UFC’s rise to fame will be documented for years to come. The company was considered laughable by the mass media 15 years ago and now sits at the top of the pile as one of the most profitable sports industries out there. The brutal combat and edge-of-the-seat tension really appeals to a large audience and looks like a live-action version of the classic Tekken games. Makes sense to make a video game series out of it right?
UFC 4’s Narrative
We are now onto the fourth instalment of the UFC gaming franchise and while it looks gorgeous and plays well, it’s starting to fall into the usual and unfortunate EA Sports umbrella. UFC 3 was a game that was highly praised as revolutionising the fighting game experience. The mechanics were improved vastly, the game as a whole felt way more realistic than its predecessor. UFC 4 is not quite as impactful as UFC 3 was. In fact, the changes are quite minimal and overall not very noticeable, what is noticeable is the rather random inclusion of professional boxers Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and even Bruce Lee. Why these were included is beyond me, but Joshua has since been added to Volta mode in FIFA 21, so it seems it was purely a marketing move to win over the boxing community.
UFC 4’s Graphics/Style
Graphics-wise, it’s as impressive as you would expect. There’s a hyper amount of detail on the fighters who are considered to be the ‘most popular’ and the lesser-known ones get the generic face treatment. The graphics really stand out when it comes to the fighting action. A well-placed kick to the head can leave their cheeks being folded around the fighter’s foot.
Injuries and damage to the body look realistic and not over the top. Cuts and bruises appear naturally and in the body positions adjacent to where the strikes took place and the sweat physics work well rather than making the fighters look like they have just jumped out of the bath and into the octagon.
UFC 4’s Gameplay
Gameplay-wise, not a lot has improved from the last game. The floor grapple system is long and tedious. The combos are hard to learn unless you have played the previous titles first. Quite early on, my experience was simply mashing the buttons and hope for the best, but then I learned this just depletes my stamina and leaves me prone to be walloped in the face. It’s not a game where you run in and master immediately. The step-up in difficulty is brutal as well. I was initially struggling on normal difficulty as the fighters seemed well versed and would counter nearly all of my attacks. I dropped the difficulty down to easy and was knocking people out in 10 seconds. It’s a case of go on easy and be treated like a baby, or go on normal and face a final boss level enemy straight away.
UFC 4 is an overall enjoyable experience, but I feel it is hindered by the fact it is so similar to UFC 3. Anyone who has played UFC 3 before will not notice a whole lot different about the game other than the updated roster and stats. Career mode gets a tad generic after a while and does not offer a whole lot to keep you interested compared to the likes of the WWE 2K games. If you are a massive UFC fan, I would suggest grabbing this game. If you are a lapsed fan, maybe try UFC 3.
EA Sports UFC 4 was reviewed on PlayStation 4.
Featured Image Credit: EA