Review: Creed: Rise to Glory

LA-based developer Survios has been prolific in its virtual reality (VR) releases in 2018, with the launch of Sprint Vector at the start of the year and Electronauts this summer. That would usually be enough for any team but that’s not stopped them rolling out quite possibly their biggest title yet, movie tie-in Creed: Rise to Glory.

From past experiences most gamers will know that videogames based on movies tend to have a troubled history, trying to mimic and usually failing at capturing the wow factor of the silver screen. So can Creed: Rise to Glory break that mould and provide an exhilarating experience that puts you in the shoes of Adonis Creed? It sure can.

There are a wealth of options to choose from right at the start but it’s the career mode that forms the core of Creed: Rise to Glory. Here you play Creed, still a young upstart who’s trying to make a name for himself and leave the shadow of his famous father – hopefully you’ve seen the Rocky films. To do this you need to train and fight through underground matches, learning not only how to punch but to defend as well.

Creed: Rise to Glory is very much a mix of arcade and simulation gameplay, you can go in all guns a blazing and probably win, taking a more methodical approach however will reap greater rewards. Before you step anywhere near a ring you’ll need to train, with punching bags, speed balls and all the other boxing equipment you’ll need. Depending on how well you train will then denote your stamina for the upcoming fight.

A number of controls schemes work in unison in Creed: Rise to Glory aside from purely punching. On Oculus Rift (reviewed) you hold down A and X then swing your arms to walk forward, and then spin them left and right to walk in that direction when fighting. It’s a system that takes a moment to get used to whilst dodging and punching, working perfectly well after a few tries. What’s great about it is fact that fights aren’t stationary you can move around the ring for a more natural experience – just make sure your play area is clear or something will get punched.

Like any boxing videogame the punching mechanic has to work flawlessly or the whole experience becomes a chore. This is thankfully something Survios has quite clearly mastered, offering virtually any noticeable latency so that the actual power put into punches has an effect. What this also means is Creed: Rise to Glory is a solid workout that’s going to make you sweat, soon upping that heart rate after a few rounds.

Adding to the realism is Virtual Stamina, where your character starts to tire, so you’ll need to block and properly dodge to avoid those incoming blows as it regenerates. Get hit too many times and you’ll of course go down, at which point Survios has introduced a novel out of body experience where you have to run back to the ring. The more often you go down the longer the distance becomes, further adding to that energy expenditure.

The career mode offers a reasonably decent amount of gameplay, if maybe a little short. But to keep you coming back for more there’s the Freeplay and PvP options. Freeplay is still single-player, this time letting you choose all the various facets of Creed: Rise to Glory. Whether that’s more training, redoing past fights or selecting the different fighters you previously faced to see how they stack up.

And then there’s PvP mode, where you can go online and fight anyone around the world with any character. Up until this point Creed: Rise to Glory has been pretty much flawless in its gameplay mechanics and visual design. However did suffer several hick ups for this review, with a couple of matches suffering so badly from lag they had to be abandoned. When it did work PvP wasn’t quite up to the career 1:1 standard but not too far off. With Survios’ previous online record with the likes of Sprint Vector being good hopefully this is quickly ironed out for all those fighting fans.

Survios has once again done an outstanding job, with Creed: Rise to Glory helping cement the studio as one of VR’s premium content developers. You don’t have to be into boxing to enjoy this title, and for those who enjoy VR fitness it certainly ticks all the boxes. You may lose interest in the story but there’s enough to keep most players involved for quite some time.

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