A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Advocates mixed martial arts, depicting it as a discipline that demands hard work, dedication. Also suggests fighting can be fun, rewarding by making a sport out of men, women hitting each other.
Positive Role Models
Includes real-world fighters from both genders with varying skin tones spanning many cultures. Personalities rarely come through, but it's clear they're all very aggressive, enjoy beating up their opponents.
Ease of Play
Challenging, but multiple skill levels. Tutorials teach basics; optional on-screen cues can aid players during fights. Online play against experienced human opponents much more challenging than single-player modes.
Violence & Scariness
Characters punch, kick, elbow, grapple with each other in controlled matches. No one dies, but characters quickly become bloodied, bruised, suffer injuries such as broken noses, facial lacerations, are frequently knocked unconscious. Special effects show violent moves in slow motion, capturing looks of pain, blood drops as they fly through air.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Women in bikinis walk around octagon but have minimal presence.
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Song lyrics include the word "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
Extensive in-game advertising on ring, mat promotes brands such as Monster Energy drinks. Microtransactions encourage players to spend more money on extra content, such as additional fighters.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Several background songs reference drugs, including "weed," "coke," "J's."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know EA Sports UFC 2 simulates the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a real-world mixed martial arts league for men and women. The simulation can be quite visceral, realistically depicting the damage fighters do to each other's faces and bodies as they punch, kick, elbow, and grapple with one another. Slow-motion shots capture fighters breaking noses, causing facial cuts, and knocking each other out as blood flies through the air and spatters the mat. The fighters are physically modeled after real-world UFC combatants but don't show much personality other than to fight and act aggressive. But it's clear through training that they're disciplined and work hard to become skilled athletes. Parents should also note that this game has plenty of in-game advertising for recognizable brands, plus it includes background songs that have profanity and mention drugs. Players are also encouraged to purchase downloadable content.
Is It Any Good?
The visceral and graphic nature of this sports title pretty much guarantees EA Sports' second kick at the UFC can won't have much appeal beyond the sport's core fans, but it at least caters to a broader swath in that group. That's largely thanks to more accessible controls and fighting mechanics, plus a healthy range of difficulty levels. Rookies can start on beginner difficulty as they learn the fundamentals of MMA fighting, including how to block, punch, kick, clinch, and grapple, and experience a good measure of success as they work through their careers and become more skilled. An easy-to-grasp stamina bar governs not only attack power but also how much damage you'll soak up from incoming attacks. It's still challenging -- especially on harder difficulties and when playing online against other humans -- but should prove less off-putting than its predecessor for those new to the series.
But if you don't much care for UFC, this game is unlikely to make you a convert. The focus remains squarely on capturing the brutality of MMA fights, with thousands of animations engineered to show combatants suffering an immense variety of punishments. You'll see punches that break noses, kicks that slice gashes in cheeks, and fighters getting knocked cold on their feet, landing squarely on their heads as they crumple to the mat. Entertainment in this game is meant to come not only from learning and executing technical skills but also witnessing photo-realistic fighters enduring immense and bloody beatings. It's not going to be for everyone.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.