Survios doesn’t seem to be the sort of virtual reality (VR) developer that likes to relax or in fact create chill out experiences. After the success of Raw Data, an intense first-person shooter, the team went on to make competitive arm-swinging racer Sprint Vector. Continuing this heart pumping trend is movie tie-in Creed: A Rise to Glory which Survios publicly demoed for the first time during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2018 last week.
So this is a boxing experience, putting you directly in the shoes of a young Adonis Creed looking to emulate his father by becoming a boxing champion. And who is training you, well its none other than Rocky Balboa.
Survios made sure that demoing the videogame was a spectacle unto itself, putting GDC attendees inside an actual ring hooked up with an Oculus Rift and two front-facing Oculus Sensors. Before heading into the virtual ring for a proper fight some training was required first, heading to the gym to practice on some punch bags. This helped get a feel for each punches direction and speed, with green markers illuminating on the bag and combo combinations shown on a dummy. All fairly standard stuff but it helped as a warm up for the main event, although just like a normal bout it never fully prepares you for what’s instore.
Inside the ring it was time to face off against some big burly dude which Survios had tried to make look as intimidating as possible by adorning him with muscles galore. Unlike normal boxing which requires a mix of footwork and upper body discipline, Creed: A Rise to Glory is purely upper body. Dodging punches can be helped when feet aren’t completely planted to the floor, but holding both Oculus Touch controllers up to block was just as effective.
Delivering hooks, crosses, jabs and more were quick and relatively easy to land, although trying to land a combo then left the character open for retaliatory action. If this happened then one of two situations occurred. Early on in the fight Survios’ Phantom Melee Technology would kick in, requiring the player to mimic Adonis falling backwards by putting the controllers into a highlighted area. It’s an interesting idea that certainly makes you think about putting that guard up more often.
The other situation that can happen once the fight has progressed is getting knocked out. Other boxing videogames have gone for the manic button press to help with revival, but this is VR so thankfully Survios went for something different. Instead you’ll have an outer body experience, seeing the ring in the distance. It’s then a case of running back as quickly as possible – holding one of the buttons down and swinging your arms Sprint Vector style really fast – to awaken your unconscious body and continue the fight. It’s an approach that works well enough, offering a unique approach to getting knocked out.
Creed: A Rise to Glory may not be promoted as one, but it certainly feels in part like a simulator, with stamina to deal with if players aren’t conservative with their punches. The core experience will centre on the career mode, getting Adonis Creed to the championship as well as playing Exhibition matches. Survios has already established itself as one of VR’s premium content developers, with Creed: A Rise to Glory looking to continue that trend.