EA tries each year to make the UFC games a step-up from previous iterations. What I love about the UFC games is the fact that unlike Madden, NHL, or FIFA, the UFC games do not come out year after year. It has been since February of 2018 when the last UFC game, UFC 3, was released and this latest release is a definite improvement over UFC 3. There are some things that have remained the same but it is quite clear that with a boxer such as Tyson Fury being the special DLC included with purchasing the game, that EA Vancouver knows exactly what UFC fans want, and that’s a boxing game. The more I play these UFC games the more I realize that not a lot of people like to play on the ground with some even simply just using it as a means of getting away from the stand-up game however fights usually always end up being back on the fighters feet. Players have wanted to years to have a new Fight Night game and while that doesn’t seem to ever be a reality, UFC 4 is going to be as close as you can get to having an actual boxing game.
UFC 4 comes back once again with it’s ever popular Career Mode where you can fully customize the way your character looks as well as being able to customize different fighting gear and more as well as picking what type of fighter you wish to be such as a Boxer, Kickboxer, Jiu-Jitsu and a Wrestler just to name a few. This mode tries to do this sort of documentary style story where your coach finds you at some sort of extremely amateur, fight club type MMA event where you have to survive your first fight. From there you go through a rather lengthy tutorial which does a fantastic job of teaching you all the various means of offense and defense as well as showing you how the ground game works which is akin to last year’s game. Once you are finished learning the basics of the game, you are given the opportunity to either fight for a contract in Dana White’s Contender Series or you can go straight to the World Fighting Alliance which allows you to fight for a minor league belt and by doing so can get you a much higher ranking in the UFC whereas going straight for a UFC contract in the Contender Series is going to start you out as being unranked. The Career Mode features the same social media posts as before where you can make choices on whether or not you want to be friendly to fighters and thus be able to learn new moves from them or decide to go off on them and start a rivalry instead. Once again the overall goal of Career Mode is to be the G.O.A.T by trying to accomplish certain goals such as defending your title so may times or winning to many consecutive fights.
Online mode is back once again and this time it is in the form of the Online World Championships. Much like previous games, you will be going up against players from around the world in a chance to become an online UFC champion. You start out by playing ranking matches and after that you will be placed in a division based on how well you have done. From there you have to win two matches in a row before you are given the chance to fight one of the many champions online and then be able to defend your title. While you don’t get to pick what weightless you are fighting in online, you do get to use actual UFC fighters or even your created fighter. An all-new online fight mode called Blitz Battles has you going up against 64 other fighters in a battle royal type mode where each day is a different weigh class to choose a fighter from. Blitz battles can also be just a regular MMA fight to a KO Mode style fight where you are simply just standing up and boxing each other to see who gets a knockout in a best of three series.
The controls for UFC 4 are quite simple to learn but difficult to master and over the course of the game, especially if you start in Career Mode, you’ll pick up how to fight in various situations. The game’s look of fighters does a great job providing some really good detail, however, it’s biggest flaw is just like the previous year in which there are some glitches and one’s that you will especially notice while playing online such as fighters arms flailing about or very weird positions that don’t make sense at all. I was really hoping that since this game started being developed back in 2017, that EA would fix these glitches but that simply isn’t the case. However, I will say that the frequency of these glitches is few and far between. The game also allows you to level up and complete a wide variety of challenges that stem from Career, Online, Offline and more where you can unlock new customization options for your created fighter and so much more.
UFC 4 is a great game for those that still miss Fight Night as well as those that are looking for some great competition online mixed in with a rather deep career mode and for those that enjoy creating and customizing a fighter. The game does a great job giving those that are new to the series as well as those that are veterans something to appreciate. The Blitz Battles are a nice change of pace as well as being able to fight in a Bloodsport type arena or even in a backyard setting. This is definitely one game that will keep you pushing for that next win and is one that you won’t find yourself being bored with.