Johny Hendricks is a great fighter. I know this because I watched him take on Georges St-Pierre in UFC 167, where he was robbed of the Welterweight title. So when I sat down for a bit of hands-on time with EA Sports UFC, the first official UFC game since EA bought the license from THQ, I was keen to give him a rematch.
As Hendricks entered the ring, I couldn't help but admire the game's presentation. EA Sports UFC is only releasing on next-gen consoles, and it showed in the way that everything looked so realistic. My demo giver was quick to point out the dynamic lighting that swept over the ring and audience as the overhead lights did their thing, and it was admittedly impressive--from several feet away, one might have mistaken the game as an actual UFC match, especially once Bruce Buffer began his iconic pre-fight introduction. Even more exciting was the fact that as Hendricks and GSP circled the ring, I could see their skin and muscles move in response to their steps, and their toes splayed whenever they shifted weight from one foot to another. It was a subtle thing, but it made the two look less like action figures and more like actual fighters. In fact, I got so caught up in staring at it that I didn't notice GSP smashing my teeth in with his foot.
I sat there eating punches, watching poor Hendricks' body react to each strike in an incredibly realistic way. It was shifting in displacement to make room for the mass of the fists slamming into it. Then it was time to give some love in return. I got the hang of most of the controls pretty quickly, as they were laid out in a logical way. Each face button is tied to one of the four limbs, and I was able to easily modify attacks by manipulating directional movement. Gaining positional advantages in the clinch or on the ground was a bit trickier, as it required a lot of thumbstick movement and full circle rotations--but I felt the layout made sense, and it's pretty intuitive for those who are familiar with how to transition from half guard to full. Alas, I did not, and I struggled fruitlessly as GSP choked Hendricks out, robbing him of victory once more.
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