EA Sports UFC 2 will feature Ronda Rousey as its global cover athlete, publisher Electronic Arts announced today, alongside the release of the game's full feature set, which includes new modes like UFC Ultimate Team.
Rousey, 28, is the current and only UFC women's bantamweight champion, a title she has held since December 2012 and will defend tomorrow, Nov. 14, against Holly Holm at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to being the world's top-ranked female MMA fighter, Rousey is an actress, having appeared in The Expendables 3, Furious 7 and Entourage. She is slated to star in an upcoming remake of Road House. Rousey is also a longtime fan of video games — in particular, she's an avowed Pokémon obsessive.
"As a gamer myself, and growing up a little overly obsessed with video games, it's pretty surreal to be on the cover of a game myself," said Rousey in a EA Sports UFC 2 trailer announcing her as the game's cover athlete. "To have a woman on the cover of a UFC game, it shows a lot of progress. I'm really happy to be involved with it."
EA Sports also unveiled the full set of features for EA Sports UFC 2 today. It's a promising list with a noted focus on depth — something the original EA Sports UFC was criticized for lacking. The sequel is led by four new gameplay elements including a revamped physics engine, the Knockout Physics System, which EA says will deliver more impactful hit reactions and, well, knockouts. The game will also offer better control in grappling situations to help the ground game; new submission options like standing and chained submissions; and improved options on defense.
On the visual side, EA Sports UFC 2 will introduce physics for fighters' hair, along with better facial modeling and body deformation from strikes. Additional animations will bring in recognizable attacks from specific combatants. And the game will feature a larger roster than its predecessor, including current UFC fighters, MMA legends and "some surprises." The last time around, EA Sports UFC allowed players to enter the Octagon as Bruce Lee.
EA Sports UFC 2 will offer five modes, starting with an expanded career mode that includes training camps and "career-defining moments" and, for the first time, supports the creation of female fighters. EA is bringing its wildly popular (and incredibly lucrative) Ultimate Team mode to EA Sports UFC 2, marking the debut of Ultimate Team in a non-team sports game. Players who want a more condensed experience than a traditional fight will likely be interested in the new KO Mode, which is all about strikes, not grappling or submissions.
People who like to take more of a behind-the-scenes role can become a UFC ringmaster (or Octagon-master?) in the Custom Event Creator, which allows players to put together their own fight cards in a venue of their choice with custom fight settings. And those who want to go online can compete for championships in a new Title Chase, or predict the winners of real-life UFC events and play them in the game. Developer EA Canada is also catering to novice players by including a practice mode, skill challenges and an in-game tutorial overlay for grappling.
EA Sports UFC 2 is set for release next spring on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can check out the first gameplay footage in the trailer above.