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UFC 5 Hands-Off Preview – More Brutal Than Ever

UFC 5 Key Art (3) (1)

It’s been a few years since the last UFC game, and with the sport more popular than ever it should come as no surprise that EA is back with another entry. What might catch you off-guard, however, is how much appears to have been changed.

For a start, in UFC 5 things are set to get a lot more gory. In fact, in the US, UFC 5 is the first entry in the videogame series to be rated M. It’s all because of the new authentic damage system that offers eight regions each for bruising, cuts and swelling. As fights rage on, then, you can expect fighters to realistically show signs of wear and tear. The only things that aren’t included are compound fractures and cauliflower ears, because that would just be too gross apparently. Massive cuts and rivers of blood are fine though.

Alongside the improved damage system, fans will appreciate that fights can now be stopped by the doctor. If fighters get really battered, the referee might call for a check. This opens up new gameplay options. If your opponent has a wound, it may be beneficial to try and capitalise on it, for example. And when it’s you that’s looking worse for wear, you might want to do your best to avoid certain attacks that might make a bad wound even worse.

With all of this taken into consideration, it’s clear that UFC 5 aims to offer the most realistic depiction of the hard-hitting sport yet seen. Thanks to being made with the Frostbite Engine, the visuals have been given a huge upgrade, with fighters truly looking photorealistic. Improved facial animations, advanced body tech and a new strand-based hair system also help with that. The latter is even active during gameplay. It’s not just the fighters that are impressive in UFC 5 though – everything looks great. If someone walked in while you were playing, chances are they’d think you were watching a fight on TV.

Beyond the visuals, moves have been made to make UFC 5 more dynamic and enjoyable to play. There are new strike animations, and physics-based hit reactions have been introduced. Seeing the game in action, it looks phenomenal, especially when things like seamless submission transitions are shown off: the action looks extremely natural and lifelike. Of course, with this being a hands-off preview we don’t know exactly what it feels like to play yet, but it’s looking promising.

As you’d expect, UFC 5 is set to feature the usual modes such as career, which we’re told will offer a great onboarding experience. Coach Davis is set to return, and players will start fighting in gardens before making their way to the UFC performance institute in a bid to make a big name for themselves. It’s stated that there will be new locker room cinematics, and new moments that highlight your journey. Things such as sparring challenges have supposedly been improved, too.

What might really excite fans of the series is that UFC 5 is going to have an online career mode for the first time. Here, players will compete with their created fighters, battling it out across four divisions. And that’s not all when it comes to new modes: Fight Week will let players take part in daily contracts that get harder over the course of the week, while Fight Picks will task them with predicting the outcomes of upcoming UFC fights, with rewards doled out for those who prove to be successful.

All this, along with other new improvements such as cinematic KO moments and character alter-egos that give them new looks and moves, makes UFC 5 an interesting proposition. And did we mention that it’s going to be current-gen only? We can only presume that all of these visual and gameplay innovations demand it, especially considering it’s targeting 60fps. Needless to say, we’re keen to go hands-on with UFC 5, and we don’t have to wait too long. It will be available on 27th October, and those who preorder will get access to Fedor Emelianenko, Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson to sweeten the deal.

Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!