EA have officially revealed UFC 4, with a release date that’s surprisingly soon. UFC 4 will be coming out for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on 14th August. They’ve also confirmed that British Heavyweight Boxing pair of Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury will be stepping into the octagon as pre-order DLC for the game.
At this time, however, there are no specific for the game to gain native support for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, though they are exploring options and it will naturally be playable on both consoles via backward compatibility.
The game will sport an enhanced Career Mode, building off the foundations of UFC 3’s career and the drive to become the GOAT with a new progression system for your fighter. Now every successful strike that you make during a fight or training will go toward improving and expanding your fighter’s skillset.
Fighting mechanics are being enhanced with attacks now mapped to button taps and button holds, compared to the button combos required before – EA assure us that this will actually have improved latency, because all input latency is reduced. Further to this, Real Player Motion and animations have been fed into the clinch system and takedowns, submission minigames are given an overhaul to make them simpler, there’s a new grapple assist scheme (though legacy grapple controls are an option), and there’s VFX and SFX to emphasise when high impact hits land.
Recognising the popularity of custom character, EA are expanding how you can use your fighter throughout the game. Through the whole game you can earn a wide array of custom gear, taking things to some pretty wild extremes – fancy wearing a lion head? – but you can also compete with your custom character online, switching weight divisions and picking from 12 balanced fighter archetypes to ensure a fair fight.
Online multiplayer features the Online World Championship mode with skill-based matchmaking and a divisional progression and regression system. There’s also the new Blitz Battles mode, which are 64-player dynamic tournaments with short rounds that match you up with other fighters on the same win streak as you, with six wins in a row required to be a champion.
That means Ultimate Team will not be in UFC 4, but microtransactions are still present for purchasing cosmetics for your fighter. Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury are pre-order DLC, but will also be available for purchase separately, and can even be earned through play.
On the topic of next-gen support EA Sports Producer Nate McDonald explained, “We’ve been developing UFC 4 for over two years and during that time we’ve really been committed to nailing what we’re doing for PS4 and Xbox One. While that’s been the focus, we are exploring potential support for PS5 and Xbox Series X and trying to figure out how we can continue to optimise that. As far as any more to share right now, there’s really nothing more to share on that.”
“If both consoles support backwards compatibility for Gen 4 games then, presumably, fans will be able to play UFC 4 on their Gen 5 consoles,” said UFC 4 Creative Director Brian Hayes in a separate statement. “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 5 hardware using that feature.”
Source: press release, interview