MMA is a sport that requires a very high level of fitness, strength and skill. To try and highlight the athletes’ dedication to their sport, UFC incorporates a lengthy process of training and character improvement. Unfortunately, for a normal human playing UFC, trying to achieve that fitness, strength and skill quickly feels too much like hard work.
With a sport as complex as MMA, controlling a game with the limited buttons available on a controller was never going to be easy. While EA manages to represent other complex sports in its various franchises, there is something missing here. Controlling your character feels sluggish and unresponsive; some of the more technical moves seem to have just been assigned random buttons which take a long time to memorise.
Visually the game is very impressive with odd occasions during fights appearing as if you are watching a televised event. Sadly, this is spoiled somewhat by the sporadic inclusion of real videos of the various UFC celebrities which only serves to hinder immersion - acting as a reminder that you are actually playing a game.
The game sees you progress from a contestant on the UFC reality show “The Ultimate Fighter” through to main event fighter with each fight punctuated by a training session in the gym. While the training sessions are needed to reinforce the overly complicated control scheme and improve the stats of your character, they quickly become very repetitive and feel like a chore.
Enthusiasts of the sport will surely find something to like here with the incredibly detailed character development and the lifelike representation of the combat, but as this is not narrative based the gameplay should at the very least be fun - unfortunately, it’s not.