Image from Survios presskit
- Creed: Rise To Glory
Grab your VR headset. Make sure you are not wearing too much clothes – you are about to sweat! Step into the shoes of Apollo Creed's son. Workout with Rocky Balboa. Perform your workouts to the motivational tunes from the Rocky movies.
Work your way towards the big arenas. Fight online against other players.
This is virtual reality in its most glorious form.
I love it. I get a solid workout while playing. It is basically like shadow boxing. I experience the same competitive mindset in VR as I did in an actual ring.
I. Want. To. Win!
I. Will. Knock. You. Out!
This is what virtual reality was meant to do. Bring you right into the action.
By holding two motion controllers. It is pretty much like shadow boxing. Instead of imagining the opponent on your own, now you will be able to fight another person by using the PvP feature. Take your dreams to the next level! Bring them to life in Virtual Reality!
First of all
Just the mere fact that it is a boxing game in virtual reality means that it will be difficult to be a ”perfect game”. Virtual reality itself has limitations. You will not be able to compare the game to Red Dead Redemption 2 when it comes to the graphics and the controls. In VR the motions have to be big enough for the camera to see and calculate your movements. That will automatically make it a little bit more clunky than the standard video game
Since I first tried these consoles that had some kind of ”move controllers”, I have dreamt of a really good boxing game. I believe that Wii had some sort of boxing in their Wii Sports. And then there was PlayStation 3 with the move controllers. You could stand up and swing at your opponent. But there was no head movements involved since you did not have any headset.
With VR however, we´re able to add that into the concept of a boxing game. I was super excited and a little bit afraid of my own expectations. Could this really be the game that takes boxing to the next level when it comes to boxing games?
This game obviously has boxing fights where you enter the ring and will try to defeat an opponent. But there are more to this game. In between the fights you will be hanging around in the gym. There you will work on your skills. Now I haven't been to a real boxing gym, but I can't imagine that there is anything missing.
You are having training sessions where you have a coach telling you what to do. But you can always walk around in the gym, choosing which exercises to perform. Some will not be interested in this, but I believe that a lot of players will enjoy this feature.
When I started the game for the first time and saw the main menu. I had a hard time understanding what I was looking at. Was there really a button saying ”PvP”?
I did not jump straight into that mode. I decided to play the story first. Looking back, I believe that it was a great choice. In the career mode the developers have a thought about which features you are going to learn first and how the difficulty level will rise with time.
One of the exercises that I like the most is what I would refer to as the ”speed ball”. It is a small ball attached to a rope. That rope is attached to the roof and the floor. In the middle of this rope, you will find the ball. If you hit it, it will quickly return towards you at high speed. It will be up to you to make sure that you are not hit.
This exercise has been made a little bit more challenging. Sometimes the ball will glow red. When it does that. You will have to dodge it when it returns. I have thought about getting one of those in real life. I was like a child on Christmas morning when I stood in my living room and was timing my punches, dodging the ball when it was glowing red.
With Survios title, Sprint Vector they built the entire game around moving around in VR. In the gym you can use the treadmill. By swinging your arms back and forth you are moving forward. If you move your arms faster, you will increase your result on the treadmill. (And you will sweat a lot more as well).
There is of course the regular heavy punching bag as well. When performing this exercise, I became aware of not boxing for real. Since my virtual gloves stop when I hit the bag and my arms can reach longer. I am still able to swing like a wild man and having fun with it. But I had not really noticed that during any of the other exercises.
Want to practice your combinations? Not just swinging blindly at a big bag? There is a doll, showing a head and the upper body. There will be different areas of the doll that will be highlighted. So far, I have seen combinations with four different zones. Perhaps there are even longer combinations on a higher difficulty level?
Fights vs. AI
This is the core of the game. It must be. There are different settings. Sometimes you are in a small bar in Tijuana, Mexico. And sometimes you will be boxing in a big arena where there are thousands of people cheering.
The atmosphere is there. Your opponents are scary. Sometimes I wondered whether I would be able to reach the head of my opponent. Or if his big muscular body was susceptible to damage.
Keeping my guard up. Dodging incoming blows by moving my head. Throw a quick jab or a powerful right hook. When I am in the fight, I feel like I am in the fight. It feels like I am standing there in the ring myself. Having experienced martial arts competitions, I can tell you that it got me excited in the same way. I find myself fueled by the audience. I taunt my opponents. Conquer or die!
When I get struck hard, I will have to find my focus again by moving both hands to targets in the air. If it is really bad, I will see my own body in the ring. Me? I am standing next to the attending fans. To get back into the fight before the referee has counted to ten. I will have to run back into my body. Just like the treadmill, by swinging both arms. Fueled by my desire to get revenge. I swing my arms furiously as I run back into the ring. Determined to knock him out! I can't think of a better way to simulate recovery from taking a hit. Because you are coming back into the fight feeling tired from the run back into the ring.
It is certainly possible to just stand still, punching and dodging. But there are ways to move around the ring. I just haven't taken the time to learn it properly. I am sure that it adds a whole new dimension to the game when you have learned that properly.
Screenshot - Heavy right hand just landed.
I had no idea what to expect when I pressed the ”PvP” button in the main menu. I don't have any friends that plays the game on a PlayStation 4. So I was left with the option to use ”Quick search” to find an opponent.
I was really impressed to see how fast I was able to enter a fight. It took only a few seconds. The second time it was just as fast.
In the PvP mode you get to choose from the available characters in the game. I am not sure how much the different traits will affect the gameplay. But one of the characters I played had a comment connected to them saying something like ”tough and poor defense”.
Screenshot - picking fighter
There is definitely a big difference playing against other players. Like when playing any fighting game online there will always be people button bashing the ”X” button. It won't be a fun fight but they will have a big chance of winning.
But then again. There are people who are trying to fight a boxing fight the way they were meant to be fought.
I am really glad about the opponents I faced so far. Even though I believe I heard things like ”You fight like a little girl”. There was friendly gestures. Touching gloves even after rounds when the game did not force you to do that. Pointing to the board as we were choosing new fighters and arenas. It all seemed like a friendly environment opposed to some community’s where the /all chat can be very toxic at times.
Since it was not difficult to find a fight, I expect the geographical range to be big. Making it a bit of a challenge to avoid Internet lag. I can't say that I noticed much about that though. At least on my screen I was able to counter when my opponent threw a punch at me. And if I go bananas and swing for the fences. It is not easy to follow the fists flying back and forth even when playing an offline fight vs the AI either.
Video from stream where I play PvP
It is virtual reality. It won't look like Red Dead Redemption 2. But it definitely does not look bad either. Like I said regarding the arenas. The atmosphere is there. I really appreciate the graphics and the way they contribute to that atmosphere.
Facial expressions are not changing that much during the fights. But I am too busy focusing on the fists flying back and forth to think about that when I am fighting.
Screenshot- Keep your guard up.
If you have ever been interested in the gym and searching Youtube for motivational videos. I am pretty sure that you have come across the music from the Rocky movies. With Electronauts, Survios was collaborating with a lot of big names from the music industries. This time, the Rocky franchise is a big part of this experience. That is clear when you hear the music in this game. I did not pay attention to it at first since I was too focused on performing well during the exercises in the gym. But once I started to hear the music, I recognized it as some of the most motivational songs of all time.
The music is a great addition to the atmosphere. They could not have wished for anything else when creating this game.
How much of a workout can you get out of this?
It is definitely intense to play this game. I tend to reach the point where I am way too sweaty to continue after about 40 minutes. It is pretty much the same every time I play it.
You can definitely play this game as more of a chess match than working out. It all depends on your preferences. If you are like me, you won't be able to stop yourself from going all in. I want to win! I mentioned it previously in the text as well, I have been in the ring. When playing this, I feel the same sensation. My heart is pumping, I try to counter my opponents’ attacks.
Even though I don't physically hit something but air. It is providing me with a solid workout. Dodging back and forth with my head activates my entire body. I would be excited to see someone that has been playing this game a lot during a year to actually step into the ring and see how they would do.
I think that would be entertaining to watch.
I believe you will gain some agility from playing this game. You are able to practice your balance when dodging attacks. But most of all, it will be cardio. Your pulse will definitely go up and if you are someone that don't usually workout a lot. This will definitely take you towards a healthier you.
Screenshot - Just got hit, hard!
Overall this is beyond anything I have ever played before in terms of a boxing game. When in the ring I get the same sensation that I got from actually being in a ring. The focus. The blood pumping. Eagerly waiting for the opportunity to counter attack.
In terms of how physically demanding this game is. I definitely consider it to be a viable way to get a workout done. After 40 minutes of playing I am drenched in sweat. It all comes down to how you like to play it. You can stand still and just play the game like if it was a game of chess if you prefer that.
The PvP brings a whole new level to this game. Play vs friends or vs random opponents. I was amazed at how quickly I found a fight vs a random opponent every time I used the matchmaking system. That will make the game playable for a longer period of time since the story mode is quickly passed, on easy difficulty at least.
Virtual reality is still young. It is during heavy development and we are still trying to figure out what is possible to do. Survios have meddled with very different genres in order to test the boundaries of VR gaming. They have done it again. This is not perfect 4k graphics where I can't separate reality from wearing my headset. But that is not something that we can expect today. This game will allow me to forget about which reality I am in for a short while. During the intense fights I am next heir to the Creed name. The atmosphere of the game is definitely great!
Especially after learning the controllers. When your movements feel natural and you don't walk into walls every 5th minute – the atmosphere shrouds the differences of playing a video game and boxing in real life.
Get out of the couch and let's brawl!
Platform: PSVR (PlayStation Virtual Reality)