2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Video Game Haiku Review – “EA Sports UFC”

Published: June 17, 2014, 10:14 am, by Terry Terrones


Title: EA Sports UFC
Format: Xbox One, PS4
Price: $59.99
Publisher: Electronic Arts
EA Canada
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
The Grade: C+

EA Sports UFC Haiku Review

MMA fighting

 Bruce Lee in the octagon?

Land a flying punch

What’s it all about: There have been other UFC video games before but this is the first time EA has had exclusive rights to the league and they have come out swinging. “EA Sports UFC”is also the first EA Sports game built exclusively for the new consoles. The company’s goal is to make you ‘Feel The Fight’ by bringing the athletes and the spectacle of the UFC to life. Mixed martial arts is a complicated sport, as a result, EA focused on three areas. Authenticity -Recreating the athletes and the world of the UFC with as much detail as possible. From walkouts and fighter introductions, to Bruce Buffer and the octagon girls, to fighting animations and post-fight celebrations. Accessibility -A control scheme and gameplay mechanics that make the game relatively easy to pick-up-and-play, but allows skilled users to master the tools available in a mixed martial arts experience. Action –Expect to see plenty of blood, sweat, bruises, punches, kicks, knees, elbows, takedowns, trips, transitions, sweeps and submissions.

Summary: Whether you’re new to the UFC or an experienced viewer, there is plenty to appreciate with “EA Sports UFC.” There are a wide variety of fighters, some nice unlockables (Bruce Lee?!?) and plenty of the excitement the UFC is known for. It’s also clear EA has put a ton of effort into this game as the attention to detail is first rate. The fighter likenesses are impressive, the damage system is multi-layered and provides some incredible realism and the action looks stunning on the new generation of consoles. That said, whether this title sinks or swims all depends on how successful gamers are in picking up the fighting controls. In a sport as complex as MMA, getting down all the different types of maneuvers (striking, clinching, wrestling, submissions) can be complicated on a 16 button controller. With so many combinations of buttons and stick moves, sometimes the controller just gets in the way. Even if you’re a gamer experienced with the fighting genre, the learning curve is steep. But if you’re willing to put in the time, you just might be rewarded.

+ All the pomp and drama the UFC is known for
+ A large stable of impressive looking fighters
+ Pulling off cool moves (like a flying punch) is satisfying
+ Career mode makes you earn your stripes so when you do succeed you feel like you’ve earned it
+ You can unlock Bruce Lee and Royce Gracie

- Pulling off many moves is harder than it should be
- Lots of control combinations to memorize
- Career mode moves at a snail’s pace
- Joe Rogan’s constant enthusiasm is grating

Gazette Media Columnist Terry Terrones is a veteran video game journalist. He has written for numerous publications including GamePro, GamesBeat, PC World, GameZone, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/terryterrones.