So what does that mean for the future of the franchise, and how will EA bring a more realistic and accessible MMA game to life? Take a look at our ideas for what EA must do to give their game a chance to not just blaze a new path, but to build on the strong foundation laid by THQ.
It should run on Tiburons new Infinity Engine
Fighting games live and die by their combat engine. Without a strong sense of weight, damage, and body movement, the action in the octagon just wouldnt feel real. As good as UFC Undisputeds engine was by the last installment, there was a very strong disconnect between the stand-up and ground games. A better physics engine would not only alleviate this issue, but it would also help make fights much more interesting and true to life.
Bring in fighter personalities
Adding a feature like this would make game-planning matter. Youd have to prepare for each fight differently. While such pre-fight tactics were included in Undisputed, you never really had to adapt your playstyle to different computer fighters. We want to face the same challenges and training as our favorite fighters.
Use Madden 13's connected careers
Not only should we be allowed to take our created fighters through any of the games modes, but we should be able to earn experience to make them better online as well. Even if we get steamrolled in the ring by a more experienced player, well still gain valuable experience to put towards making our fighters better, just like in real life. The lessons learned in the octagon shouldnt go to waste, and making the career connected like this not only makes players more likely to stick with one fighter, it also makes them more invested in the fighter theyve created.
Add in online fight leagues
Additionally, online fight leagues could make online fight camps matter. Now you could train with friends to better prepare for your bout against a user that has been giving other players a bit of trouble inside the octagon. Add in the connected careers experience system, and suddenly youve got one of the deepest online modes in any fighting game to date.
More fighting rules
Strikeforces rules and ring wont be difficult to implement, and Dreams must-win, no draw rule set should be easy to include. Different types of rings and cages have already been done in EA MMA and UFC Undisputed, so including them here will help give players more options for the way they want to play. The rule sets and different rings could also impact the online leagues we proposed, and would allow players to do more than merely play out the UFC schedule.
Add female fighters to the playable roster
The popularity and skill of these fighters deserves to be recognized, and it would be great exposure for this other side of the sport. Additionally, players should be able to create female fighters for use in the game. There are plenty of female fight fans and MMA aficionados out there, and letting them create something other than a male avatar would certainly be a welcome change.
Lets finally get a competent submission system
If you were able to control your fighters arms while an opponent was trying to sink in that guillotine choke, or you were able to contort your body to escape that armbar, youd have a measure of control not yet seen in an MMA game. With the right physics engine, a system like this is possible, and would hopefully give us a much more accurate video game representation of submissions.
It needs competent online with better stat tracking
We touched on the potential pound-for-pound ranking system in the online fight league idea, but EAs already shown with Autolog that they can find a way to track stats across all modes (online or off) between friends and the rest of the world. Imagine that same concept brought to life in an MMA game. Not only would you know how you stacked up against local competition with exhibition fights, but also how your created fighter performed, how you do in big fights, and how you rank amongst the best in the world. Of course, no amount of stat tracking means a thing if the online isnt able to handle itself properly, but EAs consistency with its online sports franchises gives us hope.
Better social media integration
When we get that amazing knock-out, we want to upload it to Twitter immediately so that everyone knows what weve just accomplished. When the title has changed hands in our online fight league, we want to let the rest of the league know in a quick Facebook status update thats sent automatically. EA should also work to include the ability to run official blogs or Facebook pages for our fight camps or online leagues. This way, players can constantly stay connected to their online persona and friends, even when the console is turned off.