|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA Tiburon||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: EA Sports||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 19, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The career mode itself is fairly deep, and players will definitely have some fun joining the different MMA leagues and participating in matches in familiar locales. However, the real replay value for EA Sports MMA will come from the online modes. The game has an immersive online mode which includes an online mode that allows you to fight against ranked opponents to earn online belts using XP earned in the ring.
There are over ninety belts you can earn (separated into two classes), and as you work your way through the ranks, your character progresses too. Although if you slip up too many times, you can lose belts just as quickly as you earn them. The belt progression is definitely a great hook to keep you immersed in the game and provides a career-like experience with your favorite MMA fighters (you can only use custom characters in career mode.)
The online fighting modes are probably going to be your go-to modes for online play, but there is another mode which is definitely exciting, and a first for a sports game. Live Broadcast is an online mode where two players (selected by EA Sports) can get together and fight live once a week. The live broadcast will be publicized both on the game's main menu and the EA Sports MMA website, and fans can tune in every week to watch the selected players battle it out. Of course, if you aren't at the top of the leaderboard, you might feel like you will never have a shot at Live Broadcast. However, I recently sat down with members of the EA Sports MMA team, who assured me that many factors will be taken into account when selecting players for Live Broadcast, including community activity and creative hype videos.
EA Sports MMA is definitely an interesting take on the burgeoning MMA genre of sports games. Although other games have focused on adding a plethora of modes and abilities, it seems the folks at EA Tiburon were solely focused on bringing an experience to the table that faithfully replicated the MMA sport, and creating a combat system filled with nuance and strategic detail. And on those notes, they have certainly succeeded. EA Sports MMA is a solid start for this new franchise and it will be interesting to see where EA will take it from here. But no matter what the future holds, EA Sports MMA is a title that MMA fans should appreciate, and is a refreshing take on the MMA genre.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC News Director