This is the fourth effort at the sporting event of UFC from EA Sports. This time around they double down on the career elements and the ground game refinements. It’s also actually the best effort I’ve seen in attempting to teach the core mechanics. You experience this through the career mode learning system after you’ve created your character. Note that with the wide range of options, that game face scanning has been removed from the creator.
They really do a good job of having that coach teach the essentials, while also allowing more advanced moves to be learned naturally as your career progresses. That was handled well, and I had a far better grasp of mechanics than I have in the past which is great. I think that helps a lot with the accessibility. The career mode itself is alright. You fight, and train between weeks.
I would have liked something more dynamic there, but it works and is a solid experience for those that want something more personal out of this series. Past that there are a number of local options for playing. You can just fight with a large roster of individuals that are extended further by custom options or also twist up the rules a bit with a few play now options.
They do offer events, practice modes and tournaments too if you’d like to do that offline. The same aspect goes for the online multiplayer. There are a number of ways to compete against others in a casual or competitive way which is somewhat expected from the series. Blitz Battles might be fun for some, it changes things up quite a bit in faster paced face-offs. I wouldn’t say there are necessarily a lot of innovations within the game modes, but they have the essentials.
This looks alright, though I felt they could have pushed things further. The visuals are very much stagnant between the releases in this series. The boxing games of which somewhat make up this game’s predecessors were always so ground breaking and this one doesn’t quite push the visuals like that series did in its heyday. Still, it hits the visceral aspect of the combat with bruising and gore as time progresses.
It does have an interesting concept of damage, as I’m sure that’s not tuned to the style of real life. There are difficulty options present for any type of player and again with the training this one feels more accessible than any entry prior. I would have liked more basic arena options, I felt like you play in the same Octagon over and over. They do have some more fun arena options in this one, just need to make those more available.
The combative mechanics do feel largely the same, but the ground game has been entirely reworked and it’s much better. It’s more streamlined and easier to understand, while offering additional dynamics for resisting or shifting during your big moves. I appreciated this, as while I’ve never been a fan of the AI’s push for submissions it is a big part of the sporting event. This did seem fairly polished this time around too, only one T-pose came up while playing.
EA Sports UFC 4 is a generally great follow-up to the previous entry, but one that doesn’t necessarily have a whole lot of changes to it. It doesn’t really push the technology which is disappointing, but it’s a fine bridge to gap the jump to the next generation.
I hope that they’re able to push things there with future releases and to innovate further. It’s a strong package with a good selection of modes to play and with many ways to compete. I think the career mode is a step in the right direction and that this package offers a lot.
This is also the most fun I’ve had with the series thus far, the training elements were appreciated and provided a far better understanding of just how the smaller finesse moves can make an impact on your experience.
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UFC 4 Review on Xbox One X
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