UFC 5 Is the Evolution I Have Been Waiting For
Most sports games release on a yearly cycle which makes it difficult to implement large changes. Fortunately, UFC plays by its own rules with the 5th release in the series coming 3 years after its predecessor. Due to this, EA Vancouver has enacted a whole host of alterations that promises to make UFC 5 the most authentic MMA game to date.
The tagine, ‘As Real as it Gets’, is extremely accurate. Now on the incredible Frostbite engine and at 60 FPS, the game looks remarkably like its real life counterpart. The visuals have had a complete overhaul with big fight feel lighting that captures the atmosphere present in televised events. Each fighter looks lifelike with strand based hair physics which significantly improves their appearance. There are also a ton of new facial animations and body types which helps to make fighters even more distinctive.
Enter the Octagon
For the first time in the series, UFC gets an M rating. This is partly due to the level of damage now achievable. With incredible attention to detail and 64,000 possible combinations of damage, you can pulverise your opponent in a vicious, visceral manner. Swellings and cuts will affect your fighters performance and due to this you will need to react and alter your gameplay to ensure you can still claim the victory. A long awaited feature comes into play here which is the doctor’s stoppage. If an injury looks too bad, the match will be paused and your injuries inspected. At this point, the fight can either be called off or continued. This lends itself to all new tactical options which helps to make this even closer to the sport.
Although the last Fight Night came out in 2011, it still managed to offer more cinematic replays than the UFC games. This is no longer the case. UFC 5’s new replays include dramatic lighting, enhanced audio and super slow motion that captures every molecule of spit and blood. The impact on knockout strikes looks significant and captures the frenzy of MMA.
The most exciting new feature is the transition based Seamless Submission system. Minigames have been removed which helps make everything more realistic and keep you focused on the fight. Whether this manages to capture the nuances of the submission game is still up in the air but it definitely looks to be moving in the right direction.
It’s Fight Night!
Another addition to UFC 5 is Fight Week. Linking to real events, you will be able to run through upcoming match cards to win specific rewards for fighters. You can also predict the outcome of matches for additional unlocks. All of these aspects look like interesting ways to keep you engaged for years to come. The unlockable Alter Egos look great as these celebrate a fighter’s career. For example, EA showed Jon Jones in his debut fight and even Shevchenko from her kickboxing career.
The career mode sees the return of Coach Davis and for the first time, features a voiced fighter. EA has focused on improving the training camps and enhancing key career moments with cinematics. This looks promising but I want to see more. While the developers have looked at making improvements, I wasn’t too impressed with aspects mentioned. A key issue with previous iterations was the repetition that plagued the mode, hopefully this has been corrected but I didn’t see any evidence to indicate this.
An Online Career mode has been added which allows created fighters to go against one another. Here you can earn evolution points and upgrade your avatar. This gives more incentive to develop your fighter and hopefully more aspects are within this mode. As winning a title with your character and defending it would be pretty sick!
It’s Almost Time
Releasing on October 27th, UFC 5 is shaping up to be the best of the franchise. Pre-order fighters are fantastic with the legend Fedor Emelianko finally in a UFC game and the GOAT of boxing, Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson also in the package. With community focused improvements at the heart of the game, UFC 5 looks to be a knockout.
Will you be picking up the game when it releases? Is this what you were hoping for from the sequel? Are there any other features you are hoping for? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter, and don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube for some great video game content.
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