Vulgar Knight
Reviews PS4

EA Sports UFC 3 PS4 Review

After getting in a PSN sale, here’s an EA Sports UFC 3 PS4 review in case you’re thinking of getting it too. And yes, I know nobody else has given it a similar score.

Though I’m an easy-going chap, I do like to be able to mush an opponents face into the floor, should civilities get to that stage. I’m referring to beat ’em ups, of course, and EA Sports UFC 3 is the grandaddy of the ground and pound.

As a martial arts fan, it’s disappointing to see the lack of coverage in styles such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Still, objectively speaking, it’s bloody hard to make that transition from real-life to the gaming world without looking clumsy.

EA Sports UFC 3 PS4 Review

EA Sports UFC 3 is a gorgeous looking game, and I’d argue that it’s perhaps one of the best looking fighting games you can play right now. But looks aren’t everything, and sacrifices are made to playability when something looks as good as this.

Not entirely. Having bought all three instalments of the game, I can honestly say it is one of my favourite beat ’em ups out there. Fighters behave realistically; no jumping, no taking endless punches to the head and they get tired quick, and the UFC 3 PS4 controls feel slick.

That might not be for everyone, but it’s great to be able to have the choice, and this is a choice I’d happily make again and again. 

EA Sports UFC 3 - Bisping
Bisping. Source: PR

Without a doubt, the striking side of the game is the highlight. Fighters enter the Octagon with ferocity and flair, taunt one another with their tribal poses and unleash a flurry of precision jabs, hooks and roundhouse kicks with some realism that you’ll be checking your brow for claret.

To counter that, the floorwork isn’t as hot and the fumbling on the ground like a fish out of water, holding the sticks in several poses, breaks the rhythm and proves frustrating. Even when you build a custom character and channel your energy into groundwork, executing a submission is fiddly and erratic.

Somewhat frustrating, as my interest in the martial arts is submissions, rather than striking, but it’s still the best grappling and submission-based game out there outside of wrestling.

A Game That Packs A Punch (And Kick)

We’re spoilt for choice with the numerous game modes; from tournaments to quick matches, custom careers through to UFC Dream Teams, there’s plenty on offer which seems to be the norm for EA Sports games.

In summary, there’s a massive roster of real-life fighters – both current and Hall of Famers (Royce Gracie is a mainstay), listing all weight classes. Assuming the heavyweight would pack a punch, it’s the lighter divisions that display a greater range of versatility from their footwork through to seemingly endless stamina when taken to the floor.

One of the greatest selling points of the series is the unpredictable sway of a fight. It can go from a one-sided punching bag to two moves: a takedown, then submission. Of course, if you button mash in the game, you won’t last a round.

The UFC series is a go-to when I play one-on-one fighters with guests, and EA Sports UFC 3 takes that crown from its predecessors. If you have played the previous iterations, you won’t notice too many changes, the UFC 3 PS4 controls remain the same; alternating the twin-stick controls for dodging and defending, while further modifying them with the shoulder buttons. If you’re a fan, you won’t be disappointed.

EA Sports UFC 3 - Kick
For the kicks. Source: Screenshot

Online gaming isn’t my thing, but to give it a chance and unlock a few trophies, I gave it a go and was promptly handed my arse. On a plate. With a ribbon.

No excuses here, the online experience was spot-on without lag or much of a delay in the lobby. The poor showing was my performance, so let’s move on to the creating a fighter section.

That’s Me In The Corner

The UFC series has always excelled as customisation, and EA Sports UFC 3 follows that model, and you can create a custom fighter that best resembles you, or how you would like to appear. Aspects like nicknames are a bit cheesy, but I got in the habit of skipping the entrances of a match, so all the gumpf of entrance music, clothing etc. was wasted on me.

The Career Mode may have well been the game as that’s all I played for the majority of the time. From creating the ‘ultimate fighter’, you climb the ranks by promoting matches, learning moves and getting fight ready.

For the latter, you have a set amount of hours to put into training, and it will increase your stats for striking speed, footwork, takedown defence and bottom work (steady). The attributes seem endless, but not remotely complicated as you can either balance your abilities or become a specialist in punches, kicks or takedowns.

Unfortunately, there’s a little opening for exploitation as it’s easy to overpower your fighter with striking ability, forcing a knockout in the first round each time. On the plus side, this leaves you open for counter-attacks, and if you have a weak jaw or can’t prevent a submission, you’ve had it.

Suffice to say, in my career, I achieved legendary status and lost 3 in about 40 matches until retirement. That’s not because I was so good at the game, but might right hook was a killer.

Bigging Up Your Game

While the actual gameplay – the fighting – is fantastic, there’s a lot of emphasis put on building up your fighter through social media, making public appearances and offering gym sessions when building a fighter.

Intercut between fights includes social media posts and promotional videos for upcoming fights; building up the hype as the sport does itself, but it does feel a bit of a show pony. 

From a negative perspective, The Ultimate Team feature seems surplus to the game; choosing four fighters to climb the divisions. It makes no senses as there are no stories or allegiances in UFC like there is in say WWE; people are fighting to win in the Octagon, not add melodrama to it all.

EA Sports UFC 3 - Win
FTW (that’s supposed to be me). Source: Screenshot

In this mode, it’s mostly a loot crate system, and while it doesn’t dilute the experience of the main game (it’s optional), it could have been omitted.

There are so many features in the game, and the moves, while in-depth, don’t feel as overly complicated as they may appear (hold the shoulder buttons with a combination of the analogue sticks). EA Sports UFC 3 is an excellent standalone experience.

I don’t glorify violence, but I do like my fighting games, and there’s so much satisfaction here. We each have our preference from Street Fighter through to Mortal Kombat (I think Tekken is my thing), but UFC is easily one of my personal favourites.

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