EA Sports UFC is the upcoming mixed martial arts title from EA Sports. The name says it all. The title is the first in which the UFC's deal with the devil will reap real-world results.
Leading up to its release EA has been very careful in the kind of promotional material they've released to promote the game. I've been in a bit of a nail-bitingly anxious mood awaiting this game for a couple of reasons – mixing pensive excitement with fearful reservation.
You see, the trailer above looks good. It looks exciting. Detailing the use of Bruce Lee in a 3D fighting game for the first time in the history of video games is a grand thing. The trailer really does it all right in swelling the right kind of emotions from gamers who can't wait to play as one of the greatest martial artists of all time.
However, as much as it is a notch on the excitement meter, it's an equal dig at the fear factor.
First of all, EA has a terrible track record as of late with releasing buggy, broken games. As much as I would love to be a first adopter, picking up a fresh copy and playing the game late into the early morning sunrise, after traveling through the midnight hours, I can't help but feel that it's a gamble as to whether the game will work out of the box or if it will come with a bug-ridden stipulation, ala Battlefield 4's save game bug.
Additionally, we've yet to see a full match from EA Sports UFC.
Small snippets of perfectly timed gameplay segments and exchanges in fisticuffs look great in trailers, but it's easy to win people over with snippets and vertical slices, ala Aliens: Colonial Marines.
The animations in the game also look astoundingly smooth. Despite the fact that the game isn't full fledged 60fps, as reported by Total Xbox, (which may or may not be a deal breaker depending on the frame drops), the punches, kicks and character reactions look exceptionally good in the trailers. It makes my hands sweat in anticipation and my eyes glow with glee. Seeing EA Sports UFC in action makes me want to play the game.
However, we've been here before... with EA Sports MMA. Remember this trailer?
But here's how the game actually plays.
Not bad; but it's certainly not as dynamic or as fluid as the earlier trailers would lead you to believe.
I've been really craving a good simulation-based fighting game, and EA Sports UFC looks like it could easily feed that hunger. However, EA's shady track record, poor post-release support (multiplayer shutdowns anyone?) and the whole cycle of hype has left me far too jaded to fully buy into the hype.
Perhaps EA's own reserved methodology of hyping their own MMA title is a sign that they're going to take this slow and easy like a first-time, self-served colonoscopy.
Right now, the verdict is still out as to whether or not it's worth a day-one purchase. I'll be closely watching EA Sports UFC as it heads toward its June 17th release on the PS4 and Xbox One.