The Upcoming EA Sports UFC Video Game Envisions the Outcome of Weidman vs. Machida
Yesterday, Electronic Arts released gameplay footage of its forthcoming EA Sports UFC video game, slated for release this spring on XBox One and Playstation 4. It’s EA Sports’ second go at an MMA-themed game, after releasing EA Sports MMA back in 2010.
The game looks amazing, but given that we’ve been busy talking about Street Fighter II around here, stepping into the present and looking at a product of today’s video game arms race is a little like hopping out of a DeLorean and finding a world filled with flying cars and great white shark holograms trying to eat your head. The game’s roster of playable fighters is stocked with UFC champions and contenders past and present: Jon Jones, Georges St. Pierre, Ronda Rousey, Chuck Liddell, Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira, and the list continues. And except for making Joe Lauzon look like he’s about to cry, the semblance between the fighters and their digital counterparts looks pretty uncanny—just look at the differing shadows cast by the busted ridges on each set of cauliflower ears for the evidence.
And for a sport promising infinite possibility, the gameplay video shoots a glance at one potential MMA future in the match-up between incumbent middleweight champion Chris Weidman and challenger Lyoto Machida, who are set to face each other in real life at UFC 173 on May 24. In the fight’s final moments, virtual Weidman presses virtual Machida against the cage, grabs a single leg, runs the pipe, takes side control, and steps over for a fight-ending triangle choke. Weidman remains the champion in a world governed by ones and zeros.
It's tempting in a world of rapidly evolving CGI graphics and rapidly shrinking uncanny valleys to give ourselves over to the fantasy of virtual reality and believe that the video-game developers around us are privy to knowledge the rest of us aren't. But as remarakably real as the graphics for the new EA game are, poor Chris Weidman will still have to fight Lyoto Machida come May 24, and Machida likely won't give in so easily. Video games are vivid distractions, not crystal balls.
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