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UFC 4 video game review: Does it suck?

EA Sports “UFC 4” video game is out today (Aug. 14) and MMA fans are weighing-in on the experience. Combat Culture’s resident gamer and UFC fanatic, Shakiel Mahjouri, got his hands on a review copy to help you make the most informed decision.

Fans who enjoyed UFC 3 will likely be pleased with the tweaks made to the gameplay and career modes; meanwhile, those unsatisfied with the last iteration probably won’t find enough to change their minds. The most notable improvement is without a doubt the presentation. Joe Rogan, who notoriously hates recording commentary for the UFC games, has been swapped for an enthusiastic Daniel Cormier. He and Jon Anik bounce wonderfully off each other in an authentic way. The dialogue is particularly amusing when Cormier and Anik commentate one of “DC’s” fights.

The clinch work and takedowns received the biggest overhaul this year, better integrating with the stand-up aspect of the came for a more fluid, cohesive experience. Button combinations for strikes have also been simplified. On the ground, a new “grapple assist” allows for a more streamlined transition process for those who find the legacy controls too challenging. The old submission game has been swapped out for two new mini-games, but they are not particularly more interesting.

The campaign mode has a number of ways to prepare for a training camp. The biggest improvement is to the leveling up system which now allows for more freedom to build your character the way you want. The entire experience is still rather cumbersome, however, and you find yourself spending far more time swapping between menus and load screens than actually fighting.

The online play is still much of the same; however, there are two notable changes. In an attempt to eliminate toxicity, headsets can no longer be used and players can instead pick from a dialogue wheel of short statements like “Good game” and “phew!” Blitz Battles are a fun, snappy mini-tournament mode with changing rulesets. Definitely a nice touch for players looking for something different.

UFC 4 is available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox ONE.