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The world of sports video games has been dominated by one franchise for years, but in 2010, EA Sports MMA arrived to challenge the status quo. Developed by EA Tiburon, EA Sports MMA brought a revolution in sports video games by introducing a new breed of fighting mechanics, a massive roster of fighters, and stunning visuals. In this blog, we’ll explore why EA Sports MMA was a massive game-changer in sports video games.
The Fighting Mechanics
EA Sports MMA broke away from the traditional button-mashing style with its innovative fighting mechanics. The game relied on analog sticks to control strikes and grapples. The game’s fighting system allowed for faster and more fluid movements, making it a much more realistic fighting experience. The game also introduced the concept of ‘cage control,’ where players could use the octagon’s cage to control their opponent’s movements.
The Roster of Fighters
EA Sports MMA boasted of a roster of over 60 fighters, including the likes of Fedor Emelianenko, Randy Couture, and Shinya Aoki. The game further differentiated itself from other games by adding fighters from various lesser-known promotions worldwide, such as DREAM, BAMMA, and M-1 Global. This inclusion of lesser-known fighters created a more diverse set of fighting styles that gave players a unique experience.
The game seriously upped the ante in visuals, with realistic fighter models, stunning particle effects, and detailed animations. The game’s visuals created a sense of immersion that was unparalleled in sports video games at that time. The game’s graphics still hold up today, even after a decade.
The Career Mode
Not only were the fighting mechanics exceptional, but EA Sports MMA’s career mode was also something that was not seen before in sports video games. With the career mode, players could create their own fighters and train them from the bottom to the top, experiencing the trials and tribulations of the sport. The game also introduced different promotions, and players could move to different promotions as they progressed in their careers.
Shut Down of Online Services
The game’s only downside was the shutdown of online services in 2012. Although EA Sports MMA was ahead of its time, some of its core features relied heavily on the online community, such as tournaments, ranked matches, and leaderboards. With online services down, these features were no longer available, making the game incomplete.
EA Sports MMA was a game-changer for the sports video game genre. It introduced new fighting mechanics, a massive roster of fighters, stunning visuals, and a career mode that was way ahead of its time. Although the game had its limitations, such as the shutdown of online services, it still remains a benchmark for sports video games. EA Sports MMA might not have overthrown the dominant franchise, but it was an essential step towards the evolution of sports video games.