Creed: Rise to Glory Review – The VR Boxing Game We Needed

By: Louis Edwards
 

The World’s most famous boxer has a new understudy, and it’s up to you to guide him to glory in VR. Is Creed: Rise to Glory worthy of the ring, or should it return to training camp?

Read on to find out.

The saga that is the Rocky Balboa movie series has been around since Sylvester Stallone brought it to life in 1976. The franchise has earned over US$1.4 BILLION since then, and with the next generation of fighters making their big screen debut, it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. While Rocky himself has retired as a fighter, his former arch rival, and eventual best friend, Apollo Creed, had a son who is ready to step into his father’s foot steps and step into the ring. The movie series has always had a great storyline with iconic roles and lines. I “pity the fool” that doesn’t know the series.

The Rocky franchise has had more than a few video game tie-ins, but never in VR and never in first person mode. The only game to do first person mode in a boxing title was EA Sports Fight Night Round 3, but that was for the last generation of consoles and the mode didn’t return for Fight Night Round 4. Playing in first person, in VR, is exactly what a boxing game needed, and Creed: Rise to Glory does it almost flawlessly. The only thing missing is a damage model for both you and your opponent. There’s no swelling or blood or physical signs of damage, and your vision is never altered by an eye almost swollen shut or an eye with blood dripping into it.

The game gives you the chance to jump right into the campaign and has some hands on tutorials to get you started, but if you’re serious about doing well, you should hit freeplay first and take on the training exercises. There are nine different modes for you to train with, and mastering these will not only help you master the game, but give you an idea as to the physical challenges you have to look forward too. These exercises include a punching dummy, a heavy bag, and even a side of beef, to name a few, and teach you how to throw punches at angles as well as straights, hooks, and uppercuts. If you are new to boxing, it really is a great place to start and get your footing in the sport, at least as far as video games go.

When you feel you are ready for your first fight, you can either fight in freeplay mode or start your journey with Adonis Creed. Either way, be sure to have a couple of bottles of water and a towel handy, as you will need them. Be sure to stay hydrated and be sure to keep that sweat off your brow so your headset stays clean and firmly in place. This really is a physical game and you’ll need plenty of space to move around in as well. The game does an incredible job of tracking your body’s movement and you’ll be ducking and moving your head a lot. Glove tracking and angles are picked up nicely as well. Uppercuts and hooks look and feel awesome when they land, and doing a Mickey Ward double tap paid great dividends (that’s a tap to the head and a monster shot to the liver) as the AI never saw the second punch coming.

Bobbing and weaving is also tracked well. As ducking and dodging your opponent’s punches really is the key to survival. Just remember, “Make him miss, then make him pay.” The distance between you and your opponent is also always changing, so be aware of your reach distance and keep an eye on your stamina. A stamina meter would be a nice addition, but as it is you can only tell your stamina is low by the color of your gloves. Blocking big punches is also a stamina drain, so it’s better to duck and dodge when you can. Rounds are short, and you’ll be thankful for that.

Playing through the campaign is predictable, as most movie tie-ins are, but depending on your difficulty settings, it can be down right brutal. The announcers and the fight commentary is pretty entertaining, so that’s a plus. If you’ve seen the first Creed movie, then almost all of the fighters will be instantly recognizable as almost all of them appeared in it. If you haven’t seen it, go see it soon as it is a great chapter in the Rocky saga, and fight fans will enjoy it. There’s another Creed movie coming out this fall that also adds to the franchise, but this game hasn’t touched on it, yet?

The graphics for the game are pretty damn good, and that’s surprising with this being a VR only title. We have played the game on both the PS4 Pro and the Oculus and both were pretty much the same, graphically speaking. PlayStation and Oculus owners will not only need the VR headset and camera, but two hand controllers as well, so keep that in mind if you are still missing those in your collection of peripherals. A spectator mode, where the TV is not showing the VR view but an in-game view instead, would be a nice addition. As it is, most folks will have a hard time watching someone else play, while the person playing should have zero effects of motion sickness.

The game has several online features to help you in challenging your friends and others around the world. Each training exercise has a leaderboard that keeps track of you, your friends, and the world. We were number one in several categories a couple days ago, but that seems to have changed now that the game is fully released.We thought our numbers were pretty impressive until we saw that the global leaderboard had 3 entries for one of the heavy bag minigames.

There’s also a head-to-head mode where you can step in the ring and go toe-to-toe with friends and strangers online. We had to match up with a developer in order to find someone online (the pains of getting early copies) and the guy beat us senseless. the connection was fast and painless, with no lag or glitches. While he was using us as a punching bag he did tell us why the rounds were so short. While developing the game, the longer a round went on the more out of their active play area they physically became. Shorter rounds allowed them to reset their bodies in the center of their play area without getting too far away.

Boxing fans haven’t had a video game entry solely for them this entire generation of consoles, and they haven’t been happy with that. Several UFC titles have come and gone, and even the WWE has had some great entries as well, but boxing fans haven’t been able to enjoy the sweet science at all. If you have VR capability, you can’t say that anymore.

Creed: Rise to Glory does a great job of incorporating true boxing mechanics, with true 1:1 body tracking, and gave us a true feel of contact when those gloves landed squarely on the opponent. While we do wish the game had a few more bells and whistles, with a damage system, and maybe more fighters, this US$29.99 game gave us a true boxing experience and is more than worth the small price tag.

9

Creed: Rise to Glory review code provided by publisher. For more information on scoring, please read: What our review scores really mean.