One Week On- EA Sports UFC

Image by Flickr User: Joao Paulo Lages

I’m not quite sure why, but i’m always a sucker for these wrestling type games. I think it goes back to my younger days when i was a big fan of the WWE, but even now, about 10 years on, i still really enjoy the games, whether it be the WWE titles, or in this case, UFC. I didn’t get the last couple UFC games that came out on the Xbox 360, but i did get the original, so i was expecting the game to have moved on quite a lot from then.

I’ll start with UFCs strongest point, graphics and presentation. The game looks jaw droppingly good, the fighters all looks fantastic and very lifelike, and the details on them are fantastic, from their personal movements movements, to their body shape and even tattoos, these are probably the best character models i’ve seen in a game. Their expressions change throughout the fight, you can even see them flinch when they take a big hit, and what impressed me a lot was the cut system, when you’re beating the crap out of somebody the cuts will appear in the spot your beating them, not just the generic spots like on the older games, whether it be above the eyes, the cheeks, even the body, if you beat on a certain area enough, you’ll be able to tell you’re doing work!
The general presentation is the games other strong suit, any EA sports game tends to be well presented, whether it’s Madden, FIFA, or NHL, but UFC takes it too the next level, i really like the little video clips that you get before certain fights, or after certain events, for example, if you’ve got KO of the night you will get a congratulatory video from another UFC fighter, the same goes for things like big winning streaks, and championship fights, it adds the games overall authenticity and even though after 10 hours of playing it became a little bit irritating, it was very rare that i got the same message twice, i thought that was pretty impressive.
You also get little dramatic montages about all the aspects of UFC fighting, these are really cool, real fighters talking about how it feels to make another pro submit, to knockout the opposition, or to be given the chance of a title shot, it’s these kind of touches i wish they’d put into FIFA, they don’t happen too often and are really enjoyable to watch. In FIFA you could have players talking about playing in an FA Cup final before your final, or winning the title before the game where you could win your league, it’d be something genuinely new and i think it would be well received if they could do it as well as they have in UFC.
The most important aspect of a game like this is without doubt the gameplay, and it’s an area where UFC is pretty solid, the game feels smooth, when you get a big hit it feels like you’re doing damage, and i like the mini game that you have to do when trying for a submission. There are hundreds of different moves and combinations that you can use and this helps ensure that each fight isn’t the same, however once i’d found a couple of simple, and very effective combos i did find myself becoming a little bit untouchable, but if it does get to easy you can always turn the difficulty up and i’m sure this would counteract that, i was dominating for a while on easy, and stepped up to normal, it took some getting used to but i did find it a lot more rewarding.

Video from Youtube User: GamesHQMedia

The career mode on UFC is without doubt the area that i played the most, i love creating my own character and slowly upgrading him in any game, and this is no exception. Career mode actually works quite nicely to begin with, you have to earn your UFC contract by fighting your way to the Ultimate Fighter title, then when you get your shot at the big time it begins to get a little bit predictable and repetitive, i felt like i could have being playing Fight Night Round 3 on the Xbox 360 all over it again, it always seems to be, fight, gym, fight, gym. It’s difficult to know how they can change this, or make it feel like less of a chore, you occasionally spar with other pros, but aside from that it becomes a bit monotonous, but then again that could be said for most sports games. One touch i did like was the career longevity meter, this meter measures the amount of big shots you take, meaning the more you get beat on, the shorter your career will be, this encourages you to fight a bit more tactically and not just take punches for fun in a slugfest.
In my career managed to get from a rookie to number one in my weight class in around 8 hours, it’s not the shortest game i’ve ever played, but it’s by no means the longest either. Once i was number one i didn’t find there was any incentive to keep fighting and defend my title, i thought it would have been nice to perhaps change up my weight class up and go again with my same player, but if you do another weight class you have to start again. I think if you’re a UFC fanatic you could get plenty more time out of the game, it does also offer an online seasons mode, but that’s something that i won’t be going on too much for the fact that i usually have my ass handed to me. Therefore if like me you like this type of game for it’s career, you won’t be spending too long on it, and it’s not worth the £45 price tag for you.
What this mainly comes down to is how much you like UFC, if you’re a big fan, get it, you’ll love it, the pro interaction is great, and the presentation and gameplay give you everything you could possibly want. If however you’re more of a career game player like myself although you’ll still enjoy it and it’s without doubt a better than average game, i’d wait for the price to drop a little first. On the whole UFC is a solid game, but for me, it’s not a knockout.

7/10

+ Great Graphics & Presentation
+ Good Gameplay
– Short, Generic Career
– Gets Repetitive Quickly

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