Review: Creed: Rise to Glory (PSVR)

Review: Creed: Rise to Glory (PSVR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 None
  • Move Required (2)
  • PS VR Aim Controller None
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Title: Creed: Rise to Glory
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (3.68 GB)
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Publisher: Survios
Developer: Survios
Original MSRP: $29.99 (US)
ESRB Rating: T
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Based on the Rocky spinoff movie Creed (or possibly the upcoming sequel, I actually haven’t seen either), Creed: Rise to Glory is a boxing game for VR.

Outside of some training montages and a few small bells and whistles, there’s not much else to the game. Not that there needs to be, boxing is a good fit for VR and developer Survios has a good handle on VR game development.

The gameplay is pretty simple overall: hold a Move controller in each hand and out-punch your opponent while trying to block or dodge their punches.

You can move around the arena a little bit, either by doing a swinging-arms motion or by rolling your fists for small movements. There’s rarely a need to though.

Once you and your opponent are in striking distance of one another, fights usually stay that way until one person is knocked out.

To keep it video-gamey, there are a few mechanics which prevent matches from being a constant slug-fest. If you keep up a constant string of punches, your avatar will tire out and will stop responding as quickly to your movements. Eventually, you’ll start to desync with the avatar. Resting and holding your hands up to your face to block will restore stamina and sync your movements back up with your avatar.

Review: Creed: Rise to Glory (PSVR)Review: Creed: Rise to Glory (PSVR)

Knockouts are the other place where Survios has made some good design decisions. Because getting knocked to the floor is a no-go for VR-queasiness, when you get “knocked down”, you get flung out of your avatar’s body. While the ref is counting down, you’ll have to ‘run’ back to your body before he reaches ten. Some enemy punches can also knock you off balance, and you have to move your hands to match your avatar to regain balance and return to the fight.

Overall, the game plays very well. Anyone who has played Sprint Vector knows that Survios can handle VR game design and Creed follows in those footsteps. Most of the mechanics are pretty intuitive, though the AI fights can get pretty tough. I never did get a good handle on dodging punches, which seems to be paramount to passing some of the harder difficulty fights though that could come from putting more time in the game.

The main mode in Creed is a simple career mode, which sees the player following the story of the movie (I assume), through a series of progressively harder bouts. There’s a very thin bit of plot tossed in, mostly some background dialogue while you’re in the training gym between fights. It’s not a lot though, and I can’t say I picked up on much, if any of the story on which I assume this is based.

Also between fights, you can also train at each of several different training stations. These each focus on something different, such as a specific combination of hits, dodging a punching bag, or just trying to get in a lot of fast hits. Once you feel ready to go on to the next fight, the game will first make you do a montage of training sessions, mixing up a few seconds of a several of these minigames, with the object of trying to get through as many as possible within a given amount of time.

Unfortunately, the career mode is rather short. There are seven fights to complete, with the training montage before each, and the whole set of seven training montages and seven fights only took me around forty-five minutes my first playthrough. This was on the easiest difficulty of three, so there’s some replay in trying to beat the game on harder difficulties or trying to get five stars on each of the training montages, but not a ton.

Review: Creed: Rise to Glory (PSVR)

Outside career mode there’s a free play mode where you can go through any montage, do any of the training minigames, or do a fight with a character as any character. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses, so there is a difference when playing as each of them in free play or the final mode: online. The whole package does feel a bit small, which is fine but definitely something to know going in.

Visuals:
Creed: Rise to Glory looks pretty good for the most part. There are a few different arenas to play in and a couple different gyms for the training and montage sections. The way the arenas build up from small places with small crowds to some big ones with tons of spectators helps the progression of the game. It also provides some change of scenery as you play through the career mode.

Characters look sufficiently intimidating, as one might expect from professional boxers. Being a not particularly fit person, the game felt like it could set off a ‘flight response’ as I was being approached by these muscular characters, which is a testament to the game’s VR immersion.

That said, some of the animations both from your own character and your opponent can break some of the immersion. It’s not terrible, but you’ll see the occasional wonky punch or weird movement to remind you that this is a video game. It’s not all the game’s fault though, since the ancient Move controllers are likely why my fists got stuck a couple times.

Audio:
Audio, particularly the voices, can get a bit repetitive. Each match starts with the same referee spiel and the announcers don’t have a ton of dialogue as they call your match. Even your personal trainer seems to have some repeated lines, as I felt like I got the same one before several of the matches.

Review: Creed: Rise to Glory (PSVR)Review: Creed: Rise to Glory (PSVR)

There is some extra voice work for a radio in the training gym or for the few story bits in the game though, and they do help the game feel more fleshed out.

The background music, where used, is pretty good. In particular, there’s a great moment during career mode where the game pulls in Gonna Fly Now (the iconic theme song from Rocky) to good effect.

Online/Multiplayer:
Creed rounds out its offerings with an online mode, which is pretty similar to the free play. After waiting for a match and entering a lobby, each player can pick the character they want to play and one of the players chooses an arena to fight in. Characters retain their strengths and weaknesses so there is some difference to who you choose to play as. Then it’s off to the ring to fight.

It plays out pretty similar to the single-player version except that, obviously, each character is now controlled by a player. The few matches I joined were fine, but I wasn’t enthralled with the mode either.

Perhaps I just had some bad connections but there did seem to be some lag between my punches and my opponent taking hits. This also made it more difficult to block or dodge my opponent’s punches as well. I felt like I had more cases of my fists getting “stuck” too, but that could have been other minor Move-related issues.

Review: Creed: Rise to Glory (PSVR)

Conclusion:
Overall, Creed plays well enough to be enjoyable for the short amount of content the game contains. In the hands of a less experienced VR developer, Creed might have been a bad movie tie-in but Survios knows their stuff well enough that even a quick tie-in like this has some well thought out mechanics and ideas. There’s some wonkiness from the hardware side of things, not that it’s really the game’s fault, but even with that Creed works well in the moment-to-moment gameplay.

Ultimately this is just a movie-tie in though, so don’t go in expecting more than a few hours of entertainment. If you’re looking for a workout while playing VR, Creed can definitely work up a sweat but I’d probably recommend Sprint Vector over this game unless you just really want a boxing game.

Creed: Rise to Glory is a fun game but one that I hope the developers return to in the future to flesh out into a bigger and more engrossing experience.

Score:
7.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Andy Richardson

Andy Richardson

A longtime PlayStation fan who enjoys JRPGs and rhythm games when he’s not tweeting about his parrot.

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