Review – Creed: Rise to Glory – Championship Edition (PSVR2)
What is the best way to settle the score with someone you have a quarry with? With words and meaningful conversation? No way! Grab that VR headset (in this case the PSVR2) and settle it at the ring. Creed: Rise to Glory – Championship Edition makes it way to PlayStation 5 and PSVR2 just in time for the release of the new movie Creed III. The game was originally released for PSVR back in 2018 and we reviewed it here. This port by Survios introduces some new improvements to take advantage of the headset such as improved tracking, haptics (supposedly), as well as new content like the Legacy campaign, Fitness modes, and new arenas.
When you turn the game on, you are treated with the option to choose from Rise to Glory or Legacy campaign, Freeplay, PvP, and the typical settings options. Rise to Glory and Legacy puts you against opponents to fight, but before you do so, they there’s a tiny bit of story to follow that mirrors the source material, a bit of training which determines the amount of stamina you have, then the actual bout itself. This whole things repeats itself for several chapters, while interesting to witness for the first time, the story isn’t anything to write home about, and is definitely not the reason why you are playing this game.
The main draw is the boxing. You have three difficulty options: Rookie, Pro, and Champion. I played the game in its entirety (both campaigns) in Rookie, as I have never played any boxing games before, nor boxed in real life and I wanted to gauge how difficult it would be for a new comer. It was definitely surprising how much of a workout the game gives you. I took it for granted and after three training sessions and three bouts, I was left drenched in sweat and my arms felt like noodles.
Luckily, the PSVR2 headset is well protected all around with rubberized padding, which helps to keep the lenses from getting wet. However, I still highly recommend wiping it with a soft cloth, preferably a micro fibre cloth, after every round especially if you perspire often. Apart from grooving to rhythm games, this is what I bought the PSVR2 for; exercise and gaming, and I was a very satisfied customer.
After completing the campaign in Rookie, I upped the difficulty and played through Rise to Glory again in Pro, then played through Legacy in Champion difficulty. Having played through them again in this way, the difficulty spike felt fair to a point where I nearly didn’t notice it. Perhaps because my physicality improved as I played through the game. Regardless, it was nice and satisfying to go up in difficulty.
Rematch with the “Pretty” boy.
Sadly, this gameplay loop through the campaign is not without its flaws. It does get repetitive and it is very short. Unless you purposely picked up the game in order to better yourself through gaming, like I did, the typical gamer will have a very short experience. Luckily, the second main option, Freeplay, offers incentives to keep playing past the campaign. This mode gives you two main ways to have your rematch with the campaign boxers, as well as some new ones added in the Championship Edition: Standard and Endurance. Endurance is a new one, where they’ve taken away stamina and you can throw your punches as long as you have the energy to do so. This means you can go as hard as your body allows, which is amazing.
The last option in Fitness is sparring in two ways: Timed or Calories. This allows you to keep fighting the same enemy based on how long you want to go for or how much calories you want to burn. It’s a really interesting option because it’s no longer about winning against an opponent, you are trying to win against yourself. You can pick up the game and just workout!
In the bottom row of the Freeplay menu is the Endurance mode, which allows you to replay the equipment minigame presented in the training portions of the campaign. It’s complete with a leaderboard per equipment, so you can attempt to beat your own high score or see your friends and attempt to beat theirs. Montage mode is the training montage from the campaign. Lastly, Gym just allows you to change your gym you are roaming around in during Freeplay.
Prepare to sweat and laugh until you drop.
Finally, the thing that will keep you playing the game is the wacky PvP mode. It’s simple enough: grab a friend (or a frienemy), boot up the game, choose your fighter and fight it out! It’s the perfect way to have fun and settle the score with the only thing that will hurt are your pride and your sides (from laughing). Unfortunately, you only have to play by stamina rules and not the endurance mode available in Freeplay. The only downside to this mode is how goofy your friend’s fighter looks while you’re fighting with them.
Creed: Rise to Glory – Championship Edition definitely added more ways to play the game and more reasons to. However, how does it feel to play? From the full experience that I’ve had with the game, I did notice some drawbacks. With the headset’s camera, I felt there was a slight disconnect with the swings of your fist/controller where if you punch too quickly, it doesn’t capture it all. Sometimes your fists on-screen will even lag to where it’ll look like you’re Mr. Fantastic with his stretchy arms, because your fists are on one side of the arena and you’re on the other getting pummeled by your opponent.
Another huge, astronomical, miss is the lack of haptic feedback on the headset when you are getting hit. Not using one of the coolest and unique features that the PSVR2 has which would also add great immersion to the game is unfortunate. Especially when it’s a feature heavily advertised by the publisher. While the characters and surroundings took a generational leap, they didn’t bother changing some of the goofy ragdoll animations of the opponents when they are defeated.
Luckily, the sound in Creed adds a bit of immersion back. They did a decent job in the sound effects of your gloves hitting the different surfaces, from training dummy and punching bags, all the way to your opponents bruised and sweaty faces. When you enter the ring, the crowd has sufficient sound to indicate their level of existence and the banter during the fight, while repetitive, is nice to have. However, while you’re in the middle of a fight for your survival, just like in real life, it all goes blur while you focus in on your opponent.
The voice acting in the game is decent. Again, while the story is interesting, it only serves as a resting point until your next bout. Nothing is jarring or impressive enough that the voice acting would stand out. The voices actors sound good and it was nice that Michael B Jordan actually voiced Adonis.
Creed: Rise to Glory – Championship Edition has its faults, but it definitely has its place in every PSVR2 library. As one of the few melee based games, with high focus on cardio and fitness, it’s a great way to take advantage of the unique immersive gameplay aspects that can only be done in VR. Pick it up and play the campaign mode, then continue picking it up to work out! If you own the original version, an upgrade path is available for a small cost and you are treated to graphical and gameplay upgrades. However, if this is your first time owning it, then it’s definitely worth it for the experience and replay value.
Generational leap in graphics, but the animation is nearly unchanged and looks out of place in 2023.
Lack of haptics on the headset is a huge miss, plus some glitches with the controller detection. Aside from that, the gameplay is solid and satisfying.
Good punchy sound effects to add immersion during fights.
Fun Factor: 9.0
I had loads of fun with this one. The more my own body improved, the better I got with the game. Nothing is more satisfying than gaming and knowing you’re not being a lazy bum about it.
Final Verdict: 8.0
Creed: Rise to Glory Championship Edition is available now on PlayStation 5, PS VR2, and Meta Quest VR systems.
Reviewed on PS VR2.
A copy of Creed: Rise to Glory Championship Edition was provided by the publisher.