EA Sports is going big with their first ever UFC title (their first UFC game, not an actual Heavyweight title or anything) and the first UFC game of this generation. EA Sports recently announced on their news page a few exciting features that EA Sports UFC will have, along with a trailer that tells you these same details, except you get to watch people beat each other in the Octagon while you listen.
Be The Ultimate Fighter
For the first time in a UFC licensed game, the Career Mode in EA Sports UFC starts players off in The Ultimate Fighter tournament. The Ultimate Fighter is a proving ground for MMA fighters trying to make their way to the Octagon. After players win an elimination match, their fighter is then drafted to a TUF team. For your TUF coaches, 13 pairs of real-life fighters will be available. I’m excited to share a training session with Benson Henderson, personally. Winning in The Ultimate Fighter tournament lands players a contract with the UFC, and then it’s time to step in the Octagon.
Create A Fighter
Before all of that, though, players must first create their fighter. In the Create A Fighter system, players can choose from tons of options from typical appearances such as skin/eye/hair color, tattoos, height and weight and so-forth. Players also choose a fighting style and weight class. Each style comes with its own attributes and skills that can be upgraded and unlocked. EA says that “this means that progressing through a career as a Welterweight Boxer will give you a distinctly difference experience than you’ll have as a Featherweight specializing in Tae Kwon Do.”
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After creating their fighter and landing a contract with the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter tournament, players will then fight through a series of what’s called Card fights. This means that players will start out fighting in the smaller fights of the Event, eventually working their way up to being in the Main Event themselves. Smaller fights are Under Card fights, while the Main Event fights are Main Card fights. After enough wins, players will have a shot at winning a title in a Championship fight. Man, being introduced in a Main Event by Bruce Buffer is going to give me goosebumps.
Popularity and Longevity – Protect Your Fighter
A long-term career in the UFC depends on two systems, Popularity and Longevity. Winning fights and putting on a show will increase players’ Popularity, which will helps unlock sponsors and in-game gear, but it will also catch the attention of other high-popularity real-life fighters. Players’ favorite real-life fighters could visit them in their training camp for tips before big fights. Longevity is basically a time bar that tells players how much longer their career will last. Playing smart and avoiding injuries will cause a player’s Longevity to drop slowly, making his or her career last longer. Just like real life, though, a fighter can only handle so much. Playing unintelligently and getting hurt is a good way for players to end their careers fast.
Hone Your Skills
As players train and fight through their career, they will gain XP and Evolution Points. Working their fighters through a max of 25 levels, XP Points will allow players to unlock abilities in 3 categories: Ground, Standup and Physical. By what I can gather – if it’s not obvious – Ground abilities help with takedowns, working in Guard, performing/avoiding submissions and so-forth. Standup helps with striking, blocking, countering and clinch moves. Physical might be certain things like Stamina regen or Heart or Chin – things that can really affect the outcome of a fight. I’m just guessing here, though.
Players can use these skills to create Game Plans, which are presets that fighters go into their matches with. Players can switch their game plans at any time during the fight, depending on their opponent’s style.
Evolution Points can be spent on upgrading a fighter’s Attributes and unlocking Moves. This allows players to better their playstyle by upgrading either the power behind a right hook or possibly even takedown speed. Special Moves like the Showtime Kick can be unlocked.
Players should know that they aren’t the only ones leveling up, though. In addition to the UFC’s stars, the roster will contain 200 CPU generated fighters that progress through a career of their own. Any fight a player does not take part in is simulated. This creates a living, breathing roster and business within the game. If a player beats a fighter once, he or she can look forward to possibly going against that same fighter with better abilities and improved in other ways as well.
Wear the Belt
If players win a Championship and defend their title long enough and have a high enough popularity, they’ll have a shot at being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
I may be more excited for this game than I should be. I love the UFC, and I can’t wait to see what EA has done with it.
EA Sports UFC will release on June 17 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
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