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Creed: Rise to Glory (PlayStation 4) artwork

Creed: Rise to Glory is a PSVR1 boxing title that chronicles Adonis Creed's ascent from an amateur, underground boxer to his eventual confrontation with, as seen in the 2015 film, the light heavyweight champion "Pretty" Ricky Conlan. The main mode, Career, attempts to "fill in" gaps with fighters not portrayed in the movie or made modifications to the ones seen briefly. Here, the game follows movie tradition of going through a training session prior to each bout. Endearingly, the "montage" aspect of the films are portrayed as a gameplay element; you're thrust from one workout to the next within a time limit, all while Bill Conti's Gonna Fly Now or Vince Dicola's Training Montage plays in the background.

As with a ton of VR titles, RtG takes place in a first-person perspective where, in this game's case, you're required to use the Move Motion controllers to swing your arms around. During training, you'll use them to rapidly punch a sandbag, hit and dodge a punching ball, pound meat, jog on a treadmill while moving your arms in a running motion, and even swing at focus mitts worn by Rocky. When it's actually time to fight, the game will simply ask you do to the following: punch, block, and dodge, and not necessarily in that order. There's a silly walk mechanic, but it's sparingly used to walk towards an opponent at the start of each round, so you're usually standing in place. But as the training indicates, it's a little more complicated as each boxer has their own strengths and weaknesses, such as strong swings or terrible defense.

You can get away with swinging like a madman on the first opponent, but this "tactic" will get you knocked out with later fighters; stamina quickly runs out, causing for weaker punches, thus forcing you to block to regain strength. Essentially, eyeing your foe's movements is key to survival, though the most important ones are cued with a quick light flash, signaling an upcoming hard swing. These can easily be missed since you'll be too enthralled in battle to notice, but dodging such hits usually slows down time and allows for a clean counter. If you get hit enough times and knocked down, the game hilariously treats this as if your soul is getting knocked back into the crowd. You literally have to do the running motion to rush back into your body before the count reaches ten, and this becomes aggressively harder with each subsequent knock down.

In a normal gamepad-driven boxing game, this will workout your hands and fingers. However, since you're in a VR environment, one that has you flailing your arms and dodging constantly, your body can get into such a frenzy to the point of sweating; doing the running motion after getting knocked down alone will wear you down. While you can play RtG sitting down, it is highly recommended you do this standing up in an area with enough free space. The amount of dodging and moving can cause a ton of discomfort if you're sitting, especially on a chair. Also, though there aren't too many VR-related toggles in the options menu, the devs at least attempt to prioritize comfort, such as switching between "natural" and snap turns when turning your view left and right with a button, and the portrayal of motion when walking.

While RtG gives players hectic fights that work the body, some very noticeable flaws pop up during sessions. Career will likely rub some people the wrong way with its blunt straightforwardness, since all that's present is a training montage and then a fight... and that's it til the credits. Another Career mode issue is the fact that there's weirdly no pause screen; once you're in a fight, the game expects you to endure it until the match is over. This brings up another blunder: there's no proper method for exiting the mode. You literally have to go to the PlayStation's home screen, close the game, and then restart it just to access its other modes, which is ridiculous. These don't necessarily ruin the game, but they're strange problems to somehow miss in development.

If you're looking for a genuine boxing game, don't look here. Creed: Rise to Glory is more of a fun guilty pleasure tussle if you're into Rocky and Creed movies, or you just want to punch someone in VR. The game does an admirable job paying tribute to the film series, laying the nostalgia on pretty thick. This is evident when it comes to the music, the training sessions, and there are even moments during a frenzied fight where it'll "montage" through the match as if you've been slugging it for multiple rounds. Shoot, diving into Free Play mode will grant you the option to play as or against Rocky, Apollo, Lang, and Ivan in their prime. There's even a PvP online mode if you can manage to find someone. Just let it be known that the game will give your body quite the workout on the default difficulty setting; don't be afraid to lower the setting if you don't want to go at an intense pace.

dementedhut's avatar
Community review by dementedhut (February 25, 2023)

Tidbit: the protagonist of Umihara Kawase has made appearances in games outside of the series. She can be played in the fighting game Blade Strangers (2018), the puzzler Crystal Crisis (2019), and even as a selectable character in Cotton Fantasy (2021).


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