EA Sports promises to improve upon three games worth of formula in UFC 4.
The sports-focused video game division of Electronic Arts released an in-depth gameplay trailer for UFC 4 on Tuesday. In the teaser, a narrator highlighted gameplay improvements while showing off footage from the impending release. The footage was generally broken down into four categories: striking, clinches, ground grappling, and takedowns.
Striking has often been the strongest element of the EA UFC video games. In UFC 4, programmers intended to simply the experience by allowing users to tap face buttons for quick strikes and hold face buttons for more creative techniques like front kicks or flying knees. In previous iterations, players sometimes had to press three or four different buttons simultaneously to achieve such techniques. The developers hope this simplification lends to better striking fluidity.
Clinching has been overhauled to better reflect the fluidity of the position in mixed martial arts. In previous games, initiating a clinch locked players into various clinch positions similar to the ground game play. The new system works more as a transitional system, allowing players to push and pull, drift in-and-out, strike and submit, and initiate takedowns with more fluid motion.
Takedowns were gifted a few touches of complexity. Players can make better use of counter-strikes, footwork, sprawls and submissions to deny takedown attempts, relying less on simply blocking them.
The ground aspect of the UFC video games have often been the most criticized. In defense of the programmers, the nuances and complexities of grappling are harder to project into a game than striking. To that effect, UFC 4 offers two versions of the grappling transition system: the legacy version from previous games and a more streamlined version. The “cumbersome” submission system of old has been replace by two new mini-games categorized by choke submissions and joint submission. There is also a renewed emphasis on submission transitions, striking and slams mid-submission attempt. The ground-and-pound has also added a greater variety of strikes for the fighter on top and means by which to avoid damage for the fighter on the bottom.
UFC 4 releases on PS4 and Xbox One on Aug. 14.