With the recent launch of the PlayStation VR2, and the brand new Creed movie taking theaters by storm, developer Survios thought it’d be a good opportunity to give one of their best VR games an upgrade for the new platform. Kay took a look at Creed: Rise to Glory back in September of 2018 on the HTC Vive and had great things to say about it – something I echoed with my own experiences. Now, with the power of the PlayStation 5, it was time to step back into the ring to see what new combos this game has in store.
As before, you’ll be greeted by a handful of options when you fire up Creed: Rise to Glory. The campaign is split into Rise to Glory and Legacy, with the former covering the first and second movie, and Legacy sticking closer to the events of Creed III – aka, all the new content since the original release.
The move to the PSVR2 provides a nice refresh point for Creed: Rise to Glory. The game is now presented in 4K resolution with full HDR support (though pre-launch I do occasionally see some odd lighting issues, like Rocky having a muzzle of darkness over his mouth). It also takes full advantage of the 110 degree field of view, letting you see the crowd, the venue, and the fight all at once. While it’s not apparent to me in the headset, as you’ll see in the video below, the game takes full advantage of foveated rendering tech, making sure the game looks its very best wherever your eyes are resting.
The first thing you’ll notice when you step in the ring is that the team has given a massive refresh to the character models of the fighters. Their tattoos look absolutely stunning and appear to have subsurface scattering as they seem to be in the skin, not just on it. When the fighters get worked up, they pick up a sheen of sweat. It’s not pushing the PS5 to the limit, but it’s certainly a big improvement over the PSVR1.
While the character models for the main characters have gotten a massive update, and the framerate is unshakably solid, this uplift makes the moments in between stick out that much more. During one sequence I jumped into the gloves of Viktor Drago and Adonis was talking to Felix, encouraging him. Adonis looked like a wooden maquette with his fists clenched, gyrating for seemingly no reason. The “Bob” dummy looks like it’s running at the lowest MIP level. Occasionally the medicine bag will detach from the rope and levitate. Little moments like this stand out and make you laugh, but thankfully everything inside the ring is rock solid.
The Legacy mode really let Survios try a few new things with their game. You’ll meet up with various boxers, jumping into their bodies to fight as them during their individual sequences. You’ll see familiar faces from the movie like Felix, Drago, Damian, and of course, Adonis. It also let them follow the training montage a bit, opening up fights at Muscle Beach, various gyms, both classic and new, as well as a few surprises in the final acts.
I did have to laugh at two points where you end up in a street brawl. Adonis is in a suit and scrapping it up in the street, but somehow a ring judge has shown up to count you out if you happened to get knocked down. I’ve been in a few scraps in my day and unfortunately nobody was there to count out my opponent. Jokes aside, it’s great they could include these off-path things, but kinda out of place that you are judging it like we are in the ring.
I’m not sure if it makes any effect, but I did notice that you can strike your opponents when they are down. I don’t think they take damage until they re-engage, but it’s cathartic if you are fighting a tough opponent and they won’t stay down. Enjoy!
There are three difficulty levels to play all the various modes, each ramping the aggression a bit and tightening the timing slightly. I jumped in at the Pro level, having had a lifetime of martial arts under my own belt. Other than the very last fight in Legacy, which put me on my ass twice, I blew through the other fighters. A little patience, blocking incoming hits, and countering effectively when the openings present themselves will carry the day. Since this isn’t an arcade fighter, higher difficulty levels means your opponents can sustain a bit more damage before going down, and they hit a lot harder. In the end, though, it’s about the sweet science – stick, move, countermove, strike. Do the work, earn the result.
Just a word of caution – some of the fights in Creed: Rise to Glory’s campaign are fixed like Don King was involved. You’ve got a few moments where the game decides you are going to take a prescribed story arc. You’ll find those moments in the Story mode, so after you experience it once you can be done with by heading over to the Freeplay mode.
As a workout tool, oof – this game will absolutely run you through the ringer. If you are throwing punches properly (relax, relax, relax – TENSION on hit, relax, relax, relax, return) you will be absolutely exhausted after a prolonged battle. While you can whip through the campaign in just a handful of hours – there are five fights in each mode, doing it faster, cleaner, and better keeps me coming back.
Between each fight you’ll need to train. You’ll be presented with half a dozen minigames, and the more you successfully complete the more stamina you’ll have for your next fight. One has you hitting targets as they are lit up as fast as you can, another has you hitting the medicine ball to swing them into green orbs, requiring a bit of precision. Running means swinging your arms like you are running, and the combination on the “Bob” dummy is about timing and hitting the right sequence. These emulate real drills I’ve done in the gym, and I immediately felt myself falling right into position. I was drilling the ball of my foot into the ground like old times again almost immediately.
In free play you can jump into each of these training drills for an extended session (the montages are usually just a few seconds), setting a high score that you can use to challenge your friends via leaderboard. It’s another way you can get your sweat on, so I’m glad Survious gives us the option. You can also step into the ring for sparring sessions.
Beyond the single player content, you can step online with other fighters. By default crossplay is enabled, meaning you can tangle with folks with PCVR platforms as well as Meta Quest 2. If you did pick up this game on the PS4 for PSVR1, I’ve got good news for you. Anyone who owned the previous game can upgrade to the “enhanced and expanded” version of the game for $19.99 for the Standard Edition and $29.99 for the Deluxe Edition, rather than the full retail price of $39.99.
Frankly, I’m surprised there aren’t more boxing games in the VR space in general. It’s the perfect medium for the sweet science, and nothing immerses you more than feeling the direct connection between what you are doing and what happens on screen provides. Creed: Rise to Glory does a fantastic job of providing that power fantasy, and this update brings it to a whole new generation. Ding ding, time to get back in the ring.
Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming.
Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter.
Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 27 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
Creed: Rise to Glory - Championship Edition
Whether you want to get a good sweat on, or if you want to relive the major beats of the Creed films, Creed: Rise to Glory - Championship Edition provides an excellent boxing experience that is sure to get your pulse racing. It’d be nice if the game was longer, but there’s always multiplayer…