The lights are on
I will give a review of EA Sports UFC for XBOX One. I will break this down by presentation, gameplay, and features.
Presentation: EA Sports UFC was built using the Ignite engine to allow for some uncanny valley representations of true to life UFC fighters. I place it in the uncanny valley due to their animations, which is unfortunate. Audio is filled with a soundtrack of some licensed music from some known artist that fit the UFC. EA Sports UFC tried to mimic the feel of what fans see in the UFC, but I feel the inclusion of FMV (Full Motion Video) in lieu of using the existing in engine fighter models is a misstep. Bouncing between FMV and back into the in game representations only show that graphically and animation wise how separate from their real life representations they are. Navigating through the menus is a bit like navigating through the XBOX 360 menus, and that's not a good thing. There are some controls for changing the presentation such as turning the H.U.D. off for bouts, which is a nice touch. The recreation of UFC bouts are authentic, so that is a target that EA Sports UFC hits. Creating a fighter is limited as their are no tools for adjustments. There are a variety of mangled faces, poor hair styles, and various body types. Using Game Face to import yourself is a chore, and the results can often be horrifying as it is not what you see is what you get from What you created to what is downloaded. Using Game Face is the equivalent of generating a funhouse version of an in game fighter.
Gameplay: EA Sports UFC makes a clear attempt to familiarize the player through a demo when you first start the game up. There are also drills you can do prior to matches that build up points to spend in building up your fighter while you also get some practice in different combos. In the beginning matches in career mode, you'll find your fighter quite limited in comparison of the fighters used in the demo. You will get gassed easily, you attacks do little damage, and you'll repeat many of the same moves. There are multiple styles to choose from when you start career mode, but the move sets within each style are admittedly thin in comparison to previous UFC titles from THQ. One thing I want to point out that the controls feel overly complicated without reason. Some punches require pressing two buttons at the same time as moving the control stick in a specific direction at a specific time. Timing these within a fight and remembering each technique requires a lot of memorization, and most players will just let the bouts become a button smash until someone falls. One last thing I'll touch on here is that there are a lot of bugs, which would lead me to believe the game was shipped incomplete. In a few bouts I had, the camera started to spin around the two fighters because the camera kept colliding with the octagon's ring, an opponents spine snapped backward in an inhumanly way that should've led to paralysis, and fighters do not always obey the laws of physics when they collide which lead to humorous spots but do impact how the game plays.
Features: EA Sports UFC comes with a decent varieties to enjoy. There is a versus mode to fight against the A.I., someone locally, or online and a career mode. The fighters listed on the roster is pretty decent, but there are some UFC fighters that are missing. Career mode is laid out well to put you in the gloves of an up and comer. Career mode allows you to take your created fighter through the ranks and allows you to move all the way until your fighter is past its prime.
Bottom line: If you are a fan of the UFC, you will look past some of what would cause other gamers grief. The controls are overly complicated so there is a steep learning curve. Knockouts can come out of nowhere, so victory or defeat may feel unearned or deserved. EA Sports UFC will appeal to the hardcore fans, but I think it's a pass for those that enjoy a fighting game.
The features, or lack there of, are terrible