We don’t know what it is about Survios Games but they seem intent on getting us out of our seat with their VR games. Their previous games were Sprint Vector, which was an exhausting parkour game that made you run by pumping your arms, and Electronauts which had hitting a bunch of virtual instruments in order to remix songs. Both games required a lot more effort than we’re used to and so it is fitting that their new game is a sports title.
Creed: Rise To Glory is a boxing game that ties in with the Creed films, themselves sequels to the Rocky series. You play as Adonis Creed, the son of Apollo Creed the antogonist of the first two Rocky films but more importantly Rocky’s friend in the next two. The storied history of Rocky Balboa and the Creed family doesn’t really feature here though as essentially this is more of an arcade title with the cinematic stuff kept to a minimum.
The game requires the use of PSVR and the Move controllers. Each Move controller acts as a boxing glove as you’d expect and you use them to throw punches and defend yourself.
Normally in boxing, and MMA, games the training is usually a bit of a chore. Invariably you have to pick a couple of mini-games to go through in order to get an additional point or two to a stat such as power or speed. Initially these are okay but soon start to grind and get in the way when all you want to do is get through your career.
Thankfully, Creed avoids that by throwing you into really short mini-games. You’ll go from running to heavy bag to training dummy and so on, spending just a few seconds on each. That’s right… IT’S A MONTAGE!
These are over pretty quickly and not much is made of the effect they have, or don’t have, on your stats so you’re back into the fight night action much quicker than other boxing games. This does mean there’s a little less depth than we’re used to but it does keep things moving and we appreciate that.
At that point you’ve got three elements to worry about. Bringing the Move controllers up to your face puts in defensive mode. This absorbs some damage and allows you to rest for a few seconds.
Your other defensive technique is to physically dodge out of the way of punches. If you can time this right, time will slow down allowing you to throw a counter punch in.
Last, but not least, is your set of attacks. Rather than having a move set, you just throw punches like you would in real life. Jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts all work exactly as you’d expect and the velocity of your punches translates to in-game power.
It works pretty well. I found that standing up felt more natural and for the most part I felt like I was in the fight. Also, the fights tend to ebb and flow quite well. Things can turn bad for you pretty quickly but if you’re smart you can generally counter your way back into the fight.
As with Sprint Vector, you walk by ‘walking’ your arms. This makes navigating the gym a bit of a chore but in fights this is used when you are knocked down. You’ll suddenly see the fight from way back and you’ll have to walk your way back to consciousness. It feels like being in the film ‘Get Out’ if you’ve seen that.
The game’s main career is quite short with only a few fights to get through. This is fine though because they can get pretty tiring and so you don’t want to play through a thirty fight career or anything like that. Instead you get a couple of amateur fights, a few pro bouts, a title fight and your first defence.
Losing doesn’t derail your career at all and you can even change difficulty mid-career if things start to get difficult.
You also get a Freeplay mode if you want to mix and match opponents and arenas but the main staying power will come from the game’s PVP online mode. This is a fairly solid mode that holds up well and feels responsive. Unlike the UFC games, the lack of moves means that there aren’t any apparent ways to get an easy victory and so each fight ends up being a proper battle.
Because fighting, even in VR, is exhausting the game smartly shortens the middle rounds as if you were watching one of the Rocky films. So if you or your opponent are knocked down, it’ll move to the next round but the early and late rounds are complete (albeit a bit shorter than the usual three minutes).
Creed references the films a little in its presentation. You get some of the iconic Rocky music and the abreviated training and fights definitely give this game a unique feel compared to its peers. Of course, Rocky turns up too as a trainer, with Stallone actually voicing the character apparently, so that’s all good. But equally the game doesn’t wallow in cinematics or plot.
If this wasn’t a VR game, that might have been a weakness. You’d be looking at a short game that seems to be in a hurry all of the time but that’s entirely appropriate for VR where you want to the games in and out before the migraines start.
Perhaps the best thing about Creed for me is that I’ve done a few years of boxing and Creed does capture the feel a bit. You can’t spam attacks, you do need to cover up and most importantly you have to remember to breathe. You can cover up and hide behind your jab or you can decide to throw combos and try to overwhelm you opponent just like if you are trying out strategies in real life sparring.
Sometimes we get used to games doing lots of things well, like in the case of the GTA games, but Creed sticks to the one thing in a boxing game that matters and nails it.
+ Feels like boxing
+ Good visuals
+ Online multiplayer works well