It may have released last year, but BoxVR has been so well-received that we just had to try it out when we started playing around with the Oculus Quest. Here are our thoughts on the FitXR-developed title.
We’ve seen our fair share of VR boxing titles already, and there have been some excellent ones with Creed and Knockout League coming to mind. BoxVR takes a different approach to the genre, and presents itself as an exercise tool with rhythm-based elements instead – one where boxing is mostly a means to an end. If knocking out wannabe tough guys is what you’re looking for then this isn’t your game, but BoxVR does make VR exercise a lot of fun.
Without the presence of fighters to dodge, punch and defeat, BoxVR is a bit like games such as Beat Saber and Beat Blaster – only your control inputs are boxing moves. Expect to use uppercuts and hooks to hit your targets, which come at you in a (color-)coded way so you know which punch type to use. In addition, you’re also bobbing and weaving past obstacles as you channel your inner Mayweather and play a defensive game.
Rather than a career mode, BoxVR gives you a large selection of workouts to choose from. For the gaming-minded VR boxer these might appear as regular levels to complete, they’re actually complete workout routines co-developed with actual fitness instructors. This means that you’re not just doing a responsible routine, it also means that it’s all nicely paced – with intense sequences that are intermixed with more cardio-oriented stuff. You’ll also see a ‘calories burnt’ counter as you’re playing, and it actually makes a difference if you put a little strength behind your punches in this regard.
Playing BoxVR on the Quest feels like the way to go – we’ve played other boxing games and would always notice a bit of cable tug when we moved, and BoxVR feels much more “free” in that regard. The downside of VR fitness, however, is that your head can get uncomfortably hot and sweaty while wearing the headset – so if you’re prone to that you should keep that in mind before you try it out.
If you have little interest in the fitness aspect then you’re probably better off playing something like Creed or Beat Saber, but if you want to combine some exercise routines with your VR gaming habits then it’s safe to say that BoxVR’s reputation is well-deserved. Quite possibly the best game of its type so far, and great on the Quest.