Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions marks the biggest boxing game release in about a decade. Drawing from the Rocky-Creed universe to comprise its roster, the game delivers on its promise of high-impact, arcade-action boxing.
Prior to the game’s release, project lead Eugene Elkin was kind enough to answer some of our questions about Creed Champions, including the inspiration for the game, its place among other movie-themed games, and the controls system.
While there are a few very enjoyable indie games that delve into the sport, it’s been a long time since boxing fans have been able to get a major boxing game release. What aspects of Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions do you think will appeal to fans of the sport the most and why?
With our latest release Big Rumble Boxing,we’ve set out to make boxing both intuitive and feel good. We want this to be a boxing game people love, and that absolutely anybody can pick up and play. This means the team has really focused on the mechanics: slipping, parrying, and so forth, to ensure it all feels right, and feels fun for the player. We believe Creed Champions will strike the right balance between intuitive design and playability, that’s easy to pick up for casual players.
In essence, Big Rumble Boxing is a classic old school arcade-style brawler, and we want this to be fun for casual players as well as core gamers. The game offers a very arcade-y boxing experience, and as such, is not going for a 100 per cent realistic feel – we wanted to bring back the old school feel of mashing buttons and, most of all, having fun.
Did you play or draw from any previous boxing or fighting games in the process of making Creed Champions, and if so, what did you learn from them?
While we may take inspiration from things here or there, it’s important to note that Big Rumble Boxing has its own unique boxing pedigree. We have tried to stay true to the original control schemes of certain old school brawler games, such as Ready to Rumble or Smash Bros., which offer a near-perfect balance of learning difficulty, challenge and robust mechanics.
Game controls tend to separate the great sports titles from the good, and Creed Champions is said to have “easy to pick up but tough to perfect” moves. So, could you elaborate on how these controls and moves work and how they offer such a learning curve?
On the surface, the control scheme is extremely straightforward. There are two punch buttons that can be spammed in rapid succession to execute satisfying combos. The expertise starts to play a role in modifying the last move of the combo through the directional keypad. These ending moves contain special properties such as the ability to drain an opponent’s Special meter, boosting your Super meter, draining Guard meter, and so forth. This means the gameplay can quickly evolve from checkers to chess.
You could say the easy part is executing things such as the base moves, which are relatively easy to learn; the difficult part is trying to master the combos and striking at the precise moment, so it works to your advantage. In addition, every character has their own signature “finisher” moves. It’s up to the player to combine them into a repertoire that fits their play style.
The gameplay footage that’s been around showcases some of the action to come, with the training sessions being particularly intriguing. What do players achieve by partaking in these classic training montage-inspired mini-games?
The arcade towers feature the mini-games, which play out as mini montages that relive classic moments from the Rocky movies. This is something special we want the fans to see for themselves, so I’m afraid I can’t share any more detail than that.
The ability to play through the legendary tales of each of the 20 characters sounds like an excellent addition, as does being able to unlock characters as you go, but what are the non-aesthetic differences between each boxer?
To keep things interesting, we introduced three specific categories of fighter into the game: The Swarmer, The Generalist. and The Slugger, and there are signature moves bespoke to every character in the game. Fans of the franchise can probably guess which of their favorite Creed characters fall into which category.
Having been the project lead and lead engineer on the very well-received Creed: Rise to Glory, how do you feel Creed Champions builds on your work with the VR title?
When Creed: Rise to Glory first launched, we saw a great deal of interest from the non-VR gaming community for a game of a similar nature to be released, but in a more traditional format. It had been so long since we’d seen a fun boxing game. That interest combined with our devs’ desires to stretch their talents and create a non-VR boxing title, the timing and decision felt right to pursue our first non-VR title.
With Big Rumble Boxing we dive into the backstories of these classic characters that were never really explored in any medium. So we started to think about stories we might explore. In the end, that’s what we really tried to deliver with this game: a fun exploration of the universe and its characters.
It is true that sometimes movies don’t adapt well to video games, but that’s definitely not true in the case of Creed and Rocky – boxing absolutely translates well to video games, and we’re thrilled that we’ve had the opportunity to explore video game experiences as both traditional flatscreen and VR games. Also, the Creed and Rocky universe offers such rich and iconic characters and motivational storylines that these elements serve to drive the game beyond the sport.
Are there any plans for post-launch content updates or DLC packages for Creed Champions?
We don’t have any details to share at this time.
Just to sign off here and get followers of the game even more excited for its 3 September release, what is your favourite aspect or mechanic of Creed Champions?
We explored a much different experience with Creed: Rise to Glory. We wanted to make sure that this game felt fresh, had purposeful design, and was not just a clone of a game that was incredibly well received and which remains in the top ten of VR titles on PlayStation.
We wanted to deliver a game that harked back to the golden age of arcade fighting games, where you can really hammer your opponent and punch them 20 feet in the air if you want to do that – designing the game this way gave us a lot more freedom to create the game how we wanted to.
We really appreciate Eugene Elkin taking the time to answer the questions above and hope that the game’s launch exceeds the team’s expectations.
Credit: Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions will be available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and on PC via Steam on September 3.