What do you do with an MMA game if you don’t have brands such as THQ’s UFC and EA’s Strikeforce to launch from? You make it super violent, fun and most importantly accessible for new players. Yup, Supremacy MMA isn’t restricted by a license so headbutts, face-stomps and snapped limbs are all in.
Above: Don't worry, the guy on the floor is merely checking his friend's foot for verrucas
Kung Fu Factory – the developers behind this new martial arts affair – are set to exploit a niché in the current MMA gaming market by combining the thrills of the fast-growing sport with the immediacy of games like Tekken, Virtua Fighter and Mortal Kombat. From what we see in a recent demo of Supremacy MMA it certainly has potential.
Without being bound by motion-captured animations, it frees up the game to do whatever it wants without it ever feeling as though you're playing as the same character. So, in theory as we've not seen all disciplines yet, playing as a boxer and then a judo expert will yield two completely different experience - something that you don't get in the other MMA games.
Unlike EA MMA and UFC Undisputed, you won't be able to create-a-character in Supremacy MMA. This isn't short-sightedness from the developers, it's purposely focused on delivering a number of set characters - like in Street Fighter and the rest - so you get to understand their moves and perfect them as you go.
Above: The blood is set to flow like the wine at a Roman orgy
The characters we've seen so far appear to be a tad generic and predictible (Aging kung-fu master, anyone?) but it's the promise of an interesting back-story for each fighter that has masses of potential. You see, every character has a reason to fight their way to ultimate supremacy. It could be because they've hit rock bottom in their lives or purely for revenge, but it's this vibe that sparks images of traditional scrappers like SFIV, MK and Tekken with the final fight possibly tying everything together for you.
Let's be honest though, you're here to find out about what the violence is like, right? Don't be shy, it's the reason I'm so interested in Supremacy MMA too. The answer is quite simple... it's gruesome.
I flinched during a particularly meaty face stomp that immediatley purpled up the eye of one fighter. And because there isn't a referee, submissions are only completed when you hear the snap of bone and your opponent is broken like a twig. Ouch. There's an added level of grittiness due to the fact that the fights take place in unusual surroundings like a slaughter house in Pakistan and a US prison yard. This is another effort for Supremacy MMA to distance itself from the plush, yet still brutal, octagons of the UFC.
Above: "And that's for the outrageous and uncalled for haircut you gave me"
Supremacy MMA certainly has the look of a contender and could be the missing link to build even more of a fan base between gamers and MMA in general. The hefty strikes that rock the screen and the controller are great, and the mixture of button taps and analogue twirls to quickly counter grapples or parry and reverse punches and kicks all seems to work effectively. The jury is still out on whether the characters themselves will be compelling enough to pull players into the world, but with thoughts of the awesome Def Jam: Fight For New York being evoked by this sturdy scrapper, I can't wait to get hands-on with Supremacy MMA soon.