A few weeks back, Electronic Arts and EA Canada ran me by their latest entry to their MMA fighting series ‘UFC 5’ and all the changes that would be coming this time around. Of course, our cover atheletes this time around being Valentina Shevchenko, Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski, and Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya—three cover atheletes repping our flyweights, featherweights, and middleweights.
UFC 5 is the first rated M for Mature entry in the series. This is due to the revamped damage system as well as the presence of strong language used throughout the game. This entry gets as close to the authentic MMA experience that players have been asking for.
Let’s see what’s cooking in the ring.
60 FPS Rendering and Visual Upgrades
UFC 5 is built with next generation consoles in mind, featuring a full-fat 60 frames per second gameplay in comparison to the last 4 entries of UFC. This entry is also the first to run on DICE’s Frostbite engine, allowing for highly detailed characters, significantly better lighting and shading, and overall a new presentation to environments and visual effects. Players can look forward to seeing a revamp to skin and hair visuals as well as an enhanced damage model.
On top of all this, we have a new Knockout Replay system that’s built to capture the ‘signature moment’. Featuring a cinematic presentation style, enhanced visual effects to catch the moment of impact, fluid physics, and realistic body and face deformation—UFC 5 wants you to capture the moment you send your opponent to cauliflower land.
A Real Impact System
This new damage model isn’t just for looks—it can impact gameplay as well, affecting player attributes and can even result in stoppage of the fight by the match doctor if damage is significant enough. One example is stamina regeneration being affected if the nose is damage or slower movements when the legs are impacted.
Another gameplay example is that players may find their opponent’s weak spot and try to pursue the heavily damaged portions, but this could lead them to becoming predictable and easy to counter allowing for their opponent to come back.
But even though this entry sees a higher age rating partly due to this new damage model, UFC 5 isn’t built to simulate severe damage such as exploding cauliflower ear and whatnot.
New Animations and Seamless Submissions
This time around, EA implemented a host of animations to the player’s combat controller. New strike animations feature ground and pound elbows, spinning attacks, body punches, and more have either been implemented or improved upon to showcase the visciousness of MMA fighting.
UFC 5 will also feature ‘seamless submissions’, a new transition-based system focused on having faster animations play out and no minigames so players can get back into the fight faster. This system implements 600 new submission animations that use the game’s existing grappling controls allowing for much more fluid but brief encounters on the floor.
Training, Offline Modes, Authentic MMA Online, and More
For the first time, players will be drafted through a new career onboarding experience, where they will go through the Performance Institute. There they’ll meet the former flyweight champion Valentina and learn about the game’s mechanics. A focus on striking, grappling, and health + stamina management is something UFC 5 wants new players to understand so they aren’t getting pummeled in the fight.
There will also be changes made to the Training Camps and Sparring Challenges. These changes have been made to better suit the player’s understanding of the game and not having them repeat missions with mechanics of the game that they have already shown mastery of. The sparring AI has also been improved to better offer examples of what fights online and offline are like.
The Authentic MMA Online Career mode is all about fighting so you can evolve and win. You earn evolution points by fighting, invest those points into your created character, and pursue the #1 spot. Competition is limited to four divisions where fighters can compete and showcase their sweet character customisations and vanity items. No crossplay information was given at this time, however.
UFC 5 also wants to get as close to real-world UFC fights as possible. Fight Week is a way for players to experience real UFC matches through the console and players can even bet on the winner of these matches for currency. Daily fight contracts and fight picks allow players to have a fun challenge mode to come back to and winning these fights nets them ‘Alter Ego’ variants of their favourite fighters.
Authentic MMA Fighting
With all this, UFC 5 is shaping up to be the best entry in the series yet. Players can look forward to UFC 5 when it hits Xbox Series consoles in late October.