Every now and then a fighting game comes along that redefines the genre, that you play over and over with friends, one for which you diligently learn all the moves for each fighter.
EA Sports UFC, as beautiful, stunning and brave as it is... is not that game.
Don’t get me wrong this truly is next gen gaming.
During one of my first play-throughs, my wife was sat on the couch next to me and as I was being mercilessly pounded in the face by my brother-in-law (on the game of course) she remarked: “Oh I don’t know how you can watch this UFC, it’s horrible what they do to each other.”
Cue us falling about laughing and telling her we were playing a computer game. But that sums it up perfectly. Everything that is right with UFC is in its powerful visuals. This takes the graphics from EA’s successful Fight Night series and gets them in a choke hold before slamming them into the next generation.
But as stunning as it all is, for every good point there is something negative that stops this from being a nine or 10/10 game. Sublime graphics, over complicated, incoherent and maddening controls – trust me this is the single most difficult set of controls in any computer game I have ever played.
Great striking and satisfaction levels, but really poor grappling. Consistent online matches, pretty dull offline career and so on.
The team behind it are clearly dedicated UFC fans and they have produced a game that ticks so many important boxes but one key area – which all old fashioned game reviews used to focus on – they have missed is playability.
Die hards may love it and if you want to slug it out and show off your next gen console to friends for five or 10 minutes here and there there’s nothing better.
But it is a mixed bag of the best and the worst of MMA with a frustrating amount of potential that will hopefully be unlocked in future titles.
EA SPORTS UFC is available now on PS4 and Xbox One.