The lights are on
The first game in EA Sports' new UFC partnership aims to
create a mixed martial arts fighter worthy of next-gen systems.
While EA Sports UFC is still pre-alpha and won't be released
until next summer, EA outlined a number of improvements its new Ignite engine
the company's sports lineup. Here are five features MMA fans should pay attention to.
Getting Emotional: EA is putting a lot of work into improving the
likenesses of UFC's licensed fighters, which includes displaying more emotion
and awareness in facial animations. The developer is creating a wide range of
general emotions, but will also use full head 3D scanning to capture custom
facial animations for individual fighters as well.
Skin Deep: Fighters in EA Sports UFC will now feature skin
discoloration and vascularity changes during fights. For instance, if a player
is being choked out, his face will turn red, signaling he is in danger of
losing consciousness. Tendons will also become visible depending on the
position a player is forced into.
Full Contact: Despite the physical nature of the sport,
current MMA video games feature little contact between character models due to
the way they are animated. In EA Sports UFC, a soft body deformation system
allows characters to press against each other realistically, drastically
improving the realism of grapples and holds.
Damage Control: EA is also revamping how damage is
represented during matches. EA Sports UFC is being developed by the team behind
Fight Night, and recognizes that the impressive facial damage seen in the
series is ultimately linear and repetitive. The damage system in EA Sports UFC
allows for an extensive variety in cuts, bruises, and swelling, mimicking the
gruesome injuries that happen in real-life matches.
Plan B: MMA fighters aren't exactly respected for their
academic prowess, but that doesn't mean the sport is lacking in strategy. EA is
developing goal-based AI for fighters that will recognize a character's
strengths and weaknesses and devise an effective plan of attack. The AI will
also be adaptive, so if the computer's first plan isn't working, it can change
strategies on the fly.
EA Sports UFC is currently being developed solely for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
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