Yesterday EA Sports finally revealed its submission system. They've been talking about it for weeks and they showed the first footage of the submission mini-game, which looks to be an evolution of UFC Undisputed 3's obnoxious, screen-filling, octagon-shaped meter. Aesthetically, EA Sports UFC's submission mini-game is less garish than THQ's, featuring a smaller and transparent octagon overlay.
It seems to be more intuitive as well, requiring reflexes and quick thinking on the player's part. A series of flicks with the right and left analog sticks will result in either an escape or a fight-ending tapout. The problem is that we're still looking at meters.
This exclusively next-gen title is apparently next-gen only when it comes to visuals, which are the most impressive in any video game to date. But we should be past meters by now. From what I've heard, all the other meters governing health and stamina could be turned off, but not the submission mini-game.
I am convinced that visual feedback that involves an active camera that focuses on the specific body areas relevant to the submission is doable, where the player can clearly see specific (and subtle) movements from his opponent which he could counteract, without the aid of any type of meter. At the very least, some sort of vibration-based feedback should be in place.
While a mini-game such as this makes sense in terms of strategy, EA's problem is they are trying to make submissions an exact science, which it is not. It is very organic and there are tons of things happening that cannot and must not be represented by some meter. Apparently, EA is not quite ready for the next-gen. Perhaps they will be in 2016 when the inevitable sequel comes. EA Sports UFC will be available on June 17th for the PS4 and Xbox One.