UFC 4 will be exclusive to PS4 and Xbox One, EA has confirmed, with no current plans to release the game on PS5 or Xbox Series X.
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“As far as the next-gen consoles are concerned, we’re really excited about that technology and what it’s going to bring to the industry,” says producer Nate McDonald. “But our current goal as a team is to provide the best fighting game experience available to our players at launch in August on PS4 and Xbox One. We are exploring opportunities [for next-gen], but there is nothing to share right now."
“If both consoles support backwards compatibility for gen-four games then, presumably, fans will be able to play UFC 4 on their gen-five consoles,” adds creative director Brian Hayes. “We haven't yet had an opportunity to test this out and determine whether any additional development work is required to leverage backward compatibility, but we hope to see UFC 4 playable on gen-five hardware using that feature.”
As touched on in McDonald’s comments, UFC 4 is out on 14 August, with rivals Jorge Masvidal and Israel Adesanya sharing the cover.
“It’s one of the coolest looking covers we’ve ever had,” says Hayes. However the BMF belt, which Masvidal introduced ahead of his UFC 244 bout with Nate Diaz (it stands for ‘Baddest Motherf****r’), does not feature in UFC 4.
“There is currently no BMF belt in the game,” says Hayes. “We did talk about it, but it came down to the likelihood of it persisting as a long-term thing in UFC. If more BMF belt fights happen in the future it’s something we could look at adding. But we prioritised the new UFC championship belt first and foremost.”
That new official belt is one of many changes and theoretical upgrades. The entire fight engine is reconfigured, with new strikes and clinches and a return to the genre’s classic chase-wheel submission system. More details on those elements here.
Also new to the series are boxers Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. There are three ways to get them: as pre-order bonuses; as paid-for DLC; or by completing career mode on its hardest difficulty setting.
On the subject of DLC, Hayes says micro-transactions were vital to get right, and that all elements of the game can be unlocked naturally through progression, rather than forcing you to cough up real cash. “That’s a big one. You have the ability to purchase a premium currency if you want to use that to unlock vanity items [for your created fighters], but every vanity item is also unlockable via engagement. There are no items you can purchase [as DLC] that effect gameplay.”
As well as Joshua and Fury, pre-ordering scores you a Backyard Customization Pack and Kumite Customization Pack containing cosmetic items. You can also earn extras by purchasing through a UFC 3 or UFC 2 in-game tile: 10% off UFC 4, martial arts legend Bruce Lee as a playable character, and 500 UFC points.