EA Sports UFC 2 is a mixed martial arts fighting video game developed by EA Canada, and published in March 2016 by Electronic Arts for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Since it is the sequel to 2014’s EA Sports UFC, it is based on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) brand. The game was announced in November 2015.

Gameplay

For a regular UFC match, you begin by picking your fighter with the option to customize several aspects of the fight, such as the weight division, your opponent, the rules and the location of the fight. Your goal is to finish the match before the time limit, either by KO/TKO or by submission. If the timer runs out, the fight will stop and the judges will declare the winner based on the overall performance of each athlete in the specific match.

In your disposal you will have a variety of strikes such as punches and kicks, a well designed grappling system, some submissions and a blocking mechanism. Keep in mind that that the movement inside the octagonis not based on the classic 2D fighting games , thus allowing dodging both strikes and takedown attempts not only by moving back but also by moving sideways. Every athlete also has a stamina bar and a damage diagram indicating where the player has taken most of the hits and how tired he is.

The game features more than 250 playable characters from all weight divisions of UFC, both male and female. Before you select a fighter you can see his overall power and his partial rating in three core sections (Stand-Up Ability, Clinch Ability and Ground Technique). If you plan to dig deeper into the game fighter cards though, you will find out that there are plenty of ratings that distinguish each mmaer from another.

Ratings are but a small part of the uniqueness of every playable character that this title has to offer. The game strives to be as realistic as the real UFC and for that purpose, the style of every fighter heavily depends on his actual performance in the “real-life” octagon. Movement, Striking including both hands and feet, Grappling, Takedowns, Submissions, Clinch, everything is designed according to the real UFC. If the mmaer you picked is able to do something inside the cage in real life, he will be able to do it in the game as well.

Except for the regular fights, EA Sports UFC 2 features four basic modes. In the Career Mode, you can pick an existent athlete or create your own in order to conquer the world of MMA. Practice Mode is the training ground of the title, allowing you to test different strategies and combinations before the actual fight begins.The Knockout Mode is similar to regular fights, with the main difference that the player can only win by knockout. Grapplers beware!  Last but not least, the Ultimate Team Mode resolves around deck-building with famous UFC champions cards and playing against other players’ decks.

Online Features

The Casual Mode and Ranked Mode will take your online fights to the next level, allowing you to compete against other players from all over the world without any servers downtime or lag-spikes. You can also see a detailed history with your W/L/D record, favorite submissions, title challenges or defenses and much more.

Graphics / Sound

Fighters’ models, referees and octagon girls are very realistic, down to the last detail. The combat experience is really smooth and graphical glitches are very rare. Many aesthetical details are also present; for example, fighters will suffer visible damage during a fight. The title’s soundtrack is acceptable and mainly consists of some rock and hip-hop hits. You can not say the same for the commentary though, because Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg will make you feel like you are observing the fight from the front row.

Unique Features

The game’s AI crowns EA Sports UFC franchise as the best fighting simulator game at the time this review was written. The new knockout physics added to the game allow you to KO your opponents dynamically based on finishing hits, momentum and strength. In addition, female UFC combatants from two different weight classes are now a playable option.

Pros

  • Realistic MMA experience

  • Incredible commentating

  • Detailed fighters

  • Knockout Physics system

Cons

  • Some bugs may occur when two athletes strike simultaneously
  • Wrestling still feels a bit odd

Rating (8/10)

  • Online: 7.5/10

  • Gameplay: 8.5/10

  • Graphics: 8.1/10

  • Sound: 7.5/10

  • Uniqueness: 8.5/10

Primary Version Tested: PS4

Foivos Karkanis

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