Recently, big-name developers, EA, dropped part two of the EA Sports classic game franchise, UFC for mobile devices. The game has received average and mixed reviews from the audience across the Google Play and iOS App stores. In this article, we’ll review the new UFC Mobile 2 and see if it is worthy enough to be the successor to the first game.
Based on the sports competition with the same name, UFC is a fighting series that allows players to utilize their favorite MMA fighters in-game. With complete and official licensing, EA has been able to create an immersive experience for fans of the sport and first brought out the mobile edition back in April of 2015. Flash-forward just under 7 years to today, where EA has brought out UFC Mobile 2 for mobile devices to replace the initial edition.
The gameplay has been brought down to a lot of simplification
Starting with the UFC Mobile 2 review, unfortunately, the game has been simplified quite a bit since the initial release, with EA tracking back to the basics. The controls are minimized to just taps and swipes, and the player has much less control over their fighters.
Because of this, each match runs quickly, and it’s difficult to actually enjoy the sport – something which UFC should be specializing in. The stamina system works alright but does not really cover the major flaws elsewhere in the gameplay. There’s a lack of strategy to the game as if the whole point was never to make it a challenge.
Furthermore, EA has seemed to turn towards an almost arcade-like theme for parts of the gameplay. There are things like special abilities, magic actions, and animated effects that do not really work in this context. UFC Mobile 2 fails to create a decent enough MMA experience. UFC Mobile 1 already had a decent balance, but that has been removed from the app stores.
A restrictive path leading to unsatisfying success
The menus and purpose of playing have been completely revamped, and unfortunately, not for the better. There is no dynamism in the game, and it feels as though the game pretty much plays itself. First and foremost, the immediate tutorial is painfully long, and actually a little irritating as well.
Players are forced to tap where the game says to tap in an attempt to “show what’s on offer”. The reality is, there is little to do, and the continuous menus newcomers are pulled around through are all meaningless.
EA has introduced a bunch of generic items which all serve the same purpose, just in different ways. For example, something as simple as improving a fighter requires gold, training items of different levels, perhaps even rank-up items of different rarities.
After all that, you’ll come to realize, that was not enough to just improve the fighter, there’s also still the passive abilities, synergy, stars, overall ratings, and yet more abilities. It all just seems unnecessary and acts as another barrier preventing players from using their favorite fighters. Even then, the gameplay is too simplistic, and using the fighters isn’t really that enjoyable.
The main way to access gameplay is through the events, which again, are not rewarding in the slightest. Players follow through nodes, playing fights against increasingly difficult opposition. There’s no control over who you fight, how difficult the game is, or even who you fight with. Progression can be achieved by constantly upgrading, until the point where the game just becomes a never-ending cycle. Upgrade, play, claim and repeat.
UFC Mobile 2’s graphics and performance suit the modern technology
It goes without saying, the graphics of the first UFC Mobile game did not fit the huge advancements other games had seen. UFC Mobile 2 immediately shows an improvement in this sector. The colors are more animated and the game looks much better overall.
It seems EA has succeeded in at least bumping up the level of the UFC mobile series to fit its competition. On a side note, it’s worth bearing in mind that the game as a whole does not aim for realism, which is why the graphics are a little simplistic.
All in all, it’s a massive improvement from the last game in terms of graphics and performance, although this was expected. The mobile gaming industry has progressed a lot in recent years, and it would not make sense for EA to settle with inferior aesthetics to the competition. However, whilst these technical aspects of the game have been upgraded, the other sectors are arguably not at the level they should be.
In-App Purchases have taken over a promising title
In the eyes of us mobile gamers, the UFC Mobile series has officially taken a left turn. With a bit of real cash, users can buy anything and everything, they just have to spend enough. It has become one of those games where there are just two options, one being the long grind, and the other being the paywall shortcut. Because of this, success doesn’t really have any significance. It isn’t a symbol of skill, rather a symbol of how much game time is put in.
Upgrading a fighter to max level doesn’t feel like an achievement, there’d still be someone out there that paid their way through. On top of that, actually upgrading fighters and getting access to the best is incredibly time-consuming when purely free-to-play.
UFC Mobile 2 feels like a disaster – not for the creators, but for the majority of the mobile gaming community. The graphics and performance have evidently advanced, but that is not enough to cover up the mess surrounding it.
UFC Mobile 1 has been removed from the app stores already. Those who still have the game downloaded will be unable to play after the 31st of January. So yes, both you and I are stuck with UFC Mobile 2 for now as the sole licensed MMA title on mobile.
Rather than the strategic and immersive gameplay expected from a UFC release, we get an arcade-themed tapping game. Although it feels like the menus were supposed to be the main focus, even they seem flavorless and repetitive. Overall, the game is showing signs of disappointment, though it will be interesting to see what happens in the future.
What are your opinions on the UFC Mobile 2 game and your review of it? Do let us know in the comments!