Bleacher Report was fortunate enough to get a golden pass into the mecca of gaming that is the E3 Gaming Expo. All of the familiar titles were there: Sonic, Mario, Assassins Creed, Call of Duty, and much more. At the expo you can’t help but focus on two letters that are synonymous with sports, entertainment, and quality. Those two letters are EA.
EA has become the primary name in sports gaming with titles such as FIFA, NCAA Football, and the ever popular Madden series. Now EA takes the first chair in tackling the sport of Mixed Martial Arts in their new franchise affectionately named EA Sports MMA. This game includes current Strikeforce as well as some fighters from the Japanese Dream promotion.
Fans will be happy that the controller mechanics for this game are very similar to the Fight Night controls using both analog sticks for movement as well as striking. Fans can also switch to normal button controls if they do not enjoy the Fight Night type controls.
With the controller in hand you notice that this game is as calculated and exact as the sport that we all know and love. Striking can be crisp and quick, or wild and looping depending on the player's preference. The strikes are also based on the actual fighter you are playing with rather than general templates which makes the experience even more realistic.
Grappling and takedowns are surprisingly real in EA Sports MMA. Successful takedowns must be set up in a smart fashion unless you want to be easily reversed by your opponent. Once the fight hits the ground it becomes rather dynamic with the fighter in top position pressing the advance button and the fighter on the bottom trying to successfully time a reversal.
The submission system for this popular title is unique to say the least. Unlike most games EA Sports MMA stresses finesse over rapid button mashing to successfully tap out your opponent. Just as in real MMA competition if you exert too much energy attempting a submission you lose stamina leaving yourself more open to be knocked out or submitted yourself.
With all of these positive and challenging aspects in EA’s first MMA title it was no surprise that stars gravitated to the EA Sports MMA booth. Bleacher Report had the pleasure to interview commentators Stephen Quadros as well as Pat Miletich after they got done duking it out in the digital cage.
Dan Henderson was also in attendance playing against game developers, fans, and former UFC champion Pat Miletich. Fabricio Werdum was also present doing some digital break downs of Fedor before he shocked the world on June 26.
King Mo was the feature attraction as usual when he agreed to face off against an EA developer live online. “Mayhem” Miller and Mauro Renallo called the game action via satellite feed showing fans all the excitement to be had with EA Sports MMA online.
E3 was fun, as always, but also an important step for MMA by having Strikeforce compete head to head with the UFC on our favorite consoles. The game is set to release on October 22, 2010 and certainly is one title that should be on your shelf because it delivers exactly what fans want--a realistic MMA title that is fun to play over and over again.