Electronic Arts has announced that the EA Sports UFC video game demo will be released for free on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game consoles on June 3. The demo will allow players to try a sample of what will be EA Sports’ second attempt at an MMA video game. This will be UFC’s ninth offering in the video game market.
The demo is set to feature only two fighters, Jon “Bones” Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. The demo looks to showcase a rematch fight between Jones and Gustafsson after their brutal bout last year at UFC 165. That fight ended in Jones’ favor, but players of EA Sports UFC demo will be able to fight as their favored fighter in the virtual rematch and determine the outcome.
EA Sports’ previous MMA video game, EA Sports MMA, received mediocre critical reviews, while gamers found it to be the lesser game when compared to THQ’s UFC Undisputed 3. Players found the game mechanics to be easily exploited by focusing on punching rather than grappling, wrestling, or submissions. Many players felt as though fighting while standing and wrestling on the mat were two different mini-games that did not have a smooth transition between them.
Electronic Arts has put its Fight Night boxing video game franchise on hold to develop EA Sports UFC from scratch. The Fight Night team from EA Canada has become the UFC Team and developed the game with a new game engine. The new Ignite game engine promises a new way for sports games to “think.” Artificial intelligence will now have better judgment and reactions like real athletes. The True Player Motion framework found within the new game engine will work to make bodies and clothing react to physics in a more realistic manner.
Players who download and play Electronic Arts EA Sports UFC demo will be able to try out the latest up-to-date game engine and see how it affects the action. The preview build of the game features gameplay very similar to UFC Undisputed 3, but with simpler mechanics. EA has focused on a quicker reaction game to try and achieve the fast back-and-forth action of a real UFC fight.
Punching and kicking will mostly feel the same, but the new True Player Motion will shine in this department. Punches and kicks will land differently as the opponent will be able to react in a more realistic manner. Blocking and countering will become more precise and fluid. If a player goes for a high kick and the opponent goes for a straight punch, where the opponent’s arm and hand are will greatly affect where and how hard that kick will land. Speed and fatigue will also play a greater determining factor as well. A fighter’s stamina will determine how fast a player will be able to react and counter during a fight.
Players who find themselves in a submission hold will find it easier to defend. Instead of rotating the right thumbstick, players will just hold an up, down, left, or right position to break free. The opponent that put on the submission will just have to flick their thumbstick in the same direction to block the escape attempt. The submission mini-game will be easier, but the overall frantic nature of struggling and countering will be more difficult this time. Stamina will also play a large role in submissions and the ground game as fighters who fatigue will find it harder to attempt an escape or counter a grapple.
Electronic Arts has chosen to focus on MMA instead of boxing due its global acceptance as a beloved sport. Electronic Arts Canada is making sure that the EA Sports MMA demo will showcase a new generation of fighting sports video games.
By Raul Hernandez