Preview: Fight Night Champion

Fight Night Champion looks like a new breed of boxing game from EA Sports. Purposefully aiming for a grittier, more brutal feel than its predecessors and shedding the numbers from its nomenclature, this could be considered something of a reboot for the boxing game franchise.

[boxout]Along with the minor changes and improvements to the look of the game, EA Canada have promised refinements to the way it controls. The new “Full Spectrum Punch Control” system will allow punches to be landed in any style and at any target with deft control of the sticks. There is also the new heavy modifier which will allow you to add a little more weight to any of your punches, giving you even more ways to knock the stuffing out of your opponents.

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The new stamina system monitors muscle groups independently from each other, allowing the game to recognise and punish the over-reliance on one particular punch or attack strategy. To get the best from your fighter, you’re going to have to vary your tactics.

The roster has been increased too, there are now over fifty famous faces to play with. Some old legends like Ali and Hagler appear alongside modern superstars like Klitschko and Pacquiao. There are, of course, several weight divisions represented too so it’s possible to take to the ring with and utilise a multitude of different styles and approaches to the sport.

The new Champion mode adds some storyline to proceedings and gives players a taste of where the superstars come from. It will essentially act as a scripted career mode following one boxer’s path through the multi-faceted world of the various levels of the sport. This “Champion mode” is in addition to the traditional career (Legacy) mode whereby players can create their own boxer and set to work forging their own place in the annals of boxing history.

With it’s new approach bringing more brutality and realism to the game, EA Canada seem to be taking the fight to the new breed of MMA games at a time when boxing’s own popularity is also facing that threat. This is the first game in the series to be given adult or high teen ratings by classification boards (it’s M rated in the US, 18 certificate in the UK and PEGI 16+ in Europe).

Whether fans will switch off their cage fighting games and return to the artful craft of boxing remains to be seen but with Fight Night Champion, EA Sports certainly seem to be giving themselves the best opportunity at success.

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4 Comments

  1. The demo for me wass mixed, the graphics were excellent as always, bit the hit detection was off, i hope that is addressed..

  2. in the demo the graphics have made a huge leap from FNRd4, but rd5s’ demo pace was to fast for me, it was a demo.
    i dunno, pace in rd4 full game seemed more realistic, hoping this will change in final release, as FNRd5s’ graphics were amazing.

    (fight night champion i know, habit, i diidnt pick up the series until rd3, but still habit)

  3. Didn’t expect TSA to resort to the “compete with the brutal young upstart MMA” angle.

    Between MMA and boxing there is only one sport where you can win without throwing or receiving a single punch – that’s MMA.

    Between MMA and boxing there is only one sport that will let a competitor continue after suffering concussive head trauma providing they can stand after a ref’s count – that’s boxing.

    In 20 years of sanctioned MMA there has been only one death. I will leave you to find your own comparison with boxing.

    Boxing is losing fans to MMA not because of perceived additional brutality, it is losing because MMA promotions consistently put together the fights people want to see. I am a long time boxing fan and a short term (2002 onwards) MMA fan so I would like to consider my views pretty balanced.

    Apologies for the rant.

    On topic, I played the FNC demo and I just can’t get the feel like I did almost instantly with FNR4.

    I hope it clicks because I really love the roster this year, the career/story mode looks tacky as hell though. Waste of resource if you ask me.

    • the story mode is the ONLY thing that looks good in champion, from the demo, the controls are utterly terrible, I gave it another go today, I actually managed to stun the other guy, but proceeded to get knocked down by a fairy punch, plus, I can’t count how many head shots I’ve landed on the opponent only to see that I have twice as much damage to my boxer…and then there’s those sound effects…which ones are meant to be punches landed and which ones are meant to be punches blocked as they all sound the same.

      think this will be a miss until price comes down…and I don’t think that will take too long to happen.

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