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"You know what’s the real fight, the real money fight? It’s me!" — UFC fans pumping themselves up before the next video game comes out.
Luckily, you won't have to wait long. Ultimate Fighting Champion is getting its fifth EA Sports-developed game less than a week before the epic rematch between Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira at UFC 294. Fans have been waiting in anticipation for the next generation of the popular fighting series since the last release in 2020.
Put your gloves on and play your walk out music. Iiiiiiiiiit's time… well, it’s almost time for EA Sports UFC 5.
IT’S TIME ⏰ #UFC5
Available worldwide Oct 27th 🌎 From unrivaled Frostbite graphics to all-new damage systems, UFC 5 is as real as it gets 👊
Pre-order now 👉 https://t.co/jTA8CbgVdS
— EA SPORTS (@EASPORTS) September 7, 2023
What is EA Sports UFC 5?
EA Sports UFC 5 will be the fifth game in the franchise developed by Electronic Arts. However, it’s the 14th game overall based on the fighting league since the first-ever UFC game released in 2000 for the Dreamcast, PlayStation, and Game Boy Color.
As with previous installments, you'll be able to fight friends offline or challenge people across the world online. Career mode is making a return, but EA has promised improvements to the experience—including an online career mode.
EA Sports UFC 5 will also see a revamped submission and grappling system to bring what the publisher claims is a smoother and more authentic experience.
When is UFC 5 being released?
EA Sports UFC 5 is scheduled for release on October 27, 2023.
The game will launch on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S. There are currently no announced plans to bring the game to last-gen consoles, PC, or Nintendo Switch. You can purchase the deluxe edition to receive some extra goodies, including additional fighters, online career mode XP boosts, and the ability to play the game three days early.
Which fighters are in UFC 5?
Based on footage from the reveal trailer, it appears that Conor McGregor, Michael Chandler, Alexander Volkanovski, Valentina Shevchenko, Amanda Nunes, Israel Adesanya, Alex Pereira, Islam Makhachev, and Jon Jones will be in UFC 5.
Fans who pre-order the game will also be able to play as Muhammad Ali, as well as Fedor Emelianenko, Mike Tyson, and Bruce Lee if they get the deluxe edition. Outside of these confirmed fighters, you can assume that most UFC fighters in the top 15 of their division (along with some cult heroes) will be in the game.
It is yet to be confirmed if you can play as UFC president Dana White or announcer Bruce Buffer—as you can in some previous games.
Muhammad Ali will be available as a playable character in the new “EA UFC 5” video game” 🥊 pic.twitter.com/vPjiPgtT0W
— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohn) September 7, 2023
What about the graphics in UFC 5?
UFC 5 will be the first time that EA’s own Frostbite engine will be used for the series. This game engine—which was used for the most recent Battlefield games—looks to bring a new level of realism to hair and clothing animation to the franchise, among other enhancements.
As a result, a brand new cut, bruising, and swelling system is being implemented, including more than 64,000 possible combinations of facial damage. This means that fighters will wear more realistic battle scars than in previous games.
Blood and sweat graphics are also taking an authentically gory step forward, with blood pools gathering in the octagon as you get into brutal wars with your opponent. As a result, it will be the first entry in the series to earn a "Mature" rating from the ESRB as the franchise leans into visual authenticity.
UFC 5 will also see new fighter animations brought into the game. Now there will be more ways than ever to finish your opponent from your feet or with a ground-and-pound approach. Unique animations to emulate the style of each fighter have also been introduced, including animations specifically for heavy hitters, professional kickboxers, and more.
More walkouts and celebrations are being added to the game too, such as Alex Pereira’s signature bow-and-arrow entrance. With such improved graphics, EA Sports wanted to show off its work, so the team also upgraded the replay function. EA promises to offer super-slow-motion cinematic replays that'll turn your "devastating knockout into a work of art."
New ways to stop a fight in UFC 5
Doctor stoppages enter UFC 5 with the introduction of an authentic damage system. If a fighter sustains a significant injury, then the ref can now call in a doctor to inspect it. If the injury is too bad to continue, then the fight will be called off.
The ground game is also being revamped in order to provide a smoother experience for gamers. This will include the removal of the previous submission mini-games that frustrated players. The new submission system will "offer a smoother, more authentic ground game that is sure to be a grappler’s delight," EA says. Details are still unclear, however.
And finally, in a series first, fights can end in a draw if the judges deem it necessary. In previous games, there was always a winner, which left some players feeling cheated. But now, there will be an authentic judging experience—win, lose, or draw. We suspect that many players will still blame the judges if they lose, however.