It pays to poke around the Canadian App Store when you’re bored, because you never know what you might find. For instance, you could stumble across EA Sports UFC Mobile that quietly soft-launched last night.
That’s a real thing, and it’s free to download right now on both the Canadian App Store and Google Play. As a big UFC fan myself, I couldn’t resist briefly putting it through its paces (having made myself an honorary Canuck a long time ago).
As you’d expect from EA, it’s no slouch in the visuals department, and there are a ton of real world UFC fighters spread across divisions from flyweight to heavyweight. You can even coax Georges St. Pierre out of retirement. Though, strangely, there’s no light heavyweight weight class, so all the light heavies are up with the bigger guys.
Combat manages to work in both the stand-up and ground phases of an MMA fight, though obviously streamlined from what you’d find in a console game. Still, there’s a fair amount of timing and strategy involved, as you have to land or block some basic attacks before you can try for takedowns or land more powerful shots. You can also train specific moves to emphasize your favorites, and all told, it’s a more complex system than we’ve seen in some recent mobile fighting games.
Along with a career mode, it appears there will be live events and the ability to challenge your friends. It’s hard to get a read on the monetization system, which features packs you can buy that contain abilities to train and fighters, though the former are much more common than the latter. Premium currency can be used to buy fighters directly.
The fact this game even exists just makes me think back to the days when Dana White was so angry at EA and chuckle. I’d expect we’ll see this stateside eventually, and I’m going to be welcoming it with open arms — though that’ll only be to set up a takedown attempt!