Eye of the tiger?
Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions will be familiar to anybody with a PSVR headset and a love for boxing, because this is a spin-off of the VR boxing game, Creed: Rise to Glory. The difference here is that instead of swinging your arms wildly and working up a sweat, you’re mashing buttons on a gamepad and getting cramp in your thumbs.
Creed Champions has an arcade mode, training mode, and a versus mode, which is also the cheat mode. More on that later.
Arcade mode is the main course, offering up stories for each playable character as you fight through a selection of each character’s opponents. Obviously, being that I was a 90s kid, I played as Rocky first because I already knew his story.
The stories are… poor. Connecting each fight you get some cutouts of each character with some on-screen text to deliver their lines. It feels cheap and once I was done with Rocky’s story – which completely skipped out the events of Rocky V and 2006’s Rocky Balboa – I didn’t pay any attention to any of the other stories. You can, thankfully, skip these dull scenes with the circle button to get into the ring quickly.
What you can’t skip are the pointless montage mini-games that serve as you “training” between bouts. These were half decent relfex tests in the original PSVR Creed: Rise to Glory, but with a gamepad they fall flat as repetitive exercises that don’t serve a purpose.
Creed Champions plays out like a traditional fighting game, except the controls are super simple and there are only a small amount of moves and combos to pull off. You’ve got your basic and heavy attack buttons, as well as dodge, grabble, block, and super attack.
The idea is that by chaining basic and heavy attacks together, you chip away at your opponent’s health bar until they’re on down on the mat while the count to ten begins. You can get them down quicker by using your super attack which charges up with every blow you land. This move does bigger damage but you need to get the timing just right, otherwise, the man across from you can dodge, block, or even counter with their own super attack.
If you get smacked down to the ground, you have to the count of ten to mash the square button to fill a meter and get your fighter back on their feet. Mind you, this can only happen three times before you’re knocked out for good.
There’s no judge’s decision in Creed Champions and no real tension to the countdowns – you either knock the other boxer down four times and win, or you get knocked down four times and lose, or fail the basic button mashing to get up and be done quicker. It’s a bit too basic for my liking.
That goes for the actual fighting, too. It’s fun and fairly easy to play, but it’s far too easy to cheese your way through fights by spamming the dodge button and block buttons and then smacking in some dirty power attacks from behind.
It’s very arcadey and there are plenty of visual cues to help you out. The gloves of your opponent will glow a certain colour, giving you the chance to respond quickly. Some attacks can not be blocked, while others can be interrupted or even countered with a push of the block button. It’s simple stuff and while I liked it, my mind kept on going back to the PS Vita game I’ve been playing recently, Real Boxing, which is a very good little game.
Your rewards for slogging through the Arcade stories are new fighters and fighter outfits. However, you can totally cheat the system. The game allows you to unlock characters and outfits by playing in Versus mode. So, if you want the baby but don’t want the labour pains, you can turn on a second controller, batter yourself, and then brag about your lack of skill to nobody. Or you can play with a mate or a family member. You can reach over the sofa and punch them in the leg to get the upper hand while you land the uppercut.
Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions is a decent arcade boxing game tied to a very likeable license, but it feels a bit cheap and easy. There’s only one mode with any kind of progression and the actual boxing feels more like a watered-down Street Fighter than a heavyweight competition.
Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions PS4, PS5 Review
- Overall - Good - 6.5/106.5/10
Creed Champions isn't the next big boxing game (what is?) but it's a decent enough arcade brawler. It's light on content, repetitive, and the montage mini-games are pointless, but the actual fighting is fun enough and if you can get a player two to join you, it can be good fun.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested PS4. Reviewed using PS5