The other day, the folks from developer 505 Games stopped by IGN to show me Supremacy MMA. As the appointment began, I couldn't help but ask myself "Does this industry really need another MMA video game?"
This is pretty much how the demo went...
I reviewed UFC 2010 and found the control scheme to be too daunting and nuanced to really open the door for casual players or folks who didn't want to spend hours learning on the mat. I played EA MMA briefly, but I lost interest after playing as a bunch of people I didn't know that much about and missed UFC's TV presentation.
When Supremacy MMA started in the IGN office, it just looked like more of the same -- if at a lesser quality as the game is not finished yet. Then, the folks from 505 got to the leg-breaking video, talked about the fact that the game's unsanctioned so it can be a bloody mess, and showed me that they're packing different stories for each fighter. On top of that, this is an arcade-style MMA game, so you don't have to learn the little things -- just get out there and play. To say I was impressed would be an overstatement, as the stories are just drawn cutscenes that bookend fights and the current animations could be described as simply "OK," but I'm intrigued.
I'm a casual MMA fan at best. When I play games, I just want to do cool crap. I want to knock people out, bust them open and break their limbs. THQ's UFC games aren't as violent as they should be. There's blood, but the whole package is very PG and sterile. Here, you can twist a submission until you snap an arm, smear the canvas with blood, and fight in filthy strip clubs. Whereas the licensed games pull to the safe side, MMA Supremacy is looking to be over the top.
It's a choice that's turning off some hardcore MMA fans. Fighters.com called the game "Uninspired, Unintelligent, Undeniably Stupid" and SBNation.com warned its fans in a headline "Not All Video Games Are Good For The Sport." As a fan of fringe activities -- I loved backyard wrestling and loathed those video game versions -- I understand this outrage. It sucks to see something you love boiled down to a barbaric form. However, as someone who doesn't really know mixed martial arts outside of an article he wrote five years ago, Supremacy MMA actually looks interesting and entertaining. I want those big moments, easy controls and gritty environments more than the hardcore sims currently on the market.
Watch this dude's leg break.
Of course, there's no way to know if Supremacy MMA will deliver all of that. The game's in its early stages right now, especially in terms of visuals and actions, so it could come together down the line or never getting off the ground. If the stories like the one about learning to fight in prison are well done and its action really is easy to control and get into, I'd play it. If the stories suck and the action is clearly just an attempt to gross players out, the game will be a turd.
Either way, it might be worth keeping your eye on this one to see MMA fans flip out.