All of you MMA aficionados will only have to wait eight short weeks for the next instalment in the series as 'UFC 5' is slated for an October 27th release – right in time for Christmas.

So, since this isn’t a yearly release like 'FIFA' you’d expect the devs to have done quite a bit with their time right? Well, this isn’t 'UFC 4' with better graphics, this is 'UFC' with new controls, new damage systems, more moves, and more control over how you want to play, so you can play in the exact style you want. Punch, kick, grapple, takedown, submit, reverse, you can do it all. And of course, significantly improved graphics. 

So how were they able to do some much more than last time? The two main reasons are moving to a new engine and pushing new technology to the limit. 

Building the new title in EA’s proprietary engine Frostbite, which is also used for games like 'Battlefield' and 'Need For Speed', as well as developing much more powerful hardware in the PS5 and Xbox X & S, meant all of their dreams could be realised. 

One of the most important milestones for the team was finally getting to 60fps. The producers said it’s something they’ve wanted and worked towards since 'UFC 1', and are delighted to finally be able to bring it to the fans. The new engine also meant better motion capture, which means a seriously improved strike animation system. New striking means a much more responsive ground game system too, allowing for ground & pound transitioning into submissions or back escaping back to standing. The submission system has been totally reworked since 'UFC 4' too. There are now 600 separate movements available in submissions to help you finish off your opponent, or take back control from the brink. There are more counters, more reversals, and more intensity. 

On top of feeling better, 'UFC 5' is going to look much better too. Improved lighting, new facial animation tech, a new replay system, updated body geometry and even improved hair physics all strengthen the connection to real-world UFC. 

A significant feature of the game is the new damage system. The latest damage system is so realistic and visceral that this is the first time a 'UFC' game will be given an M for Mature rating. But it’s not blood and gore for the sake of blood and gore. The team took this step because they wanted to move even closer to the in-ring experience that real-world fighters actually face.

The new system has an astronomically high number of damage combinations, each affecting your character in different ways. If one eye is bloody or swollen, blocking on the side will become more difficult. For example, if you’ve sustained a significant amount of leg kicks, stamina and movement are impacted. Take enough damage and the ref will call in a doctor, after an inspection then you might be allowed to fight on, or the match could be called there and then. The depth of this system could only have come from a team of people who essentially have competed and are unofficial masters in MMA fighting. 

The producers of 'UFC 5' are dedicated to bringing you an excellent experience, having worked on sports titles since before some UFC fighters were even born. When asked how they balanced gaming and the world of sports, they said they’re coming at 'UFC 5' from a sporting perspective first, then using their gaming intuition to finely tune the fun and realism to ensure the final game is the absolute best it can be, both for real-world UFC fans and gamers alike.

The producers we spoke to are all deeply passionate about sports and gaming alike. Jazz Brousseau, who has been with EA for over 16 years, said highlights of his career included being on stage with the current UFC Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones.

Raman Bassi, associate producer with EA Vancouver for over five years, has been a real-world fan of UFC since its inception, and personally showed UFC founder Dana White the latest edition of the game while it was still in production.

Nate McDonald, who has worked on 18 different sports titles for EA, is so embedded in the sporting world that he was even on the red carpet for Michael Jordan's birthday for the NBA All-Star game in 2006.

Nate also spoke to Dana White’s understanding of just how important gaming is to us gamers. After showing Dana the same preview screener that was shown to the press, Dana expressed to Nate how impressed he was EA understood UFC not only as a sport, but it’s importance to real-world fans, and with this gave his complete support for the development and release of UFC 5. For Nate, the opportunity to show someone so integral to the sport the fruits of the team's labour and have it so well received was one of his career highlights.  

Their passion for UFC is clear, and their credentials are without question. 

The only thing missing is that, despite Frostbite being used for PC games, 'UFC 5' has not yet been announced for PC. It’s not off the cards altogether, but as the team already had to dedicate significant resources just to the migration from the Ignite engine to Frostbite, the decision was made to focus on consoles for now. Honestly, we’re not upset by this decision. We’ve played some terrible console ports, and if PC has to wait a little bit longer to get a game of the same quality as the consoles (such as working control schemes for mouse & keyboard-only players) then it’s worth the wait. And realistically, with limited resources you need to focus on the largest market, which for UFC 5 is definitely going to be consoles. 

After all of that, you might have even forgotten about one of the most important points for a sports title, who are the cover stars? Well, across the different versions you’ll see Valentina Chevchenko, Alexander “Alexander the Great” Volkanovski, and Israel Adesanya. 

The combination of the developers' passion and experience for both gaming and UFC, the new console generation, and the new engine, all boil down to three simple points, three reasons why any gamer, not just UFC fans should be looking forward to this game. Gameplay, graphics, and the connection to real-world MMA and UFC.