EA SPORTS UFC 2014 – Game Review and Analysis
By Dan Maurer
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: EA Sports
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Genre: Fighting, Sports
The first game in the UFC franchise since UFC Undisputed 3 in 2012 via Yukes and THQ, EA has taken over the reigns of the franchise from the now defunct THQ. This has been a blessing and in some aspects, a disappointment. Developed by EA Canada, this new installment has added several improvements and sadly taken out some. Does it live up to the hype though? Read down below on my thoughts on this next generation only sports title.
There are some things in the newest installment of the UFC game that I really enjoy. For starters, one of the best part of EA Sports UFC is its fantastic career mode. Players can go through a decent tutorial and are thrust into The Ultimate Fighter tournament and reality show. Fans will get a kick out of participating in the popular reality show. Players will receive video messages from UFC President Dana White and various trainers, fighters, and retired fighters from throughout the UFC’s history based on your overall performance. These messages can range from a light hazing when you first enter the league to praise and excitement for your first title win. Players feel like their created characters are actually in the league and not some second rate side story in the game. EA Canada mapped out the progression of created characters well. The attributes, abilities, and move choices are deep and complex without being too complicated. The options enable you to specialize your fighter in whatever way you think is best. The hit detection in this years game also feels more precise and devastating then in the previous THQ game. The character animations also have been given a big boost thanks to the power of the next generation consoles.
EA Sports UFC will be a nice complement to fight night gatherings with friends because it’s simply a very watchable game. The designers at EA Canada have taken full advantage of the PS4 and Xbox One’s superior engines to present fights that don’t look too far off from the ones you pay for on PPV. As the technology continues to advance, the realism of these games is almost downright scary. EA Sports UFC is probably the most realistic portrayal of the human form ever seen in a video game. Of course that’s in large part because there’s nothing else going on in the game and so the developer can concentrate all their efforts almost solely on the two fighters. From every dimple on their face, down to the sweat beads on their legs and feet. Fighters take damage in real-time, a long fight showing every bruise and cut in detail, as cheeks flab and breathing becomes labored. It’s a stunning technical achievement, and you can instantly see why the game is next generation console only. In terms of presentation the game is also basic, with no pre or post-fight interviews to really sell the fighter’s personalities. You don’t even get the iconic fist bump as a match starts. In terms of the variety of moves there is some considerable depth to the action. Which is more than can be said for the shamefully small collection of play modes.
The multiplayer aspect of the game is hit and miss at best. You go into the lobby of your choice and thrust yourself into a match with an unknown opponent. The character selection screen is a little on the clunky side and sometimes you are left waiting for your opponent to wade through the selection screen as everything seems to be mixed together somewhat. I’ve experienced little to no lag online in all of the matches I’ve had the chance to play. After each match you get the standard post fight decision and then thrown back into the menu to either check stats or quit and go back through the lobby again. The no rematch option in the event you would like to have another fight with the guy you just had a great match with is pretty annoying to say the least.
UFC 2014 is a great game in many ways, if you can look past the minor things that can somewhat sour an otherwise enjoyable experience. If you are a fan of MMA and a fan of sports games in general, I highly recommend adding EA Sports UFC 2014 to your game collection.
PunchDrunkGamer.com’s FINAL SCORE: 7.5 out of 10
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