“UFC 4” is bland and uninspired with a deeply flawed online mode

Plank Article Jackson Sloat ’23

One of my colleagues, Rowan Craig ’23, wrote an opinion for The Plank calling the video game “UFC 4” a fun installment in the “UFC” video game franchise. As a distinguished video game reviewer, I was offended, because “UFC 4” is not fun at all; in fact, it’s a really boring game.

The video game, “UFC 4” was released on Aug. 14, 2020 and was developed by EA Sports. This action-packed fighting game follows the classic format of having a “Career Mode,” “Online” mode, and a “Play Now” mode.

My colleague Rowan Craig believes that each game mode might be the same, but is still fun to play. The problem is that each gamemode is the same, and it isn’t fun to play. The game tries to be unique and bring something new to the declining fighting video game genre; however, it falls short and ends up making another basic and monotonous fighting game. 

One of the worst parts of the game is the “Career Mode.” Rowan believes that this mode adds “unique” character design, and adds “weight” and “tension” to fights. With most video games in the fighting genre, this would be amazing and add a lot to the game, but unsurprisingly the game doesn’t do any of this. Instead, this useless game mode makes it too easy to win. This seems like it would make sense because the goal is to teach you how to play and boost your confidence, but the problem is that it keeps getting easier. Even when you reach the “UFC” (ultimate fighting championship) in the game, each fight is simple and only takes one or two rounds to win.

In my experience, increasing the CPU difficulty doesn’t make that big of a change either. While it does increase the enemy’s strength and stamina, it only makes the fights longer and tedious, not necessarily harder and more worthwhile. 

Rowan Craig believes that the “Online” game mode is what makes the game worthwhile, but the  reality is that the game mode lacks the ability to implement skill based matchmaking, often leading to fights against other players that are way too easy or too hard to beat. 

Like many games, “UFC 4” lacks an adequate enough number of servers needed to accommodate the numerous players it attracts at once. This causes lags and pauses that happen mid fight and make for an unpleasant and boring experience.

Another weakness that Rowan fails to point out is that the “Online” mode doesn’t allow you to use a fighter that you create in “Career Mode.” You can make your character look the same, and somewhat fight the same, but the characters don’t progress at the same time. The game also doesn’t allow you to add special moves you learn in “Career Mode,” further taking away from the game’s success.

The one notable point Rowan makes is that the “Play Now” mode is surprisingly entertaining and fun to play. This game mode is where most sports games fail, but it seems as if “UFC 4” astonishingly succeeds, because it allows you to play as any fighter in the “UFC” or your own player you created. 

Each and every playable fighter is highly detailed and realistic, and equipped with their own set of moves. They aren’t just boxers who throw jabs, or kickboxers who throw kicks. For example, you can use Connor McGregor in this mode, and you can use his taunts, his extravagant kicks, and unique overhand punches. Each fighter is different and unique, which makes for a very fun interactive experience. 

In the end, “UFC 4” is a bland and uninspired game that tries to reignite the fire that was ignited in “UFC 3,” but fails to do so. It follows the basic sports video game genre and doesn’t try to create something new and more interactive. In my opinion, the game is a monotonous lackluster copy of older “UFC” games. Overall, I recommend anyone interested in this game to stay far away from it and stick to other games. I give “UFC 4” 1.5/5 stars.