The demo for EA Sports UFC dropped yesterday on PS4 and Xbox One, and after spending an hour or so with it I’m beginning to like it… slowly.
Much like EA Sports MMA, I find the controls to be needlessly complicated and not really thoroughly explained in the tutorial. If you came out of the tutorial understanding the submission system, then please explain it to me because I still don’t get it after quite a few fights. I understand the basic premise of it, but I just don’t get it. In time, I’m sure I will, but frankly I think the tutorial could be better. After all, they spend more time on throwing punches and kicks (basic stuff in a game like this) than they do on explaining the much more complicated submission system (which was designed to prevent button mashing),
There’s a modifier for everything, different combinations, and of course trying to remember to move the joystick over and around in a certain direction to do certain actions. The tutorial does a mostly adequate job of showcasing all the elements, but it’ll still take several fights for the average player to even begin to feel comfortable with.
The demo includes only two fights: Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. The problem with this is that players don’t really get a good taste of has to offer as both of these guys are similar (especially standing). Regardless of who you choose, you can expect to do the same moves with the same animations (a few of which are awkward), and quite a bit of spin incorporated. Considering the game has 99 fighters, I don’t think it would have been asking too much for the demo to also include two heavyweights to at least showcase a different style.
Here’s me playing and winning three fights as Gustafsson. As you can see, I resorted to spamming certain attacks quite a bit and I imagine that’s what the game will devolve into for a lot of people. And the commentary did not record (using the PS4’s built in game capture), I assume because it’s a demo; but that’s why there’s no commentary or announcing after the fights. Glad now that I didn’t record the intros.
Of course the game looks amazing; easily some of the best character models we’ve ever seen in a sporting game. In that regard it certainly looks realistic.
It’s easy to get a hang of the standing striking and the takedowns are pretty sweet; I just need to work on my ground and submission game. The blocking system is also mostly well done; timing it right will allow you to parry. I do wish some animations were a little bitter and that you had the ability to dodge shots rather than just try to block them. The lack of that makes the fighters a little stiff, in my opinion.
All things considered, the demo has actually increased my interest in the game despite the demo itself not being that good. And the reason the demo is a bit of a letdown is purely because there is only two fighters, and this means we get to do countless fighters as one of two people and watching each do the same spinning back hand, kick, or takedown.
EA Sports UFC hits stores on June 17th for PS4 and Xbox One. If you have not yet downloaded the demo, go to do so. The gameplay is actually quite fun and the presentation is very slick.