EA Sports UFC 2 is set to launch on next Tuesday, and the review embargo has expired. Unfortunately, we haven't had the chance to adequately test the online portion of the game, so our review isn't quite ready yet. However, we still have some impressions of the game from our playing time so far.

Despite not being able to play much online, I did spend an extensive amount of time with the game's offline modes. The modes have much more depth than they did in EA Sports' 2014 debut with the UFC license, as career brings a lot more to the table and Ultimate Team and Knockout are fun additions to the overall package. Though I've only had the game during one UFC event, the Live Events mode, where you pick who you think will win each fight in the real-life UFC cards, is a fun way to compete with others in a pick 'em-style affair.

The core gameplay of the series is also improved, as the ground and clinch games are bolstered with a HUD telling you what your movements mean and new interactions between the fighters. The fundamental way the mechanics work in regards to the ground interactions have also changed. With UFC 2, it's all about fighters trying to execute moves at the same time, rather than going through the turn-based attack/defend phases of the ground game in UFC 1. Even as someone who is a big fan of the standup in EA Sports UFC, I often enjoyed entering the clinch and taking things to the ground in UFC 2.

I'll share my complete thoughts on the game when the full review publishes. Expect that to hit close to the game's launch on March 15.