EA Sports MMA Updated Impressions

We suffer a nasty cut above the eye with our latest look at EA's upcoming mixed martial arts brawler.

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The public slanging match between THQ and EA’s competing mixed martial arts franchises has been heating up of late, with both sides more than happy to take shots at each other, including UFC VP Don Gold and MMA fighter King Mo. EA is the latest to take a swing, unveiling more details on EA Sports MMA at an event held overnight at GDC 2010.

Oh yes. There will be blood.

While our last look at the game focused more on what EA’s overall goals were when it came to transferring the brutal sport of mixed martial arts to home consoles, EA’s GDC event got more granular, unveiling a few tidbits on how the game would control. As was previously hinted, EA Sports MMA will use a system called total strike control, a modified version of the right-stick focused controls found in Fight Night Round 4. Players will use the right stick for all strikes, with different stick movements resulting in different attacks (flicking down and up, for example, will make your fighter attempt his version of a roundhouse). Holding down the left bumper will modify the attacks to become leg moves, while moves will also change depending on the distance your fighter is away from his opponent. If you’re not a fan of the right stick, then EA still has you covered: All of these moves can also be assigned to your controller’s face buttons.

While EA let out some details about standing attacks, it still didn’t unveil the control scheme for defense, clinches, or ground moves. One thing EA reps did confirm, however, is that a controller’s rumble functionality will be used when fighters are grappling on the ground. When on the mat, rumbling will indicate that your opponent is trying to move position, giving you a tactile indication of what your opponent is planning and allowing you to perform a countermove should your skills permit.

When it comes to finally taking down your opponent, each fighter will sport both a stamina and health meter (although the only visible one on the heads-up display will be stamina). Your stamina will decrease with missed blows, prolonged clinches, or constant movement, and it will regenerate with time, but its total value will slowly decrease as the match progresses. As for health, each fighter will have three health measurements--head, gut, and legs. Each measurement will be tracked individually, with more strikes to each area affecting fighters in specific ways. And, yes, fighters will display damage specific to where they’ve been hit. In our hands-off demo, we saw plenty of cuts resulting from successful head strikes, with the blood splashing on the mat and opponents in a realistic but grizzly manner.

While that was about all EA chose to disclose about gameplay at its GDC event, it did let out more detail about the game generally. First up, while the Strikeforce organisation would indeed be one of the promotions featured within the game, the hexagon won’t be the only type of arena players will battle in within EA Sports MMA. Circular and square rings will also be featured, as will three different rule sets: unified (which allows elbow strikes), Japanese (which allows foot stomps), and Strikeforce rules.

The final bits of information we gleaned about the upcoming MMA game came from the demo fight EA showed at its GDC event; a fight that featured Nick Diaz and Cung Le. First up, as you’d expect from an EA Sports game, presentation was top notch, with each fighter receiving a flashy ring intro before the match (complete with his own music and walk down the ramp). From the loading screen, it looks like fighters in EA Sports MMA will be rated on the attributes of stand up, clinch, ground, submission, and health. They will also be able to focus on one specific fight style. Real-life MMA personalities will make appearances, including announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. and former UFC ref John McCarthy. Once within the fighting arena, fighters will also exhibit unique stances depending on their specialities: Cung Le, for example, stood in a classic martial arts pose, while jujitsu expert Nick Diaz sported a more fists-in-the-air stance.

EA Sports MMA is looking impressive, and we can’t wait to finally get our hands on the game to see if the game can match the looks. Look for more on this mixed martial arts game in the coming months on GameSpot.

Discussion

53 comments
AlbionsGreatest
AlbionsGreatest

My main problem with UFC 2010 is the submissions... ugh the submissions... Also what is with the auto blocks that happen on the ground, any one else notice that...?

Coronius
Coronius

education: Fedor is the best in the world. It looks like you need an mma education before posting your garbage. And if you post a comment like that you should also write who you think is the best. Neither Carwin or Lesnar has fought better opponents than Fedor and they have not been on undefeated for 10 years and 30 fights either. Go back to sleep.

education
education

it looks great. the striking looks good. im gonna take a pass on ufc 2010, im sick of every punch or kick being auto blocked and turned into a take down. and i hate the rotating to get an advantage. ufc 09 was a terrible game and ufc 10 looks like ufc 09 with swaying and an extra grapple option. ea mma looks promising so im waiting for that. as for real life i would like to see fedor vs lesnar or carwin. how many years of beating hand me down ufc has beens will it take people to realize that fedor is not the best in the world?

legioniers
legioniers

It hope it's alot better than UFC Undisputed

GSPgreases
GSPgreases

EA MMA will be great for showcasing global MMA. Multiple venues, Multiple Promotions, Multiple rulesets, Unique fighters & Ring/Cage. Japan rules will be a completely different experience in the game. 10 min & 5 minute round, judging is not a 10 pt scoring system, Soccer Kick & Stomps. All this confirmed in his GDC interview http://www.gamereactor.eu/news/3103/EA+Sports+MMA+interview/

G4m3_0n
G4m3_0n

Can't wait till a demo drops for this to try it out as it sounds very promising... Thank goodness they added button controls as it some what sounded like the WWE: Smackdown series with all the main controls being done through the right stick with a combination of a shoulder button when grappling and we all know how that turned out... Anyways will more than likely pick this up along with UFC 2010 as the different fighting areas sounds cool...

scottxfree
scottxfree

So tight. UFC 09 was like a demo for all the reaaaaall MMA games. 2010 is the year of the video game, i swear, so many tight games are coming out.

Fat_Boy_PT
Fat_Boy_PT

ill give this a try. UFC 2010 i dunno because i have 09 and seems a bit of a waste of money but this one, i might get. Fedor FTW!

SithChampion
SithChampion

@ jfcundiff I couldn't have said it better myself. Besides, a true MMA fan would be better off getting both UFC 2010 as well as this one. UFC and Strikeforce are two significantly different organizations. I can't wait for both. They should make Chuck Norris a secret unlockable character for both games though.

ukogmickey
ukogmickey

Il get this just coz I like the UFC, but I will never buy DLC for this and am FOREVER a die hard UFC fan, Undisputed 2010 is the game for me, Bring it on ! This is just a case of EA trying to earn some money as always from what the UFC has done, Its blown up, Its popular so it was only expected EA would like a piece of that pie, I hope they fail personally. I hope its the worst MMA game to ever be made and is only because of the way EA treat and have treated fans/customers alike across the world, They dont care about us guys. Turn 10 have become more like them by the day. Now Dice have kept their feet on the ground and imagine always will. R.I.P EA MMA.

tamd
tamd

i still prefer ufc over mma , even if mma gameplay is much bettre , but i hardly know any stars in mma , bobby lashley n some others , but in ufc there are lots of star i like

jfcundiff
jfcundiff

3 different promotions, rings and cages, entrances, signature stances and moves, and 3 different rules sets (Unified rules with elbows, Japanese rules with soccer kicks and stomps, and Strikeforce rules without elbows). This game is going to be a blast.

jerkface96
jerkface96

@MasonChaos: FNR4 was highly acclaimed by many people, the only people that really down played it was the guys who dont know how to use joysticks, I thought it was the best one yet, for the fight night series. THe only franchise they bought out was Madden,,, THey make great NHL, SOccer and Golf Games. Give or take NBA live being crappy. I honestly think you are a casual observer of MMA, just because a game has the UFC name doesnt mean its better..... StrikeForce has many great Japanese fighters, Up N Comers and one of the greatest HeavyWeights ever. and UFC owning Pirde is realllllyyyy ollllddd neeewwwwsss. EA has Strikeforce and Dream and possibly another organization.

MasonChaos
MasonChaos

@jerkface Compared to Fight Night 3 Ea's FN Round 4 was garbage. I think EA's only chance to out do THQ is if they focus their game on stand-up. Even though their punching controls were garbage in FNr4. EA has also had dominance in Sports games because they buy out the franchises and have had no good competition. THQ not only has UFC to back them up but all the ufc fighters, UFC even owns Pride now. So EA has strikeforce? Which is only around because of UFC.

shinspikes
shinspikes

I love intros. Come on EA, you have a chance to make this big. Don't mess up. Can't wait for both games.

jerkface96
jerkface96

@masonchaos: question,,,, was any of THQs wrestling games good? No? yea exactly.... yes they have feedback, but how much do you think theyre gonna change. you could also say that EA has had experience with boxing games, and that their physics work in the latest one is awesome. Im pretty sure EA isnt just doing some sort of Random MMA game, if it includes Japanese fighters, the possible option to fight in a cage or a ring, and plenty of other extras. also another question..... Does EA have a better track record when it comes to video games of all genres? yes, yes it does,,,, the past few sports games its released all are of critical acclaim. and if yoe read one of the comments below you will find out, EA was under different management when it blew off Dana WHite.

Fr0wnyface
Fr0wnyface

Wait, you actually want EA to fail? Why? So UFC Undisputed can become as terrible as the Smackdown vs Raw series? Instead of blindly following UFC and Dana White how about you get a mind of your own. None of the companies involved with these games care about you, so why take sides? Two great MMA games > one.

ElMeerkat
ElMeerkat

This game is gonna be awesome. Hope all weight classes can fight each other now. GSP vs Lesnar would be fun

MasonChaos
MasonChaos

@jerkface You forget that THQ has experience with this sport now. They have had feed back, played the game themselves and have changed what needed to be changed. EA just randomly wanted a piece of the action, they don't have THQ's intentions on making a good MMA game. THQ also has more experience with wrestling games.

jerkface96
jerkface96

@-saigo-: yes THQ did a good job for its first MMA game but it was still of low quality as a game overall.. Character animations were stiff, you couldnt move if you got punched in the body, and there was a lot of stupid gameplay mechanics. Dont diss EA, of course theyre trying to make money,,,, KINDA like the UFC who is trying to MONOPOLIZE the sport. so you should hope THQs next outting fails miserably too, as EA is the same as UFC just in a different mold. I also guarantee that EA MMA will be wayy better than UFC2010.

-Saigo-
-Saigo-

EA is to sports games as M$ is to computers: Monopolizing and all about the money. THQ did a splendid job with UFC Undisputed and as a result of their hard earned success, EA, who originally turned down the UFC project, dips into their pockets to produce this? Unless it brings something truly unique to the table I hope it fails miserably.

jfcundiff
jfcundiff

I am fine with DLC for this game because it is not going to be a yearly release. They said there will be one MMA every two years, just like the Fight Night games. As long as they release things that will keep the game alive and fun to play, I am more than happy to see that kind of thing. I agree that the Madden DLC is cheap and charging us for things we should have already had, but it is still to early to tell what they are going to do.

theshamonofsexy
theshamonofsexy

well im glad that they allow u to adjust the fighting controls, cause the right stick thing, is very, very stupid and makes no sense at all.

fdaguila
fdaguila

Look my issue with EA making a MMA game is this: Just look at the add-on content in Maden to see whats ahead, oh ya you to can pay $2.99 to add stamina points to your fighter or you might just have to buy jujitsu fighting style out right for an extra 10 bucks. Plus it is a little suspicious that just after UFC came out and did well low and behold there comes EA with there version. I just don't want EA to mess up MMA video games like they did football.

jfcundiff
jfcundiff

Guys, that meeting was back in 2006 with EA having completely different management. Peter Moore said they have been working on this game since he arrived sometime in 2007. Its not like they magically saw UFC 2009 get released and then just started to work on their game. Everyone should be happy we are getting MMA games that cover the whole sport and not complaining about what happened 4 years behind close doors. EA is covering the global MMA scene, while THQ has the UFC covered. The more MMA games, the better.

Hoodlumz
Hoodlumz

this game is going to be so sick

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

@unknown2007 it is not about that man. not at all. dana white and ea both came forth and admitted white went to ea and said "mma is the next big thing, lets make a game" and ea said NO. when undisputed came out and sold more copies than ea could count, they ate crow. this is not like the old days where it was a 3 way battle for a football game. ea is doing this because they feel like crap now and went out and got exclusive deals with other mma factions. do i care if the game does well or not? well that is where i have a choice. i liked ufc 2009, and i have 2010 on reserve. i have made my choice, but i wish ea the best of luck with the game

Jusik
Jusik

i agree with unknown, but i do wish i could play as mauricio rua, hes my favorite fighter.

unknown2007
unknown2007

if you're a true fan of MMA in general. it shouldn't matter who produces the game as long as you get to play it. that's what counts. Right? to be honest i could give a rats ass if Ronald McDonald was put in charge of creating the whole MMA franchise. if it means i get a chance to enjoy the experience of something i love watching on TV. then why complain if EA MMA doesn't have certain popular UFC fighters. is it that serious that you'll be staring at the look of the fighter during matches rather then actually playing and demolishing you're opponent?

stinkymonkey58
stinkymonkey58

too bad ea dropped the ball when the ufc approached them to make the game, kinda ironic cause at the time they didn't consider mma to be a real sport and now they have to play catchup with thq, from what i've seen of the roster (not sure if it is final or complete) looks like they will have some fighters i was hoping that would be in 2009 like randy, but also guys who fought in the old ufc like bas, shamrock and randleman, i'll wait for people's opinions on this once it comes out

-Fromage-
-Fromage-

At least it sounds good. Different rule sets sounds cool.

DBZ-Dude15
DBZ-Dude15

@CrazyRabbi Its their own fault they can't have UFC Fighters, because Dana White already wanted them to make UFC 2009, but they turned him down. So now their screwed because they can't have the best fighters in their game.

xnjones
xnjones

cant wait to get some BLOOD on my hands!!!

gamerTag-shank
gamerTag-shank

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

thorughfire
thorughfire

This game sucks because: 1.It'll be exactly like Fight Night but adapted for MMA 2.The roster is slim compared to UFC Undisputed 2009 and too filled with Middleweights 3.Anyone else notice that quite a few fighters on the roster are former UFC fights... 4.Most of the fighters are jokes and arent consider the best in the world besides one! 5.Maybe you didnt notice but its being made by EA Sports...They havent had a good sports game in years

CrazyRabbi
CrazyRabbi

I loved how people gave me a thumbs down for my comment about it sucking that this game won't have the UFC guys. That's not me saying this game will suck but every single one of you wants the UFC guys in the game as well. Who are you kidding?! lol

sleepychicken
sleepychicken

I don't get the complaining about the control scheme. They said you can use sticks or face buttons. What other control options would you guys like? Full sixaxis gameplay?

kickboxer101
kickboxer101

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mikopalmos
mikopalmos

If u are a UFC fan just get their the UFC game by THQ. Its not that bad amd UFC RULES !

Egg99
Egg99

This game is a joke; here's why: EA, in typical fashion, decided against licensing an MMA game until AFTER they saw how successful UFC 2009 was, so now they've created an "I want some money too!" game. However, in further typical EA fashion, this game isn't anything revolutionary but instead just an extension of an already-existing franchise: Fight Night. Only this one has kicks and grappling. I loathed the double stick control mechanic in Fight Night and I think it's laughable that they're trying to translate that into an MMA game. Because they've got nothing officially licensed from the UFC and fighters from all different types of organizations, there's no "realistic" feeling to this game in the slightest. It really does feel, in every sense of the word, like a sloppy cash in that will never parallel the official fighting game. I've hated this company for years, because their business tactics are pathetic, and I won't be spending a cent on this garbage. Bring on UFC 2010 baby.

hahnasty
hahnasty

I think this game could be good... but from the sound of it they are making it just like Fight Night, but with kicks. I was hoping for a different control scheme than Fight Night has, but apparently not. We'll see...

azndemon07
azndemon07

while I'm reserving any judgment on how this game plays until I actually get to play it, I will say that I'm liking the visual style in this game more than the UFC game. The fighters in UFC 09 and 10 just look overly smooth and sweaty.

jfcundiff
jfcundiff

This is one of my most anticipated games EVER. Cannot wait to play it.

madd_hatter
madd_hatter

I will get this if this has a career mode. :P

bgres077
bgres077

There will be BLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD

emacdaddy08
emacdaddy08

If this has a competent career mode/create a player, it will definitely have a shot against ufc.