Last week Sony dropped off the final version of The Fight, and although the review was meant to go live this week, I’ve a confession to make: I’ve barely made it past the first rung of opponents and the pyramid of brawlers and gritty locations goes way beyond what I’ve managed to work through. Why? Because I’m having so much fun smacking the living daylights out of the first couple of enemies.
It’s delicious, in a visceral, bloody kind of way. Your arms in the game, mapped 1:1 with the Move controllers (you can play The Fight with one controller and a Dual Shock, but it’s not nearly as good), are a natural extension of your own, and your on-screen fighter reacts precisely as you’d expect him to do when throwing the punches. There’s no silly combos here, whatever you can do with your own body your avatar does.
Well, that’s not strictly true: there’s a button to move (it’s the big Move button) and there’s another couple of things to remember (like holding the trigger and moving up, down does a slower, more powerful attack) but for the most part you’ll feel like you’re in the game more than, perhaps, any other game ever made. And what’s more, you’ll tire, quickly, my arms are still aching from the weekend’s attempts at man-on-man warfare.
The game starts with a lengthy tutorial section before letting you loose on the single player mode, but it’s worth mentioning that there’s some issues with the calibration. You need to do one too many into-the-camera gestures when starting the game, and in between each fight you’ll need to reset the Moves by stretching out and then assuming the guard position, it seems a bit of a shame but given that you’re likely to move your feet mid fight it’s only fair to assume that the game will get mixed up. The head tracking, which apparently needs blistering sunshine the likes of which Scotland can’t afford, didn’t work for me at all.
The graphics are nice though: as noisy and dank as you’d expect but also packed with character, and although there’s a distinct lack of colour there’s plenty of detail too. EA’s Fight Night looks better overall, but the style that Sony have gone for with The Fight works well. The voiceover work is on the wrong side of cheesy, sadly, but the various punches, blows and cuts sound great against the rumble of the baying crowd in the background.
And then there’s Danny Trejo, a personal acting hero of mine and perfectly pitched in the game’s dark designs. He’s clearly having fun, too, and when he brings up two glowing Move controllers whilst grunting about blocking it’s hard not to laugh. But The Fight doesn’t have a sense of humour, this is a serious, no-holds barred attempt to show the world just what the PS3 can do with two Move controllers, and in that respect at least, it’s a success.