EA Sports MMA Hits and Misses

Posted November 1st, 2010 at 5:30 pm

EA Sports MMA has now been out for two weeks allowing plenty of time to assess what the game has done well and where it fell short. For a first attempt with the launching of a franchise the product is surprisingly polished and contains a deep feature set. Here are what I perceive to be the hits and misses for EA Sports MMA.


  • Accessibility

The controls are not overly intimidating though they do take a while to become second nature and master. The ground game is where the controls are the best and in doing so offer a stark contrast to the competition. Stand-up is not as strong, specifically with the right stick for uppercuts and the use of the right bumper feeling awkward. The option to switch to button control striking is available as well. The submission mini-games are engaging. Overall the controls allow for novices to pick up the game and learn more skills through experience without being overwhelming.

  • Career Mode

Check out my full impressions of career mode here. Though not revolutionary in structure many of the frustrations of typical career modes have been removed and there is good variety in being able to build a custom fighter to certain strengths. There is also variety in locales, legendary trainers, and rule sets.

  • Online Play

Check out my full impressions of online play here. Performance has been excellent with very little lag having been experienced, in fact most fights feel as though they are being played offline. The Fight Cards feature provides a great deal of fun by making it an event and social experience. Live Broadcast is an innovative feature, a fantastic concept certainly, but there has been a distinct lack of interest towards it.

Created fighters and downloaded fighters can be used online but their ratings are properly balanced. Fighter Share allows for the quick and easy download of many named fighters that gamers may choose to seek out. The “belts” for ranking up based on XP earned gives incentive to keep playing. Saving the last four ranked fights for anyone to be able to watch in their entirety is one of the coolest features introduced in a long time.

  • Managing Fatigue

Fatigue has largely been a factor in past fight games by affecting strike power and quickness or slowing down movement. In EA Sports MMA though it is critical to everything that is done. Fatigue plays a role in the ground game, submissions, the clinch, defensively…really in every way imaginable. Skilled gamers will learn how to conserve fatigue and strategically take advantage of opponents who are drained.

  • Overall Variety

There is variety in all areas of EA Sports MMA not just career mode as mentioned earlier. Fighters have their own distinct styles with strengths, weaknesses, and special move sets that make each fight feel unique. There are different rule sets, cage or ring, and even Cowboys Stadium included. Flash KOs are not the only way fights end with TKOs, submissions, and even going to the cards always potential outcomes.


  • Loading Times

Check out the loading time evaluation for specifics. The game is plagued by lengthy loading times which inflict themselves in areas such as getting into and out of fights, heading in and out of the main menu, career mode, and different aspects of online play.

  • Online User Base

There has been a great deal of discussion centering on low sales for EA Sports MMA. This is most evident by the small base of online players. On release day, throughout release week, and even still the game has delivered low numbers online. Matchmaking often returns the message that no opponents can be found, and when one is located that opponent could very well be someone rated way out of the ranked range that should be competed against. There are often just one or two random fight cards listed and they are not near being full. The lack of online players has rendered the Live Broadcast feature largely ignored.

  • Presentation

The overall presentation is far from being terrible but doesn’t capitalize on the full experience. The signature intros are well done however they cut off early and the crowd is an afterthought beyond then. The on-screen graphics look nice however the game falters with the commentary. Replays are also often questionable in what they show and kept very brief.

  • Missed Opportunity

EA Sports MMA had the chance to include women’s divisions which would have helped differentiate the product even further from UFC. The overall roster may not have been full of names recognizable to casual fans of the sport but it was filled out well otherwise.

EA Sports MMA is one of the most pleasant surprises of the year. The game is a lot of fun, has limited any issues or exploits, and has some very entertaining and innovative features. Hopefully EA Sports continues to push and innovate as the underdog and produce an even better product with the next edition.