UFC 5 Wishlist: Gameplay Improvements & Career Mode Enhancements

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The full EA Sports reveal of UFC 5 is set to happen on September 7th. As recently released, Alexander Volkanovski and Valentina Schevchenko will be featured on the cover. Israel Adesanya returns as a poster boy, this time for the Deluxe Version. While we eagerly await more details, anticipation is building among fans for what promises to be a groundbreaking installment in the UFC video game series.

After a lengthy wait, it’s the perfect time to explore the potential improvements and features we hope to see in UFC 5. Read about improved gameplay feature wants, rumors, and ways EA could enhance the career mode…

What We Want To See:

With each new release, the UFC video game series has made strides in gameplay and realism. UFC 4 was built upon the foundation of its predecessor but left room for improvement in certain areas. UFC 3 seemed to have functioned better in some aspects. Ideally, a blend of the two could be great before adding anything new.

But to make UFC 5 truly exceptional, here are some of the key elements we’d like to see:

1. Improved Clinch & Grapple Fighting

In UFC 4, the clinch game was somewhat limited, allowing players to initiate only the single collar tie clinch position. UFC 3, on the other hand, offered a broader range of clinch positions and smoother transitions. UFC 5 should aim to blend the best of both worlds, combining the diverse transitions from UFC 3 with the striking dynamics of UFC 4, resulting in a more realistic and engaging clinch fighting experience.

Furthermore, adding the ability to utilize elbows and hammer fists from all ground positions, even from the bottom, would enhance ground fighting. Ground elbows are currently rumored to be added.

2. Attribute Ratings Scale Redo

While a minor detail, using a 0-100 rating scale instead of stars would provide players with a clearer understanding of fighter attributes. This change would eliminate any ambiguity and cater to players who prefer a more precise rating system. Maybe I’m just nitpicking, but it’s a preference.

3. More Fighting Styles & Archetypes

UFC 5 should reintroduce a variety of fighting styles, including Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Greco-Roman, Sanda, Sambo, etc. Back in UFC 2, there were more options… That however, has slowly decreased with each game. Expanding the roster of fighting styles would allow for greater diversity in fighter profiles, fostering unique combinations and strategies. Additionally, the inclusion of secondary fighting styles or archetypes could add depth and individuality to each fighter’s skill set.

4. X-Factor Abilities or Signature Styles

To further differentiate elite fighters, UFC 5 could implement X-Factor abilities based on a fighter’s style. This feature, inspired by EA Sports’ Madden series, could represent exceptional traits or skills unique to certain fighters. For instance, Dominick Cruz’s exceptional footwork could translate into an “Untouchable” X-Factor, while Khabib Nurmagomedov’s unparalleled wrestling could become a “Wrestling Clinic” X-Factor. This system could extend to lower-tier abilities for top-15 fighters, creating a tiered system.

5. More Diverse Submission Gameplay

Diversifying the submission game with additional counters, escape techniques, and transition options would enhance the overall experience. Von flu is the only submission counter in any of the games that I know of, but there should be other counters. Slams and strikes was a nice addition to UFC 4, but strikes should be able to break you out of a submission or sink the submission in deeper.

The same goes for slams, which was only available during a triangle submission from bottom guard. These additions, on top of the ability for strikes to affect submission outcomes, would further enrich the ground game experience.

6. More Realistic Striking Exchanges & Fouls

Controversial take alert! I want there to be eye pokes, I want groin strikes, I want kicks to the head of grounded opponents. Fouls are part of real fights, and thus should also be part of the game. Give us point deductions, doctor stoppages (currently rumored), and disqualifications.

Career Mode Enhancements:

Career Mode is a cornerstone of the UFC franchise, and it should continue evolving. In UFC 5, players should experience distinct storylines and challenges based on their chosen weight class and fighting style, ensuring a unique journey for each character.

6. Choose Your Backstory

Introducing different origin or background stories for fighters could provide varied storylines, starting attributes, and signature styles or X-Factor abilities. Whether your character is an athlete transitioning from another sport, a champion from a different martial art, an MMA prodigy, a coach turned fighter, or a street fighter, these backstories would allow for greater personalization and variety. This might also influence your starting point for the career mode, or the initial trajectory of your fighter.

7. Choose Your Path Forward

Allowing fighters to choose between staying with one gym or moving to different gyms could add depth to the career mode. Training at home and fight camp gyms should be options, and inviting fighters to your camp or accepting invitations from others could lead to skill improvements and influence story development and rivalries. There should be different routes to the UFC as well. In UFC 4, the path was determined as you followed the story with Coach Davis. The storyline in UFC 5 should have decisions and variability in the story.

This might be slightly determined by your backstory, but there is still room for story development. If you start on the regional scene or as an amateur, you may get different opportunities for call ups based on your performance. Contender Series, The Ultimate Fighter, or a direct call up on short notice are easy examples.

8. Show The Full Fight Card

Reintroducing the feature from UFC 2 where players could see the entire fight card, follow results, and watch their fighter gradually climb the ranks could enhance the immersion and excitement of the career mode. This is just a personal preference though, and doesn’t really affect gameplay.

9. Weight Cuts & Short Notice Fights

Incorporating weight cuts as a gameplay factor, along with the potential for fighters to accept short notice fights, would add realism and strategic depth. Successful weight cuts could boost attributes, while failed attempts could have adverse effects on your fighter’s performance.

10. Post-Fight Interviews & Press Conferences

Post-fight interviews and press conferences are vital in the world of MMA. Including these elements in UFC 5 would allow players to build relationships, rivalries, and hype for future fights. Choices made during interviews and press conferences could affect fan support and the trajectory of your fighter’s career, introducing a charismatic attribute or mic skills for better response options. UFC 2 would give you options to pick who you fought, UFC 4 allows you to decline fights. But, you could build fights with multiple opponents and choose which has the most hype behind it.

11. Introduce A Promoter Mode

It would be interesting to see a different game mode where you play matchmaker and put together fight cards and events. A spin off to typical GM Modes that allow you to sign fighters to contracts and build a roster for a promotion, pick venues to hold these events, challenge the UFC with your own promotion or run the UFC how you want. A coach mode might be an interesting twist as well. Maybe that mode could allow you to build your gym from the ground up and see how you stack up against the likes oof American Top Team, Tristar MMA, Team Alpha Male, City Kickboxing, or even Chute Boxe Academy.

UFC 5 has the potential to become the best fighting game on the market. It is definitely too early for those discussions, but these improvements and additions would elevate the game, making it a must-have for fans of the UFC and video game enthusiasts. As we all eagerly await the reveal, the expectations are high, and we can’t wait to see what EA Sports has in store for us this time.

What do you want to see in UFC 5? Let us know in the comments below…

About Post Author

Connor Rogowsky

Connor "Rags" Rogowsky is a The Scrap's Co-Founder and a MMA writer during his free time. Rogowsky played football and track collegiately, and holds a Masters of Science in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University.Make sure to follow Rags on Twitter (<a href="http://www.twitter.com/rogowskyc">@rogowskyc</a>).
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