It’s the fastest growing sport in the world, so it’s should come as no surprise that Electronic Arts has recreated UFC in video game form.
EA Sports UFC 2 aims to fully recreate the UFC experience – as the developer proudly claims, from the walkout to the knockout. It’s all about being authentic to the likeness of each fighter, their style of combat and, of course, to the mix of brutality and strategy that decides who walks out of the octagon a winner, and who is stretchered out a bloodied mess.
EA Sports UFC 2 is built on the Ignite game engine, which is also used to power the visually spectacular and fluidly animated FIFA soccer series, as well as EA’s Madden, NFL and NBA Live franchises. It’s also developed by the same team who gave us the excellent boxing series Fight Night. The lessons learned in the coding of those titles shines through with UFC 2, which improves on a number of facets of the original game (released in 2014).
As well as general enhancements to the overall visuals and fighter likeness, we now have full body deformation, adding to the atmosphere and immersion of the fight. If players change their strategy mid-fight, the AI will now adapt to that and try and counter, adding to the challenge and sense of realism. Knockouts are now dynamic, less a result of landing a series of strong bellows, but a result of the momentum and strength in a hit, rewarding those who outthink their opponent and time their blows better. Grappling has also become clearer, with visual guides better instructing the player on how to maintain and manage the wrestle.
A number of game modes are available. Ultimate Team allows you to create, customise and upgrade up to five fighters of your own using coins earned in battle - there is also a Custom Event Creator to give your further control of your UFC experience. Title Chase is the core campaign, and it’s joined by a KO mode – which allows you to play without grapples and submissions (just blows) - and a Practice mode – which aims to help newcomers come to grips with the combat. There is, of course, the full multiplayer suite to enjoy, too.
Perhaps the most exciting addition to this sequel, however, must surely be the female fighters, led by the one and only Rhonda Rousey.
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