While plenty of boxing stars brought the sport into the spotlight, the popularity of boxing exploded with the release of the 1976 sports drama, Rocky, starring Sylvester Stallone. An overnight cultural sensation, the film made a historic impact on pop culture, which would continue into the next few decades with several sequels, including the extremely well-received Creed in 2015. Now, with the sequel, Creed II coming this fall, Survios Game Studios is hoping to make a huge impact in the world of VR with the release of Creed: Rise To Glory. I had a moment to check the game out for myself at E3 in Los Angeles California and came away from it quite excited. As I am familiar with PlayStation VR, I got straight to work with the game.
The first minute began with a warm-up exercise from none-other than the Italian Stallion himself, Rocky Balboa. The game had an incredible likeness to Mr. Stallone but did not feature his voice. I was fine with that as the objective of the game was to fight. A representative for the game encouraged me to really “let him have it.” At first, I was overly cautious as I didn’t want to accidentally punch a member of the dev team, but a few moments later, I got really comfortable going hard into the gameplay. After a quick warm-up, it was time for the fight.
Within moments, I was in the ring, and the announcer made it clear this was a big event. After the referee gave his fighting conditions, I tapped my gloves with the gloves of the opponent. With that, the fight was on. This is where Creed: Rise To Glory really opened up! Players need to use their whole body and arms to throw punches. Players need to strike hard and fast, using jabs and hooks to a very mobile opponent. Players can also block by holding their hands up. Immediately, the fight got intense right away. I threw punches and so did my opponent. I tried the jabs, the hooks, and even the “shoe shine” underneath his guard. I was moving and truly immersed in the game.
Suddenly, at the right moment where I left my guard down, the opponent jabbed me. Stunned, the camera zoomed out and I had to line up my move controllers to recover. Having done so, I recovered and got back into the fight. I tried the shoe shine under his guard again, but in doing so, I was exposed once again. A big punch came to my face and down I went. Once again, the camera zoomed out, as if it was an out-of-body experience had to “run back” to my body to regain consciousness and get back in the fight. With a jogging motion, I got back into the fight and continued the battle.
A few more jabs to the head and I was finally wearing down the opposing fighter. I was truly feeling the genuine Rocky experience of keeping up the fight, regardless of the punishment. A few more jabs and he was starting to falter. As I continued, I noticed a new mechanic in Creed: Rise to Glory: Stamina. If my gloves start turning orange, it means my punches are being worn out and my stamina is decreasing. Your stamina recovers by putting your gloves in the blocking position. Once the gloves return to normal color, I could start swinging. I kept going with my jabs and blocks. Eventually, one last punch knocked down my opponent. He was down for the count. With that, I won the match and the demo was over.
As I took off the VR helmet, I realized how much sweat my body had generated. This was partially due to the L.A heat and the heat generated inside the venue. However, it is safe to say that Creed: Rise to Glory will definitely give you quite a workout. As I walked towards the end of the booth and met with members of the staff, it occurred to me: Creed: Rise To Glory is actually shaping up to be a great motion-based fighting game!
In 2010, Sony, and Microsoft attempted their takes on motion-based fighting games. For PlayStation, it was the PS Move control system. For Microsoft, it was the Xbox KINECT camera. PlayStation released The Fight, which featured Machete himself, Danny Trejo, as the face of the game while Xbox released Fighters Uncaged. Both were poorly received, due to extremely inconsistent gameplay. It struck me that the team at Survios nailed the mechanics of motion-based fighting just right.
I approached a member of the development team and asked her about the game, as well as my own revelation about motion-based fighting games. She then delved into interesting facts about Creed: Rise To Glory. The PS VR is powerful enough to allow for a believable boxing game to be made which includes the creation of the “Phantom melee system” where the game adjusts and adapts to the player’s movements. The game was also made with consultation and advising from real-life boxers to ensure the movements, rules, and reactions were accurate. The team is going strong into development in time for Creed II’s release in the Fall.
The demo of Creed: Rise To Glory was very impressive. VIsually, the game has strong production values, but the gameplay was exciting and nearly complete. My only gripe would be that I wasn’t able to sue uppercuts or use the shoe shine towards the abdomen, but as this was a demo, I predict that other fighting techniques will be essential for defeating other opponents. Overall, Creed: Rise to Glory is shaping to be quite the main event for VR gaming, and absolutely enjoyed it!
Creed: Rise To Glory will be releasing this Fall on all VR platforms.