Community Review: EA Sports UFC

I've never played a game like this. A game that allows me to be excited and disappointed at the precise same time. I don't even know it was possible to feel this way about a game. This is what EA Sports UFC does to me.

Because on the one hand, I always have fun playing EA Sports UFC, and not just the dull, dead-eyed joy that comes from bashing buttons and knocking out your friends in a video game — I have 'proper' fun. And by that I mean that EA Sports UFC does have a consistent enough range of mechanics that makes the game rewarding to play. EA Sports UFC is a decent enough fighting game.

But on that bloody other hand: a recognition that EA Sports UFC doesn't really make sense as an MMA game. It doesn't really represent what would happen in a real UFC match. Illogical things take place, the ground game doesn't really make sense and there's a real lack of subtlety in the striking game.

More specifically: transitions on the ground don't really make sense, and are way too easy. Striking doesn't feel like it has any proper impact, and at no point feels like striking in a real MMA match. Submissions, I think, are the one area that EA Sports UFC really manages to get right, but asides from that, it doesn't do a great job of representing how an MMA match plays out.

But that doesn't mean EA Sports UFC isn't a good game, that it isn't fun. In fact, my complaints are really the complaints of a massive MMA fan, someone who watches a lot of fights and wanted something accurate to the sport. The problem is: I represent a lot of people who want to buy and play this video game.

Still, there's a lot for me to enjoy: the visuals are incredible, EA has done an incredible job of representing how the fighters move, look and strike. I'm still going to enjoy playing this video game, but I doubt I'll ever shift that hollow feeling in my stomach. THAT WOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED IN REAL LIFE!

What are your thoughts?


    I enjoyed this alot but the singleplayer is dull short and way too easy even in hard, but the MP is where this game truley shines, the core game is great though, really enjoyed the way it looked and played. Hopefully they will take this make a better game next time

    Career is way too easy, 35-0 now and my created character has been level 100 for about 10 fights now, the Gameface didn't really look anything like me either and after 2 days of stressing cos I couldn't get it working and I refused to start career until it worked was a bit of a let down. Disappointed couldn't take my career character online even for a friendly non ranked match against a mate. I've found the more I play it though the more I play it like a boxing/kicking game, never bothering to go to ground or even attempt submissions cos the computer gets out of them too easily. Every match now ends up being a Knockout in the first 60 seconds. Playing online on the other hand I have to mix it up a bit and there is more of a sense of intensity as the fight can be over in any instant and I think this will keep me entertained for a while after finishing my career. Not perfect but I think a solid 7/10.

      My Gameface character looks hilarious.

      The scan I did on my PC looks a lot like me with short, neat dark brown hair, then I put it into UFC and suddenly I look like Dale Kerrigan with curly read hair that can’t be changed.
      Even the short-back-and-sides haircut on Gameface is converted so it looks like the hair off a malnutritioned 3 month old, it’s bizarre.

      In the end I replaced my character with one of the default faces. The character looks about as much like me as any other white male on the planet, but at least I’m not a ginge.

      I’m with you about how it plays. The intention from EA is CLEARLY that nobody should ever use wrestling as a key component of any interesting victory, at the same time you can win that way if you’re happy to spam takedowns.
      It’s easy enough to get the takedown, but it’s so easy to sweep or get up from any position that there’s never any sense of dominance on top. Even if you get to mount, the guy just clicks the thumbstick or transitions out as soon as you stop attacking, and even if you temper your attack to focus on maintaining potion, the ref stands you up FROM MOUNT within 10 seconds on blocking.

      The best strategy for a grappler is just to get the takedown, hit 1-2 strikes from wherever you land and then stand up again and instantly start looking for the takedown again.

        I had to google Dale Kerrigan, had a chuckle at that one, on the website it almost looks identical to me but when it goes in game I suddenly have a thick grey moustache/stubble that I dont even have on the website.

        I have submitted a few opponents but the amount of effort it takes to do it almost makes it useless, at this point I'm just trying to finish career then start again on hard try and get into the Hall of Fame and focus more online, I had a lot of fun playing online even when losing although I seemed to only lose when people chose the best fighters in that division.

        Yea the L stick click to get out of anything is kinda lame, do you use much of the L1 (LB) and half circle? I didn't know that was a move until I was looking at moves to buy, I never came across that in any training, but can basically get you out of or reverse allot of negative situations.

          If anything’s indicative of how little focus on ground EA wanted to put into this game it’s the fact that the tutorial just kinda glosses over half the positions available on the ground. The striking tutorial is pretty comprehensive, but not a single mention of “hold down the left bumper for advanced transitions”.

          The other thing that’s hilariously bad is the fighter ratings in this game.

          EA have stated that the UFC gave them the skill ratings that went into the game. The UFC is renowned for over-selling their fighters and making everyone out to be an absolute killer and the fighter ranking are hilarious as a result.

          Just about everyone in the game is over 90 in their overall skills, and because of that most fighters are basically the same.
          Connor McGregor is 90, Tarec Safferdine is 90, Roy Nelson is 90, Clay Guida should be 0-5 in his last 5 fights and he’s 90!
          CAT ZIGANO IS 93!!!

          Even funnier is that the UFC has politicised the fighter rankings to suit their own wishes. Urijah Faber, renowned bridesmaid and divisional road block, the man who’ll never be champion but who’s better than everyone else bar no.1, has been given a rank FAR lower than most of the guys. Just because it doesn’t suit the UFC to sell him as a contender anymore.

    Not for a UFC fan... Gotcha. Shall avoid.

    I'm enjoying it. I always struggled with the Yukes games but I seem to be grasping this game better. I'm throwing combos and moving in and out of the pocket well. It's a more exciting game than the Yukes ones which is a big plus. EA certainly know how to create an atmosphere in their games as well.

    The stand up is hit and miss. I don't like how a lot of other fighters can do Pettis' wall kick (and other fighter specific moves). I also don't like the wonky head kick animations, especially the axe kicks because they look unnatural. However, the exchanges in the pocket are exciting. Having fighters with fast hands like Barao unloading on his opponents is a sight to behold.

    A few things I really don't like are the menus, very slow and unresponsive. Moving from tab to tab is confusing. I don't like how Bruce Buffer sounds again which goes against my "EA know how to create an atmosphere" quote further up. He doesn't sound like his screaming and energetic self.

    I also think the video blogs from Dana (and the others) are a good idea but come off completely contrived. I think Mike Dolce is Dana White's love child and annoyingly appears all over the game. He's in everyone's corner *sigh*.

    In summary, it's an unpolished game but can be damn fun. I guarantee UFC 2 (or 2016) will be unbelievable but this is a great start. It took Yukes 3 games to get it fairly good so I'll give EA credit where credits due. Not as polished as Yukes' UFC 3 but pretty good in its own right.

    Should I give it a score? What the hell, an 8 for me!

    I have to agree...Career mode is a little bit too easy and bit granted this is the first in EA UFC Series...but I would like to have more variety..,.even better some story mode (like Fight Night Champion) looks good

    I haven't played online yet but Local multiplayer is fun...yes it turns into a button mash but it keeps it fun and when your mates get use to the controls, fights become more measured and tactical.

    I would like to see the following in the next game (some of which was in Undisputed 3)

    1. Ability to move up (or pehaps down) a weight division - I pretty much cleaned out the Middleweight division and had one dream match against Chuck Liddel at Light Heavyweight (although I was still listed at 185lbs)...
    2..A little bit more in terms of moveset - Is it just me or did UFC Undisputed 3 had more moves than EA UFC?? Also makes fighters sort of more unique
    3..More Sponsors - I could understand this one but it would be nice to have more sponsors and also have control where you can place sponsorships on your shorts (or shirt/hats) and also be able to have more than 3 apparel sponsors

    For the single player..I would give it a 7/10...Multiplayer it would give a 8/10

    I had this game pre-ordered from the day i purchased my Xbox One. I was really looking forward to it and went in last Thursday to buy the game.

    I have played the demo a lot and When i went to pick it up last week, I walked out of that store without the game because i couldn't get past the issues. This is not an MMA simulation . It is a beautiful looking and pretty fun game but it is not the game i wanted and the replay value is not really there for me as i don't have the time to play online. I have also made a decision to buy games that have high replay value as having a kid has severely limited my expendable income and time.

    I think that if had there been no demo, i would have purchased the game, but i feel like the demo showed me that there was not much depth to the gameplay, I feel that I can just play the demo for short periods and that will be enough for me.

    Last edited 23/06/14 12:11 pm

    Oh EA, SOOOO close yet SOOO far.

    They did plenty well, the presentation is cool, it’s got a lot of moves…. But goddam did they screw up some really fundamental stuff.

    The ground game is terribly balanced. If you take a guy down and land in full guard, the guy on top has to do a quarter circle to move to half guard. Fine, but guy on the bottom has to do the EXACT same input with the exact same chance of success to do a freaking scissor sweep directly into mount? WHAT THE CRAP!?! One is a move you’ll see 30 times on a UFC card, the other you see extremely rare but it basically negates any sense of top-control from the game.

    The only thing stupider is that a fighter is one button click away from getting up from ANY position at all. In practice it means that if you’re mounted by Demian Maia, or pinned face down on the mat with both hooks in, one button click and you’re straight back to your feet. It’s no harder to escape from that position than it is to stand up if you’re on the top in mount.

    Add to that the fact that the ref will stand you up ridiculously fast even if you’re on mount and it’s pretty clear that while all the cool sub finishes are there, EA don’t want you playing the ground game.

    Stand up is better but not perfect. The game only rewards “counter” strikes when you manage to trigger a canned animation and counter from there. If an opponent is out of range and you step in to throw the world’s biggest overhand right but fall short, only to eat an uppercut mid animation….. the damage applied is the same as regular uppercut. Have a jab parried though and the counter coming your way does much more damage.
    In essence it means that even a guy like Lyoto Machida has to stand right in the pocket and shell up James Toney style (his boxing style, not the MMA style of getting killed) if you want to counter strike.

    The submission system is fun and well designed, but there needs to be some kind of flash submission system too. Most subs in MMA come from a split second window of opportunity, while the EA system is a fantastic representation of the slow process often needed to set up something like an arm-triangle it fails to capture the essence of snatching a guillotine out of a scramble.

    In the end the ground game is basically broken from a realistic standpoint, but the game is still a lot of fun if you just want to play a game of rock-em-sock-em-robots style standup.

    Pretty disappointed with the end product, but I think this game sets a good enough platform going forward that if they can get some staff on with an actual understanding of MMA then they could make a great sequel.

      well it's EA's first shot at it on the new consoles...EA MMA was built on the FNC engine and wasn't the greatest control wise...At least it looks good, plays alright but yes it does need improvement/refinement.

      I wish they had my favorite sub move...Standing Guillotine from the clinch

      The only way is up....i guess

    Yep I pretty much agree with all said here.

    Career was too short - they forced me to retire after 40 fights, (34-6) at the age of 32. Worst part about that: my final fight was against Daniel Cormier who by that stage was 49!!

    Stand up is very hit and miss. Counters and parries sometimes work and other times are too slow to respond. Combos are too slow and don't always work. I.e. when I try and do something like, X,Y,X I get X,Y, nothing.

    Ground transitions are a bit too easy, ground and pound is fun - especially when you figure out how to elbow :)

    Submission game is good, however your submission skill level does not drastically change how easy/hard submission mini-game is.

    Online is great BUT - first game I played, got someone to ground and starting pounding - they quit and I didn't get a recorded win or even record that I had a fight. Seems a good way to put people off playing online if instead of losing people quit.

    I wonder, could you and I control an accurate MMA game? I'm not a huge fan so I might be wrong, but it seems to me there's way more reacting and improvisation involved than the average player can handle. A boxer has to react quickly but it's sort of a predetermined reaction due to the limitations set by the rules. In a accurate MMA fighting you would almost need AI assisted play or else you're stuck with a 50 button controller.
    I wonder if you could use a Kinect's vitals monitoring coupled with cloud processing to analise your play style in previous fights and your current state which determines how the AI reacts to broader commands from the player. You'd have to train with your fighter in order to tune the AI to your liking. Then when you're actually fighting your commands could be blunter/broader but the action itself would play out more cinematic.
    It'd probably come out as gimmicky as can be, and even if it worked it'd take a few generations to get right, but I think it'd be interesting to see.

    UFC Undisputed 2010 is my favorite party-beat-up-your-mates-game of the last generation - can anyone comment on how this compares? I'm not particularly interested in the realism and always felt the standing game was more entertaining and that take-downs were far too easily accomplished and annoying - so possibly this EA version is for me?

    Last edited 23/06/14 2:47 pm

    Forgot to add:
    So I created my player and said I was from Melbourne, Australia.
    All well and good until Bruce announces me in the octagon:
    "From Melbourne, NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia..."

    Don't listen to the pathetic people who are just bad at the game and don't understand the mechanics.. Its a pretty complicated game with a sharp learning curve , but no doubt the best fighting game out right now. The single player isn't all that impressive. Because even on pro the A.I is pretty bad. And the overall ratings for the fighters, (as usual in situations like this) make almost no sense at all. But besides these things the game is pretty much as balanced and as fun as its possible to get in such a complicated sport. The graphics are great and the game is FUN to play online and with other people. There really is the sense the fight could be taken anywhere and theres multiple ways to win and several subtlety and such to master. If someone is on top of you pounding your face in and the fight is about to be over, they may waste all their stamina and not get the knockout because you blocked just enough shots, at which point you lock in a submission from the bottom, getting it in real deep because they have no stamina left and getting the win. It takes a while to understand the game. And judging by the comments I see and how easy it is to absolutely DESTROY people in non-ranked matches online, most people just don't really know what their doing at all and for some reason can't figure it out.

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