Boxing Apocalypse review (PSVR)

The third VR boxing title to come out on Playstation VR this year, Boxing Apocalypse goes up against Knockout League and Creed right as Creed II heads to cinemas. Also out on PC-based VR platforms, how does this boxing sim by Gotham City Films compare?

To release a boxing game right around the release of Creed II is both smart and silly at the same time. Obviously there’s momentum, but we also have Survios’ excellent Creed: Rise to Glory out there at the same time – a game that’s also getting two new characters added to the roster in a free update. But, where Knockout League is a VR take on the classic Punch Out! and Rise to Glory focuses on single player action, Boxing Apocalypse main draw is its online multiplayer.

That doesn’t mean that Boxing Apocalypse can’t be played in single player, and it’s got a novel twist to it as well. In the game, you’re stuck inside a sci-fi prison where you must fight your way to freedom (reminding me of the movie series Undisputed in a way). There are a few additions to regular boxing when fighting space aliens though – you can engage shields and catch incoming blows, thus also briefly stunning your opponent.

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Boxing Apocalypse isn’t built around its single player campaign though, it’s built around its elaborate fight simulation, which mimics real life boxing more than you’d assume when considering the sci-fi exterior of the game. The campaign features things like weapons and finishing moves, but in online multiplayer it’s a fairly accurate simulation that doesn’t involve any of these videogame-exclusive tropes.

As such, Boxing Apocalypse quickly becomes quite the workout. You’ll be dodging, defending and counter-punching in no time at all, since going all out in an offensive manner is usually a quick recipe for defeat against a skilled opponent. Online PVP, at least in our experience so far, is all about finding that opening and then landing a quick combination to help drain your opponent’s health.

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With its true-to-life fighting system, Boxing Apocalypse is somewhat similar to Survios’ Creed game, which also took an approach that was different from the arcade-like boxing in Knockout League. It lacks the charm and appeal of Creed’s licensed characters and music, but it does add something that will no doubt appeal to those who enjoy online multiplayer: the ability to trade blows with a buddy without anyone getting hurt. Unless you don’t have your VR gaming space properly set up….

If you have no intention of going online then I’d suggest sticking with Creed: Rise to Glory. It’s got the visual appeal and flair of the Rocky/Creed license and a ton of polish. Boxing Apocalypse’s campaign is less refined, but should be considered a stepping stone to where the heart of the game is: online PVP multiplayer boxing.

Score: 7.6/10

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