EA Access Subscribers have been playing EA Sports UFC now for a couple of days and its a good time to reflect a bit on some initial impressions both from myself and the rest of the community.
Our reviewer will have the game on Tuesday (he’s not a lucky XB1 owner) so expect even more in-depth analysis then. Here’s some initial thoughts of mine after just a few fights:
- On the surface, the graphical engine and presentation as a whole is still really well done. The thing I remember most about UFC 2 apart from the gameplay was how authentic it felt in terms of the feel of the game. Still good here, with the new animations making it even better. I’ll be looking at this closer as part of my coverage next week while Matt Llewellyn does in-depth dives on Gameplay and Career mode.
- In the octagon, the gameplay certainly feels familiar but different. The new controls took me a couple of fights to get the hang of even loosely (to be honest I’m incredibly rusty to begin with).
- There feels like more momentum at this point early on. I don’t want to say the game feels sluggish because I don’t think that’s the right word for it, just that there’s weight behind what you are doing moreso than before.
- With that said, the weight classes all feel different. Heavyweights move a bit slower than lightweights, etc.
- Takedowns are way harder to accomplish. Almost feels like an overcorrection from the last game but I have landed some — so they’re not impossible, but still much harder than UFC 2. The takedown system will need tweaks with patches for sure as I think its the weakest part of the gameplay right now.
- The grappling gates are faster now though, so the game feels like it flows better once you are on the ground.
- Ground and pound feels good to me. I’ve been in the situation in a couple of fights both on the offensive and defensive. On the offensive I did finish the fight off, on the defensive I took a beating but it was towards the end of the round. So while I didn’t escape, I didn’t lose the fight either because I was able to limit damage a bit over the last 30 seconds of the round. I was pretty desperate though, a thrilling moment.
- A random note: EA once again does this amazing presentation to introduce your first gameplay experience and it makes you realize how far sports games can still go on this front. Its like a big tease.
- Lastly, I’m having a devil of a time mastering the new controls still. I’m getting the hang of them (see above) but I’m clearly rusty and I’m still not utilizing all of the possible moves. I definitely won’t be touching any best of leaderboards in the game anytime soon, but an average player like me will need time to figure it all out. The good news spin to that is this game will take awhile to get used to and master, so you’ll have a natural and creative discovery period where your own skills advance over time.
Thoughts For Now
Look, its clearly early and its too early to make a big value judgement on where EA Sports UFC 3 is right now. I don’t have a full grasp on the controls after just a few fights, and I’ve yet to actually dive into the modes that much.
A very surface level take is that the game is definitely improved in some areas, though some aren’t going to like some of the gameplay changes because that’s just how this whole thing works. I’m finding I’ve had to change some strategies from what I used in the last game, which means the changes are at least accomplishing that much and making the experience new.
We’ve got a lot of EA Sports UFC 3 coverage lined up over the next week or so. Matt Llewellyn will be stepping in on Tuesday to provide in-depth thoughts on gameplay, career mode, and more.
And lastly, look for our full review after next weekend!