EA Sports UFC 3 Preview — Back in the Octagon

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Yesterday I got to get my hands on the newly-revealed EA UFC 3 on PS4, and although it’s still an early build, it looked and played incredibly smooth and showed off many of the new improvements that developer EA Canada have been boasting about. Graphically, technically, and simply authentically, the game has been boosted to the next level. In discussions with the developers, the creative team is looking to continually support and grow the series with the backing of fans.

The first thing that players will notice when comparing EA UFC 2 and EA UFC 3 is the more fluid movements of each fighter, whether they are in or out of the Octagon. The team has revamped their motion capture abilities with new animation technology called Real Player Motion (RPM) Tech, and has added 5,000 new animations to the game. The RPM Tech was very evident in the footwork that the fighters used and how they distributed their weight while moving.

A very big difference in EA UFC 3 versus EA UFC 2 is that you can now strike while moving forward and backwards; before, you would just plant your feet and strike. Additionally you can slip punches and set up counter strikes in a more authentic fashion in fluid combos without the choppy movement of past iterations. New combos have been added as well as positions against the cage to allow for more freedom of action. Also, for those that find the ground/submission system too difficult, you can go ahead and change that to a simpler button-mashing style that’s more friendly to newer players — but an option to more veteran fans.

The team of developers at EA Sports are pushing to offer best-in-class graphics and gameplay, but didn’t want to stop there with revamped Ultimate Team and Career modes and several  new Multiplayer modes as well. Career Mode has now been dubbed the new “G.O.A.T.” career mode and will have the player making choices that will affect their career. The ultimate goal is to become the champion of your weight class and ultimately “the Greatest of All Time.”

Now you can build hype, fans, and your social media following to help you become the greatest in and out of the Octagon. You begin in the WFA (or the Minor League circuit of MMA) and will build yourself into a fighter to take a spot in the UFC. You will gain cash that you can use to fund your gym, with each gym having specific fighters for you to spar with and prepare for your fights. Sparring partners will now mimic your upcoming fight opponent and will provide you with a game plan to assist in winning your upcoming bout. Fight hype is also new to UFC 3 and will intensify with fighter rivalries and new social media beef.

Ultimate Team 2.0 now allows you to play as licensed fighters. Fighter chemistry is also new and will come into play when you try to add moves and attributes that fit your fighter i.e. fight style, weight class, etc. Knockout mode has returned, and a new “Stand and Bang mode” has been added that is similar to KO Mode from previous games, but without the health bars.

There is a new submission showdown where you are trying to submit your opponent like a BJJ style match. A new tournament mode has also been added with up to 16 brackets for you to challenge others. In tournament mode, you can set the fighters to have continued damage and fatigue just like in Pride Grand Prix events of the past.

EA Sports UFC 3 Preview -- Back in the Octagon

Authenticity is something that the developers really tried to tackle and, in most cases, look to have nailed. Bruce Lee returns as a DLC fighter for those that liked using him in the smaller weight classes. Small things like the Stockton slap is included in the game for Nate Diaz. Two women’s divisions will also be available in the game at launch, with the potential to have more at a later time a possibility according to the developers.

They even added press conferences and weigh-ins as well, along with the different altercations that occur during these. The producers even managed to add in the incredible finish that Demetrious Johnson pulled off during his last tile defense dubbed The Mighty Wiz-Bar, adding to the game’s authentic recreation of real-life UFC fights and culture.

As UFC lightweight champion (and UFC 3 cover star) Conor McGregor said,“Two belts, two covers – EA Sports got it right again. It’s an honor to be on the cover and I can’t wait to play the game.” Like McGregor, I’m definitely excited to check out more of UFC 3 when it launches early next year.

EA Sports UFC 3 Preview -- Back in the Octagon

EA Sports UFC 3 will be available worldwide on February 2nd, 2018 for Xbox One and PS4. Unfortunately, at this time there are no plans for PC or Switch versions, according to the developers, but players can also get three-day early access by pre-ordering the game.

For more on UFC 3, you can read our interview with EA Sports senior producer Marc De Vellis for his insights on the new technology driving the upcoming game, along with our interview with UFC fighter Demetrious Johnson on his passion for gaming and streaming.

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