Earlier this spring, Jon Anik, the top play-by-play commentator for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, essentially confirmed that EA Sports is working on the fourth installment of its EA Sports UFC video game series.
In New York City starting the voiceovers for EA Sports UFC 4 but we just finished taping @AnikFlorianPod and it will be up in about 10 minutes. Appreciate your patience… #UFCPhiladelphia #Gaethje
— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) April 1, 2019
This game will be the final in the initial four-game deal between the video game publisher and the MMA promotion.
The titles have been released on a biannual basis since the original EA Sports UFC game was released five years ago this month.
As of this writing, EA has yet to confirm any concrete information (such as its cover athlete(s) or release date) about the game.
Given that the franchise has released its titles biannually, however, I would hedge my bets on anticipating a release date at some point in 2020.
So, this got me to thinking about the features that could and should be in this upcoming sports video game. Let’s begin with:
Career mode expansion:
The career mode in last year’s EA Sports UFC 3 was immersive.
As you recall if you played the game, or are still playing the game, the goal of the EA Sports UFC 3 career mode was to become the greatest fighter of all-time by completing various milestones (e.g., setting the UFC promotional record for most knockouts) throughout your playthrough.
This can be built upon for EA Sports UFC 4, in that the player starts his or her career in a regional MMA promotion and obtains that promotion’s championship belt for his or her weight class.
After, the player enters a cutscene where Dana White informs them that they’ll be competing on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series for a shot at a UFC contract.
Ever think back to an old-school UFC card and reminisce about some of the great fights you saw? A classic fights mode would give the player the opportunity to play through some of the best contests in promotional history.
In this mode, the player would take control of a specific fighter during a specific fight (such as Khabib Nurmagomedov during UFC 229 in 2018 or Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 in 2016) and win the fight to unlock the fighter in that form.
Completing all classic fights in the mode nets the player an achievement.
A number of combat sports fans have been clamoring for a boxing video game in recent years. EA was the last to make one for a console with Fight Night Champion nearly a decade ago.
Since then, the XBOX 360 version of the game has become backwards compatible on XBOX One, and since boxing is a tenet of MMA, adding a boxing mode to EA Sports UFC 4 would be a logical move.
The trick would be getting enough fighters licensed to use in the game in order to make a playable boxing game mode doable and feasible.
If this video game happens to be the last UFC title that EA Sports publishes, a standalone boxing video game might be up next.
This is a part of combat sports regardless of whether you watch boxing or MMA. However, this is also a part of combat sports that EA has been ignoring when it comes to the UFC series, even though past UFC games contained references to the potential for a doctor’s stoppage in the commentary.
It’s especially baffling when you consider the fact that previous versions of Fight Night had cutscenes where the fights are revealed to have ended for that very reason.
This is literally the one and only complaint I have with this video game series.
The last time that a UFC video game had doctor’s stoppages as a means of ending the fight was UFC Undisputed 3 in 2012.
There’s no denying that the EA Sports UFC video game series has gotten increasingly authentic with each edition. Adding doctor’s stoppages would increase said authenticity.
What do you think should be in EA Sports UFC 4? Let me know in the comments.
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