EA Sports UFC 2 Review

April 1, 2016

With the ever-growing popularity of UFC pay-per-views across the world, it was only a matter of time before EA announced a follow up to EA Sports UFC. The original UFC game was seen as a solid base to work from, but showed enough promise to imply that future entries could become excellent games. With of a new physics engine and better KO system, as well as a new Ultimate Team mode, has this promise been realised in EA Sports UFC 2?

Fights in UFC 2 start off slow and strategic, circling in towards your opponent, getting closer and taking a couple of pot shots, while making sure you don’t get too cocky and take a heavy hit. You need to remain patient, laying out hits while making sure you effectively block and guard yourself from your opponent’s shots. Land one good, heavy hit and the game changes as your opponent reels and you rush in to land a few more good punches and kicks before they recover. The new physics-based hit system results in your hits and movements have a solid and realistic weight behind them, making successful hits extremely satisfying to land. Grappling and ground moves are intuitive, with on-the-ground movements being controlled by the right stick and is extremely responsive. Submission moves are controlled by a complicated quick-time event that can be difficult early on in the game, but does get easier with time and it’s fun to watch your opponent struggle to get out of your submission hold.

ufc 3

With so little to render on screen at any one time, it should be no surprise that UFC 2 is a great looking game. Character models are excellent, with fighters looking incredibly like their real-life counterparts. Your fighter collects bruises, cuts and scrapes as they continue to be hit and the visible damage matches correctly with where you’ve been hit. It’s definitely a nice game to look at, and when so many of the fighters are well known figures, it goes a long way to enhancing the experience. Animations are largely good, with punches, kicks and grapples flowing well between movements and only the odd hilarious hiccup coming through. Like managing to punch behind and slightly through your back to knock an opponent out.

There are a variety of modes to play in UFC 2, ranging from the standard quick fight (with both online and offline variants), events, a career mode and the new Ultimate Team mode. In the career mode you will follow your created fighter as they make their way through The Ultimate Fighter to catch their break and make it into the world of competitive fighting in the UFC. In this mode you jump between accepting fight requests from other fighters, and completing training in the forms of mini-games in the lead up to your fight. Each training sessions also carries an element of risk, as you have the chance to injure yourself during them and that risk increases as you chase better results by increasing the difficulty. What results is a great balancing act as you try and get the best out of your limited training time, while also avoiding injury.

ufc 2

The biggest inclusion is the Ultimate Team mode, which was not available in the original UFC game, where you create a team of fighters and fight through the ranks to become number 1. By doing this you earn in-game currency which is spent to purchase card packs which unlock a variety of different moves and perks, as well as training cards and fitness (effectively stamina) replenishing cards. What results is a fighter that is fairly barebones and weak at the beginning, that is slowly built up as you get appropriate cards for it. One thing that makes this harder to do is how the cards are dealt out from packs: the packs that give weight class specific cards have a smaller chance to give quality cards than the packs with a random assortment. This encourages you to either create multiple fighters, divvying out cards as required, and then needing more cards to build up those fighters or to buy a larger number of the weight class specific packs to get the same number of higher level cards. The implementation here feels like a pay-to-play game, with credit rewards from fights being fairly low and the reliance on random chance for different card types, qualities and weight class variants meaning that it’s easier to pay a little money than spend the extra time required to earn the currency.

EA’s UFC 2 is a good follow up to the original and continues to give a good representation of an actual UFC bout. It looks great, there are a variety of modes to play and the controls are fairly intuitive. The Ultimate Team mode, and its implementation, do drag the game down somewhat, but that is something that could potentially be corrected in the future.


-Fighters look incredible
-New physics system makes hits feel great


-Ultimate Team feels unfairly weighted towards paying

Overall Score: