Check out our review of EA Sports UFC 4…
We dive into whether the latest entry in the MMA juggernaut is worth playing, or if it taps out in the first round.
Hey how’s it going guys! Welcome to our review of EA Sports UFC 4, available on PS4 and Xbox One. We’ll tell you everything you need to know before you play. But before I do, make sure to hit subscribe for more videos like this, every single week. You’re not going to want to miss it.
I’ve always enjoyed how the UFC series releases games every other year, rather than following the trend of most sports games, forcing an annual update even if it’s not quite ready. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and having longer to wait doesn’t hurt the hype one bit.
But the wait is now over, as UFC 4 is out for all fans of mixed martial arts to enjoy. Promising to be the most advanced title in the series to date, it’s got a lot to live up to, given its predecessor was a hit with players, despite having some glaring technical issues. But now that it’s here, is UFC 4 a Jon Jones, or a CM Punk? Watch on to find out…
Firstly, this is the most brutal looking UFC game to date. Improved facial and body distortion really emphasises the impact of sickenly high powered strikes. If that wasn’t graphic enough for you, the slow mo replays have also been improved, meaning every gratuitous detail can be enjoyed.
Beyond the impact physics, there’s also plenty of new arenas to try out. As well are the traditional backdrop of packed arenas, you can now also select more unusual settings, including an octagon in a garden for backyard brawling. I didn’t think I’d care as much about this variety as I did, but I guess it makes sense. All the best fighting games have memorable, iconic locales, so it stands to reason it would work here too.
Although all these updates are welcome, the textures and graphics aren’t a huge leap from what we saw with UFC 3 two years ago. With an extended time away, I would’ve expected more of a leap forward in this department. The fact that there’s no planned next gen release also makes it suspicious that they’re getting by on the looks of the previous iteration.
Away from the graphics, the other conspicuous difference is the lack of Joe Rogan on commentary. Instead we have Daniel Cormier and Jon Anik. Now depending on your personal preference and opinions on Mr Rogan, this is either a blessing or a curse. But it’s hard to argue that his voice is synonymous with the sport, given he’s the colour commentator for almost all major events. Personally, I didn’t miss him too much.
Of course, style only gets you so far, but thankfully UFC 4 is packed with substance too, with much more variety in the combat this time around. There’s plenty of new takedowns and ground mechanics to customise how you want to approach each fight. Historically grappling and groundwork is where UFC titles have struggled, so it’s nice to see more emphasis on improving this area. Whether you want a calculated grappling contest or an ugly slobberknocker, you can play it your way.
In more of the meta-game, the new “unified progression system’’ is a welcome inclusion. Through this, progression is achieved through all game modes, including career mode, tournaments, Blitz Battles and more, giving everything a sense of meaning and substance. And it’s a good thing you don’t have to split your progress, as there’s a whopping 1,600 new pieces of gear to unlock, on top of 120 emotes.
The most meaty of these modes is career mode. As much an RPG as a fighting game, you’ll be able to train your fighter in the disciplines you want, form relationships and rivalries with your competitors, and build your own brand with fans. Although these additional role playing elements can be fun, eventually they do feel a little bit like fluff compared to the real fights, and I found myself much more entertained engaging in online bouts than following a narrative.
To wrap up, UFC 4 is definitely a case of evolution, rather than revolution. It adds some welcome features, and tweaks some of the weaker areas of its predecessor, but broadly speaking, it’s more of the same. In the grand scheme of things MMA is still a pretty niche sport, and I don’t think this entry will do much to expand the mainstream appeal. However, if you’re already a fan of the graps, there’s plenty of enjoyment to be found here.
But what did you think of UFC 4? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe for more videos like this every single week. See you next time!
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