The most realistic fight returns to the Octagon at the hands of Electronic Arts, offering with UFC 4 a solvent proposal for fans but little content.
Since Fight Night Champion was launched back in 2011, the fight in Electronic Arts comes from the hand of MMA, or mixed martial arts, and specifically from the UFC federation, the most popular in the world. Once in the hands of THQ, since 2014 the Canadian giant has been in charge of giving us the possibility of enjoying this sport with more and more fans of our consoles, as well as being able to do it at the wee hours of the morning on television. With a release cadence every two years, EA can take the time to implement multiple improvements from one release to another or even eliminate those aspects that do not work, even if that is a double-edged sword that entails subtracting content. Great inside the Octagon, regular outside of it – that’s EA Sports UFC 4.
Technical and strategic combat
As anyone who has never approached a title in this franchise can deduce – those who have already know it well – UFC 4 is far from being a fighting video game as we are used to, with all that that implies. The first of the consequences is that the control of the fighters, whatever their style, is extremely demanding, with a considerable amount of button combinations -use all of them, also the triggers- and the inclusion of mini-games for some situations , although obviously we cannot do combos of more than 3 or 4 hits as much. There are different fighting techniques –which we will talk about later-, but it must be made clear that those based on blows –such as boxing or kickboxing, for example- are easier to master than those that focus on grips.
As is usual in the genre –be they arcade or simulation, as in this case-, the action buttons are assigned to kicks and punches, being able to apply variations –of strength, height, etc… – by means of the triggers, and even there , everything is relatively simple. The tricky thing comes when it comes to grips and closures, as well as in ground movements, where the possibilities are so many and slightly convoluted, that it will be almost inevitable to get involved at the beginning: you have to dedicate a lot of time to master these techniques, already that to make matters worse, it is one of the playable aspects in which the studio in charge has influenced when increasing its possibilities.
One of these novelties is what they have seen fit to call Real Player Motion, or in other words, animations and movements according to the situation of the contest and the capabilities of the fighters, offering a fluidity and credibility beyond any doubt, with transitions very natural. Ground & Pound situations, or hitting an opponent on the ground, have also been reinforced, with more possibilities for the attacker, but also for the fighter who has to defend himself, giving him more tools to get out of that unfavorable situation.
That said, the options once we are on the ground locked in the fight are, as we know, three: the aforementioned Ground & Pound, Get up, if we are not very knowledgeable in this section, or Submit, which is resolved through a curious minigame for both attacker and defender. As an attacker, we must match our strength with that of the defender by pressing both rear triggers, something that is not easy since there are not only three positions -left, right and center-, but there are also other intermediate positions that will depend on the pressure we exert. over the buttons. While, on the part of the defender, it is necessary to do exactly the opposite, avoid that coincidence in a different interface we change a crescent for a complete sphere – and that this time it is handled, in a much more intuitive way, with the right stick.
In the case of a simulator, it goes without saying that it is not at all easy to be able to deliver resounding blows to the opponent, although it also depends on the level of the AI, little more than a normal or lower level punching bag. Therefore, it is fully satisfactory to be able to give one that is practically the one that solves the fight, since the usual animation that shows our opponent groggy, the screen turns into a red tone that makes it clear that we can finalize the fight. That being said, we obviously recommend playing it on a difficulty level above Normal, as it is not a huge challenge otherwise.