EA Sports UFC 5: our test and all information about the new UFC game – L’Éclaireur Fnac

Our test

Just over three years after the release of its last work, UFC 4, EA Sports’ MMA game series returns with a highly anticipated new episode. The EA Sports UFC 5 game was officially released for PS5 and Xbox Series on October 23, 2023, for the first time as a next-gen exclusive.

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Our test

We had the opportunity to test the Xbox Series version of EA Sports UFC 5. Having been a player of the license for several years (more precisely since UFC Undisputed 3 on PS3), I had followed with interest the revival of the format by Electronic Art and its sports sector. It was clear that the result was a real success, with games enjoyable to play and visceral gameplay.

This new version, the fifth released by EA Sports, promises a new twist in the evolution of the license, with a release reserved exclusively for lucky owners of next-generation consoles and the use of the Frosbite engine developed by EA was developed for the descendant of FIFA, EA Sports FC. Now let’s break the tension for a moment: If you were expecting a revolution, you may be disappointed! If EA Sports UFC 5 is successful and will please all MMA fans, even more fans of the UFC (main organization of this sport), on the other hand, it is just an updated and improved version of the previous work UFC 4. I will explain all this to you in detail.

Game Modes: Warmed up, this gets the job done

There is nothing revolutionary for the different game modes, but the content remains very complete and will satisfy different types of players. 7 different game modes are offered.

Great evolution of UFC 4, based on the career model in FIFA. This mode uses the same codes as the previous game: character starting in backyard fights (cleverly translated as “yard fights” in the French version!), mentor at the gym that matches your enthusiasm, first fights in a minor league before being transferred from the UFC to be discovered, news on social networks to make yourself known, training camps to progress and improve your statistics. On this topic, you should beware of sparring, which sometimes lacks realism, since your sparring partner tends to give you a concussion, even though an important deadline is approaching that will determine your career…

The recipe worked well in UFC 4, so it’s not a bad idea to use it again. But a little renewal of the scenario would not have hurt anyone, especially since the story that began in the ghettos of Miami (in line with that of the fighter Jorge Masvidal, who appeared on the cover) has no particular background this time. It’s difficult to get attached to your character in this way… Especially since there is only one scenario that cannot be changed: a pretty nice student who listens well to his coach leaves a lasting impression on the team. UFC through the most classic stages (Little League, Dana White Contender Series, training at the UFC Apex, the organization’s training center, fighting in the undercard, then in the main cards, etc.). I might as well tell you that when you want to create the most badass character possible, it’s always strange when he responds politely to his trainer and gushes like a nice guy as soon as he arrives at the Apex…

On the other hand, the engine for creating your character is still just as good, although it would have benefited from further elaboration. Since I like this part of career fashion, I had fun creating my awesome Milan “Voodoo” Lebas, a clever mix of half red neck, half Viking look and voodoo holdall culture from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Particularly noteworthy are the many tattoos that there are, it always has a small impact. The ability to customize the size of your fighter is also welcome. Note that they have only a limited impact on your performance in the octagon, as the fighting style and the different evolutions of your training camps chosen over time determine your performance abilities.

And for those who don’t like this creative mode, you can directly import an existing fighter to start them at the bottom of the leaderboard. Finally, it should be noted that – as is unfortunately often the case with sports simulations – no effort has been made to display the graphics in the various cutscenes realistically. Your trainer or training partners have no expression on their faces, the NPCs behind them seem to tirelessly repeat the same movements with the bag… We’re used to it, but the next-gen exclusive release made us hope for something more.

One of the new features of EA Sports UFC 5. The idea is pretty good: every week there are several challenges with fights between UFC fighters on more or less difficult difficulty levels. If you manage to win the battle, you will earn coins which you can then use to unlock elements of the game.

This mode is perfect if you want to fight quickly without having to go through the hassle of selecting the category and fighters. And it reflects the Combat Week mode, available online and one of the game’s great interests. I will return to this later in the Online section.

UFC 5 screenshot (8)

  • Personal event and instant battle mode

To fight immediately or create your own UFC event with a full card. You can choose the weight class, the theme of the fight, the fighters, their outfit, the location, the rules, etc. The possibilities are as vast as the list of fighters available.

I really appreciated the ability to customize the different combat types. In addition to the difficulty levels that allow you to progress with your mastery of the gameplay, you can opt for very entertaining rules: fight only standing (no takedowns for those who dislike grappling and phases on the ground), finishing only through KO, longer rounds, ability to stand up to your fighters…

Another element already present in UFC 4 is renewed, to my greatest delight: Kumite. Traditional Mortal Kombat-style battle arena, epic fighter outfits, 25-minute no-decision round. Fans of old-fashioned martial arts tournaments straight from the films of Bruce Lee or Jean-Claude Van Damme will still have fun. And for those who prefer backyard fights like Kimbo Slice, that option is also available.

Kumite EA Sports UFC 5

  • Online Modes: Fight Week, Online Career, Division Championships

UFC 4 was notable for its longevity thanks to a well-designed online gaming system that allowed EA to build a great community that is still active today, like FUT in FIFA. Therefore, I assume that the publisher decided to highlight this part for EA Sports UFC 5 in order to convince the most motivated players to make the switch.

I can’t tell you my personal feelings since I don’t have online access (when you become a father, multiplayer or long online seasons become inaccessible due to lack of free time…), but I think in any case the Combat Week mode idea excellent. Timing your challenges with UFC weeks and real fights in the organization is a brilliant suggestion to keep fans engaged.

The provision of a more interactive online career mode is also original, although the few echoes I’ve read about it on American websites seem to once again lament EA’s lack of ambition in this area.

Content: Nothing new under the sun

In terms of content, we can’t say that EA Sports UFC 5 offers anything new. In fact, UFC 4’s roster (full cast) was already well-stocked over the course of the various online additions. So consider this sequel an update with slightly different skins and graphics, as well as skills more in line with the current level of fighters.

There are always around twenty fighters in each category, for a total of more than 250 fighters! That’s more than enough to provide plenty of interesting fights. Note the unfortunate absence of Francis Ngannou, which is not surprising since he left the UFC and is at odds with the organization. On the French side, we may regret the lack of modeling of our main MMA stars, while the sport has been largely democratized in the last three years: neither Nassourdine Imavov nor Benoit St Denis, but still at the gates of the top 15 in their respective categories.. So we have to make do with our two current leaders, Ciryl Gane and Manon Fiorot.

UFC5_Top5Rating_M_Heavyweight_1080x1350

On the other hand, it should be noted that EA plans to update its list of fighters regularly. Electronic Arts’ website even has a forum for people to suggest fighters to add to the roster. As for the legends, let’s take the same and start again: Among non-MMA fighters, it’s still Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali and Bruce Lee who are the headliners. Former UFC or mixed martial arts legends include Fedor Emelianenko, Georges St. Pierre, Kimbo Slice, Daniel Cormier and Michael Bisping.

UFC5_FighterRender_Tyson_1080x1080_7Sept23

Finally, other than the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on the famous Fight Island, we did not notice any new venues that allowed the UFC to continue organizing fights during the Covid period. Once again, nothing serious, but it once again gives the impression of a botched overall content and a new work that has only evolved in one aspect: the gameplay.

Effective but not great gameplay and graphics

Because it is the gameplay area that I expected at the turn of EA Sports UFC 5, since Electronic Arts insisted on the implementation of the Frosbite engine throughout the communication phase. The decision to release the game only on the next generation was also a very encouraging signal in terms of gameplay and the improvement of the combat system.

And there it is again: Pschitt! So I’ll temper my words before you find me too harsh: This new UFC game is really fun. The types of strikes, the angles of attack, the guard’s management, defending well, the possibilities of conquering the ground, the work in grappling, in the clinch… all facets of mixed martial arts are perfectly presented. But what is the problem you ask me? This was already the case in UFC 4! When a publisher puts so much emphasis on the new engine and the next generation, we can at least expect a very noticeable improvement in gameplay, right? But none of that in EA Sports UFC 5.

The injuries are shown graphically better than before. If there is excessive damage (particularly to the eyes), doctors can now intervene, adding a welcome touch of realism. If we add to this the transitions in grappling, which are slightly faster than in the previous game, we have summed up all the developments of this sequel… A bit poor, right?

EA Sports UFC 5 Grappling

Taking advantage of the new graphics capabilities of the next generation is obviously not a given anyway. EA has focused on the quality of characters and environments, I think we’re way off target. Certain very characteristic fighter stances are reproduced very well, but this is far from the case for all and was already the case with UFC 4. Some small details around the modeling of hair, facial expressions, reactions in response to punches are in fact better transcribed. Kudos also to the modeling of the appearance of certain knockouts, which is very reminiscent of the faces of certain fighters taking punches in a real octagon.

But what about camera errors? In several cases, the angle of view changes completely during a clinch, such as a close-up of part of the room or an area of ​​the cage, causing the fighters to lose sight of each other for half a second. …I imagine that these small problems will be quickly resolved with a patch. Another small mistake, not least given the promise of even greater realism at the start of the game: the modeling of bodies when they are knocked out is sometimes completely absurd. Your opponents can fall like dislocated dolls after a big knockout, and the uneasy feeling of finding moves that are more like an arcade game than a sports simulation is heightened by the numerous slow motions on offer. Thanks to the new kinematic slow motion system…

EA Sports UFC 5 Slow Motion

Diploma

The positive points

– Very complete squad

– Many battle modes

– Always intuitive and fun gameplay

– Even more sophisticated online modes

The negative points

– No effort to add content

– The addition of the Frosbite engine is noticeable

– Some sometimes annoying bugs in the middle of battle

Diploma

After reading this review, you may be scared and want to move on. So I’ll temper my words: EA Sports UFC 5 is certainly the best MMA game ever created. The content is extensive (rosters, stadiums, game modes, online modes, etc.), the gameplay is efficient and easy to learn, but remains complex enough for hardcore fans to enjoy the game.

BUT we could expect much better from a work that is presented as a graphical revolution thanks to the Frosbite engine and the next generation. EA Sports UFC 5 is an improved UFC 4, perfect for UFC fans who want to pursue their passion even more. We are therefore working on an effective game to promote the UFC brand while satisfying MMA fans without them having to worry. At a time when this sport is taking new steps in its democratization, we can therefore regret EA Sports’ lack of ambition and hope that these technical improvements pave the way for a much more advanced future experience in the years to come.

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All information

If you’re not familiar with the license, the UFC is the world’s largest MMA, mixed martial arts fighting organization. In France, enthusiasm has been growing since the discipline was legalized, but also since two UFC events were organized in Paris with French fighters.

For this new edition, EA Sports has decided to change the engine and use the famous Frosbite engine, which already works wonders in games from EA Sports FC, formerly FIFA. Enough to make the combat animations, especially when it comes to contact, much more realistic and therefore inevitably more violent.

UFC 5 EA

A brand new damage system will also make combat more realistic, with fighters’ mobility, stamina and defensive ability increasingly affected depending on the blows they receive. In addition, like in the UFC cage, a doctor can intervene during the fight to stop it if the damage sustained is too great.

Ground combat has also been reworked to give players the opportunity to experiment with new combinations to achieve the famous submission. But KO fans won’t be disappointed either, as new specific slow-motion animations add an epic dimension to the best finishes.

The full roaster is not yet known, but we should find the biggest stars in the discipline. The first trailer already confirms the presence of Alexander Volkanovski, Valentina Shevchenko and Israel Adesanya, but also a former MMA legend, Fedor Emelianenko. Other martial arts legends will also be there, as if you pre-order the game you will have the opportunity to play with Mike Tyson or even Mohamed Ali.

Online games are of course available and allow you to compete against the best players in the world. On the other hand, there is no crossplay on the program. More information on game modes and gameplay will be available in the coming days.

UFC5

EA Sports UFC 5 will be available for PS5 and Xbox Series on October 23, 2023.