The bell has rung, and the next round of virtual combat is underway with the highly anticipated release of EA UFC 5 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X. As the dust settles and the servers hum with eager players, here are the ten critical takeaways from my four days of intense gameplay, courtesy of EA.
1. Guard Your Head, Guard Your Victory:
Head damage takes center stage in EA UFC 5, elevating the consequences of every strike. Severe cuts, potential referee intervention – the game emphasizes the vulnerability of the head. Recklessness might lead to brutal KO or TKO losses.
2. Spinning Attacks: A New Challenge:
Spinning attacks, once a favored strategy, now demand a new level of mastery. The controls have been revamped, making spinning kicks and punches more challenging to execute. A nod to realism, it adds an extra layer of difficulty to the gameplay.
3. Grappling Evolution – A Familiar Ground:
While touted as a seamless transition, the grappling system in EA UFC 5 doesn’t drastically differ from its predecessor. Quicker transitions, a few tweaks, and the removal of the submission mini-game define the changes, maintaining familiarity for EA UFC 4 veterans.
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4. Online Championships: Real Fighters Only:
A notable shift from EA UFC 4, online championships in EA UFC 5 exclude created fighters. Players must now choose from real UFC fighters, adding an element of skill and authenticity to the ranked mode.
5. Career Mode Gets an Online Boost:
Acknowledging past criticisms of offline career modes, EA introduces an option to take created fighters into online career mode. Players can upgrade attributes, movesets, and appearance, offering a more engaging and dynamic career experience.
6. Fight Contracts: A Unique Challenge:
Fight Contracts mode tasks players with facing a variety of opponents for limited-time coin bonuses. This mode not only provides valuable practice but also encourages players to experiment with different fighters, potentially discovering new mainstays for Online Championship.
7. Kumite Bouts: A Spectacle of Chaos:
The Kumite returns, resembling EA UFC 4 but with a single, intense 25-minute round. While the likelihood of reaching a decision is slim, the chaotic action pays homage to the Bloodsport aesthetic, creating a must-try match type for players.
8. Fight Week Predictions: Immersive Engagement:
Adding a layer of real-world anticipation, Fight Week allows players to predict winners ahead of real-life events in the game. Completing contracts and challenges associated with fighters on the upcoming card enhances the immersive experience.
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9. Ultimate Team’s Absence: A Missed Opportunity:
EA UFC 5 chooses not to reintroduce Ultimate Team to the franchise, leaving fans to wonder about the potential of a collector mode. With a focus on fighters rather than movesets, Ultimate Team could have added an intriguing layer to the game.
10. Boxing-Only Mode Wishlist: Tightening the Stand-Up Combat:
The stand-up combat in EA UFC 5, particularly boxing, offers a more refined experience. A yearning for an all-boxing mode surfaces, hinting at the potential for a future update to cater to fans of the striking aspect of the sport.
Olivia’s Take: The Next Round in Virtual Combat Evolution
In the ever-evolving landscape of virtual combat, EA UFC 5 emerges as a heavyweight contender, delivering a more challenging and visually stunning upgrade from its predecessor. The game’s focus on realism, strategic gameplay, and an organized array of modes positions it as a must-play for both seasoned veterans and newcomers to the franchise.
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As the virtual octagon echoes with the sounds of fierce strikes, submissions, and crowd roars, EA UFC 5 stands as a testament to the developers’ commitment to pushing the boundaries of sports simulation gaming. Whether you’re a fan of calculated grappling or prefer the raw intensity of stand-up combat, this game caters to a diverse audience, offering a well-rounded and immersive experience.
The absence of Ultimate Team might leave some fans yearning for the collector mode, but the enriched career mode and engaging new features compensate for the omission. The introduction of online career mode breathes new life into the single-player experience, bridging the gap between offline and online gaming seamlessly.
EA UFC 5 is not merely a sequel; it’s a statement. A statement that the virtual combat arena is continually evolving, mirroring the dynamic nature of the sport it represents. With a solid foundation, engaging gameplay mechanics, and a promising online community, EA UFC 5 secures its place as a knockout title in the realm of sports gaming.
In the heart of the virtual octagon, where every strike carries weight and every victory is hard-fought, EA UFC 5 takes its place as a champion among sports simulation games. Step into the arena, gloves on, and experience the intensity of the next-gen combat evolution. The octagon awaits, and the battle for supremacy has never been more exhilarating.