraying off after impact, sometimes it just doesn’t look quite right.
While these criticisms could be deemed nit-picking, they are still there. It doesn’t take away from the fun, but it could be better.
UFC 5 review – The Verdict
If you are a fan of MMA, Boxing, UFC, or any other combat sport, this is the game for you. There are limited options for you in this genre, but UFC 5 is certainly the best.
EA’s expertise in creating excellent sports games comes to the fore here. We have already seen great improvements in Madden 24, FC 24, and NHL 24 this year, so we are in no way surprised to see a very good UFC game.
While similar flaws to those other titles are present, it is still fun. When all is said and done, that is the name of the game.
Reviewed on PS5. Game provided by the publisher.