Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions is a worthy follow-up to 2018’s Creed: Rise to Glory VR game.This multi-platform arcade-style boxing game is the joint effort between Survios and MGM Studios, which have thrown all the punches to create a wonderful tribute to the Rocky franchise.
Now available on PC and consoles, Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions lets you play as or against legendary characters from the Hollywood blockbuster films.
It had been a while since I saw an arcade boxing game that offers the good old, beat ‘em up fun of latter day classics like Ready 2 Rumble Boxing. So when Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions caught my eye, I had to blow the dust off my trusty PS4 to check it out for myself. My weeks of playing and fighting through one round after the next were nothing short of exhilarating and addictive. For me, it climbed up to among the best PC games around.
Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions features 20 legendary characters from the Creed and Rocky movie franchise. Each boxing legend has a different storyline that provides a unique experience when you play arcade mode. For this review, I played Adonis Creed and Rocky Balboa.
As for the graphics, most of the characters look nearly identical to their big screen counterparts. My one gripe is that Adonis Creed doesn’t look much like Michael B. Jordan during gameplay, although he looks much more lifelike in the cutscenes.
Playing as Adonis Creed, the storyline doesn’t stray too far from the movie Creed. Rocky Balboa is your trainer and confidant as you face opponents and fight your way to victory. You’ll go toe-to-toe with familiar faces from Creed, like Leo Sporino, Danny Wheeler, Ricky Conlan and Viktor Drago.
As Rocky Balboa, you go on a trip down memory lane, reliving Rocky’s notorious boxing matches. You’ll go up against memorable characters from the Rocky films like Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago.
Arcade mode is fun and challenging as you climb up the ranks to become champion. The storyline progresses through simple dialogue prompts, which do a good job of keeping it interesting between matches. You get to step into the character’s shoes, earn your wins by knockout, and feel like a champion. Once you complete Big Rumble Boxing: Creed’s arcade mode, the final “Boss” character becomes playable. It also unlocks the character’s two additional boxing skins.
Train and gain
Like any boxer, before you step into the ring, you’ll have to undergo rigorous training. With that in mind, Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions has a full move list, so you can familiarize yourself with the controls.
Sparring sessions let you swing away at your partner and view the corresponding buttons you pressed on the screen. Meanwhile, training sessions kick it up a notch to help you learn through repetition. In between matches, you are timed while you mash the controller’s buttons to run the treadmill, hit the punching bag and hit the focus mitts.
As a rookie player, I had no problems with the treadmill training, which involves simply pressing the L2 and R2 buttons in rapid succession. I was also OK with the mitts, which is just a refresh of the basic move list. But I struggled with the punching bag at first, which prompts you to hit color-coded buttons in a sequence like the game Simon Says. The more I played, the better I got at smashing the right buttons on time and my training session scores went from poor to great.
Location is everything
Versus mode in Big Rumble Boxing Creed Champions lets you choose to fight in any of 13 competitive rings. You unlock characters by winning a series of matches until you build up to the unlock challenge. Of course, the iconic Mighty Mick’s Gym and Delphi Boxing Academy from the Creed and Rocky franchise are on the list. You can also throw hands in arenas from massive stadiums like the fictional Survios Arena to a gritty back alley somewhere in Los Angeles.
One of the benefits of the back alley is that, without a ring, you have more room to move your fighter around to evade and set up punches. The trade-off is that you can’t bounce your opponent off the ropes or trap them in the corner, moves that sap more of their energy. On the plus side, your opponent can’t use these boxing strategies against you, either.
As I fought my way through the roster, I chose to start in the humble beginnings of smaller venues and took my final fights to larger arenas. My go-to location is the La Rina Bar, as its raucous crowd and dimly lit surroundings gives off WWE’s Raw Underground feels.
Every fighter has their own style and more importantly, a weakness. There are three different types of boxers in the game: the general, the swarmer and the slugger. Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions subtly teaches you to learn them all.
The more familiar you become with the move list, the more you’ll feel one with your fighter. Before I knew it, I was confidently executing combos, power punches and slip counters. In one instance, I purposely threw a stiff uppercut that hurled my contender up into the air like Vera vs. Quick in Harlem Nights. My adrenaline was so pumped that I was literally sweating and found myself yelling trash-talk at the TV, “Stay down!”.
Whether I won or lost a match, I found it hard to put the controller down. I was amped for my next challenge and didn’t hesitate to redeem myself in a rematch.
In the words of Adonis Creed, “This is my fight!”
Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions is a solid boxing game for serious and casual gamers. It’s easy to play, challenging and has unique characters, whether you’re a Creed and Rocky franchise fan or not. With 20 characters and 13 different rings to choose from, the game will provide you with hours of adrenaline-rushing gameplay. While I wish there was a first-person view and a multiplayer mode, pound for pound, it’s one of the best boxing games I’ve played in years.
If boxing games or old school beat ‘em up arcade games are your bag, Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions is a must buy. Priced at $39.99, it’s available at select game retailers for PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox X|S.