EA Sports UFC 4
Verdict: The most detailed take on the octagon yet
What is it?
Like its predecessor, UFC 4 is a fighting game based on the mixed martial arts promotion Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The game features a career mode, which has been designed to be an ‘onboarding experience’ to teach the player the basics of five MMA disciplines which include boxing, kickboxing, wrestling and jiujitsu. The goal of the career mode, which allows players to create their own custom fighter, is to become the GOAT (which stands for ‘Greatest Of All Time’).
After laying down a clunky but promising foundation with their first UFC game in 2014, EA has done a respectable job of iterating and improving on each new entry over the last six years. That tradition continues in EA Sports UFC 4. It focuses on making its many complex systems a little less intimidating for newcomers without ever taking away from the depth of its multi-layered combat, thanks to a new grapple assist system and a much improved career mode that does a better job of teaching the basics of the many facets of mixed martial arts. Some of the larger ambitions of career mode fall a bit flat and the ground game still feels like it could use some work, but all things considered, UFC 4 is a win for MMA fans.
While UFC 4 still looks pretty good, it’s a little disappointing to see that so little has changed in the game’s looks over the last six years. While there are a few new animations added into the mix, these are largely the same takedowns, slams and strikes that we’ve seen before. There’s a little bit more face deformation this time around during slow-mo replays, but knockouts are still lacking a certain magic.
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