EA Sports holds the primate when it comes to the development of sports simulations and their latest fighting simulation, UFC 2 is certainly a game to take seriously. Especially from a graphical and audio standpoint, the game brings more than most other sports simulations could dream of.
When it comes to actual gameplay however, the big problem of actually simulating a mixed martial arts sport comes into play. To make the game actually fluid and yet realistic would be nearly impossible, which is why EA once again settles for a fairly predictable gameplay mechanics, which may seem somewhat disappointing but are in fact state of the art when it comes to what the current technology allows.
The game was first announced by EA Sports back in November 2015 and released for PS4 and Xbox One in March 2016. The game was later improved with addition of new gameplay modes and changes to the gameplay, but the general consensus remains that the games gameplay mechanics are simply not realistic enough.
Overall speaking, the game has received an average rating of about 8/10, which is fairly solid for any game and considering the level of realism present in other sports games is likely not yet possible for mixed martial arts games, EA have done a great job to receive ratings that high.
This is of course not to say that the game is not a very solid simulation and there is plenty of fun to be had with it. Let us discuss some of the game’s elements and details to get a better picture of UFC 2 overall.
UFC 2 Graphics, Audio And Animations
Visually speaking, UFC 2 could just be the most remarkable sports simulation ever created. The level of detail in player close ups, the astonishingly well created animations that reflect every little detail of an actual UFC combat and the fantastic audio background make the game seem extremely realistic.
The fluid motions of each punch, kick and pummel which UFC 2 gives us will leave no fan of the sport indifferent. In fact, the game looks so good that at times you will feel as if you were in the actual crowd, cheering from just feet away, and the roars of the crowd combined with fantastic commentary by Bruce Buffer will make the experience of watching a UFC match even more real.
The best part about it is the fact that the player decides what happens, and the reactions of the crowd are based on his moves. If you have always wanted to be a part of the UFC experience but never had a chance to come close, UFC 2 by EA Sports gives you the next best thing, as it is certainly the best looking and sounding simulation of a mixed martial arts sport there is.
UFC 2 Gameplay Mechanics and Modes
It is the gameplay part of UFC 2 that sometimes disappoints to a degree. The game does allow the player to pick among over 250 combatants, such as the cover athletes Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor, along with dozens of completely anonymous UFC combatants and those from other sports who have not yet tried their luck at this dangerous discipline. While each of the combatants does have a skill level and will fight in their own unique styles, majority of the combats in UFC 2 will resemble each other greatly.
The reasons for this stem mostly from the fact that while the face to face combat is quite advanced and well made, the floor combat tends to be very repetitive and simplistic, with only a handful of the many positions on the ground actually being useful in such situations.
While the combatant is on his or her feet, there will be plenty of options of kicks punches and combos the player can make to take his opponent out. However, this segment too is not as unpredictable as it is in the actual sport, where even a huge favorite can easily be defeated with a single lucky strike by his opponent. This element is missing completely from the game, and some combatants will be destined for failure before the match even begins.
The real UFC fans would certainly like to see more unpredictable gameplay along with the more advanced ground fighting mechanics, but considering the current technologies at EA’s disposal and the limited amount of commands the player can issue via a joystick, even this amount of gameplay sophistication is fairly impressive.
The great gameplay problem is somewhat decreased by the great amount of gameplay modes available, which will leave plenty of room to switch around and will keep the player entertained for a long time to come. UFC 2 includes gameplay modes such as Quick Fight, Career Mode, Online League and this time around even an Ultimate Team mode, similar to games like Madden NFL. If you are a fan of the growing trend of collecting player cards, the Ultimate Team mode will not disappoint you.
It is fairly safe to say that fighting simulations have not yet reached the gameplay sophistication levels of other sports games like FIFA, Madden NFL or NBA2K. That said, UFC 2 is certainly the most advanced fighting simulation out there as well as possibly the finest looking sports game currently on the market.
What it lack in gameplay, the game compensates in different modes, customization options, fantastic audiovisual identity and plenty of hardcore violence everyone will love. While we may always want the most realistic representation of each sport on our consoles, this is sometimes not yet possible, and the one certain thing is that EA did their best to bring UFC to our gaming platforms.
Considering the restrictions of the current technology and the complexities of the sport of UFC, we can definitely rate the game quite highly and it is certain that future editions of EA’s UFC will bring even more realism and fewer repetitive moments during the combats in combination with the already superb visuals.
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