Review: EA Sports UFC 2
After grabbing the licence from THQ back in 2012, Electronic Arts took the fight to the Octagon, with a convincing first start with EA Sports UFC. Now If you are reading this test, I assume that you are a fan of discipline… or a curious newcomer, trying to get an idea about UFC games in general. In any case, EA Sports UFC 2 is as good as the first game released, and its newly added content will keep you busy for hours
EA Sports UFC 2 remains undeniably as beautiful as ever, especially through the insane details on modeling fighters, which are almost true to the real-life ones. I mean, you should see the attention to details, from the beads of sweat sliding on the skin of fighters, the injuries and bruises that build up after each rounds, but also heavy cuts and bloody teeth. Same goes for the animations: blows whether from fists or feet, as well as the grappling/wrestling locks, are insanely realistic, with their pure muscle details.
The physics engine reacts very well, even if small bugs are noteworthy, for example when my fighter gets grounded after missing a kick, and get destabilized by my opponent with a missed shot. Nevertheless, it is clear that the blows can be very spectacular, like the Knock-Outs, which have also been revised and are just as impressive as in real UFC broadcast. Of course, there is life outside the octagon with the audience, the judge and the infamous Bruce Anthony Buffer. Their 3D modelling are correct, even if don’t catch your attention, but they are always very motivating when chanting the name of our fighter, which helps to significantly enhance the immersion. UFC 2 is also technically more successful than its predecessor, even if the aliasing remain, but fortunately nothing inherently troublesome. There’s some framerate drops that I also experienced during some fights, but again not enough times to taint the intense fighting. In short, the focus is an impacting and impressive visual rendering.
Like in the demo that is available on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, the game first boot up with the iconic battle between Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald during UFC 189. A good introduction to the title, and returning players will not feel disoriented by the gameplay and mechanics of EA Sports UFC 2, as it remains similar to its predecessor. Whether it’s the HUD or the submission system, nothing new or changing, but doesn’t stop us from saying that its effective, even if it lacks significant novelties.
Without going into details in gameplay, we have the same old available hits (feet or fists), the grappling and submissions. These are all factors that you need to master, because the title does not play the same way as a simple fighting game, and you’ll need to hit your assailant with fists and feet, on the ground by pounding into place, or attempting a submission. For the uninitiated, an adjustment period is necessary to control these different phases of gameplay, but you could always use the training mode, which allows to learn and master all situations in the sport.
On the intensity of the strikes, it is unfortunately not well made and lacks a bit of “punch”. A point that can be frustrating, especially when you cannot properly counter-attack after an unsuccessful assault by the enemy… When in reality, your fighter will take over this weakness. This why you should strike at the right time, with the intention of hurting or attempting to place a powerful blow to knock out your opponent.
Now if you played the first EA Sports UFC, you will be glad to know that career mode is still there. The goal is to create a fighter and evolve through the world of UFC to win the championship belt in your class while garnering popularity. A very simple mode where you get to pick your battles, fight through and climb as high as possible through the ranks. For my part, although effective, I find it tiresome very quickly, in the sense that we do not manage the career of our sport technically. This is ultimately a series of training and fighting matches… Unlike the Ultimate Team mode, which is the major novelty of UFC 2 and is much more addictive. The sensation to upgrade its fighter is there, especially thanks to the online multiplayer aspect, where all players share a common aspiration: to climb to a higher division. In addition, it also allows to see the creations of other players, which can be crazy looking, considering the creativity is limitless thanks to very good character creation menu and engine.
EA Sports UFC 2 clearly does the job, and is a quality title for fans of the sport. A title that can be enjoyed over time and where patience and hard work in training will be rewarded over the games to come. Every fight has its own outcome, according to the chosen category, especially when you get to play with non-UFC legends like Mike Tyson and Bruce Lee. Did we mention the game has more than 200 fighters?
Nevertheless, fatigue can quickly settle, as well as frustration in some fights, when the combo are struggling to chain, and that is at times unable to respond properly. And although the story mode content has been revised, we quickly get around it, especially for regulars who find freshness in the Ultimate Team mode. In short, the title is based on its good original roots, without changing the fundamentals, which makes it a good game but not necessarily a large sequel. That may disappoint some fans, and obviously much less newcomers.
EA Sports UFC 2 was reviewed using a PlayStation 4 copy of the game provided by EA Sports. The game is also available on Xbox One in digital and retail releases. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published
• The Ultimate Team mode.
• Always so beautiful graphics-wise.
• The intensity of the fights.
• More than 200 fighters.
• Those injuries look brutally real.
• The atmosphere and mood of the games.
• That commentary
• No real innovations in gameplay.
• Lack of "punch" in the strikes.
• The counter-attacks that are struggling to get out.
• Loading time are still long.
EA Sports UFC 2 remains in the style of its elder while adding some new content, which are mostly based on EA Sports' iconic Ultimate Team mode. The gameplay is based for its part on strong and effective grounds, but without real change. Lovers of the sport will still get their money's worth, knowing that there are no other competitors in the field, while newcomers will discover a very compelling experience.