If you think about it, the noble sport of boxing is the perfect basis for a videogame: it’s thrilling to watch but, in real life, painful to practise. And one franchise towers over the boxing games genre like Muhammad Ali in his prime: Fight Night. And now Fight Night Champion promises to be the franchise’s finest moment – its Thrilla in Manila or Rumble in the Jungle. Hence the change in naming convention: coming after Fight Night Round 4, you would have expected it to be called Round 5.
For Fight Night Champion to represent a quantum leap over Round 4 is a major achievement in itself: Round 4 stunned everyone with its astonishing level of graphical realism. Champion builds on that to such an extent it will surely be hailed as the most realistic-looking sports sim ever, adding a dynamic blood system (which could leave the ring awash after a particularly brutal bout), plus even more accurate bruising and body-deformation systems.
Champion Mode - One huge all-new feature is Champion Mode: a full story mode, in which you take control of raw but talented middleweight Andre Bishop and guide him through a career, which even encompasses prison-brawling and bare-knuckle fighting, alongside Bishop’s progression through the boxing ranks. Champion Mode was inspired by classic boxing movies, and adds a whole new cinematic angle to the Fight night blueprint.
Full-Spectrum Punch Control - Fight Night Champion also boasts a completely revamped control system, which developer EA Canada has dubbed, rather grandiosely, Full Spectrum Punch Control. Fiendishly clever, it has been designed both to make the game more accessible for novices and to let more experienced gamers exercise incredibly fine control over their punching. Basically, Full Spectrum Punch Control maps punching to the right analogue stick (with boxer movement mapped to the left stick). So, if you move the right stick to the right, your boxer will unleash a right-handed punch, and if you move it to the left, he will punch with his left. The angle you choose determines the type of punch: flicking upwards will launch a straight punch, to the side a hooking punch and downwards an uppercut – with a full spectrum of intermediate punches in between, hence the name.
If you don’t fancy the sound of that, you’ll still be able to use the face buttons to punch: you can choose from a number of controller maps. Also, this time around, Fight Night Champion makes use of a heavy-punch-modifier, and lets you perform stepping punches, where you move in towards your opponent (which adds power, but are easier to block). The game has a completely new reflexive blocking system, and it will be important to master subtle techniques such as weaving, stepping and ducking. Fight Night Champion takes account of fatigue much more realistically than its predecessors: punches thrown when fatigued even have different animations.
Legacy Mode and Online Gyms - Legacy Mode, in time-honoured Fight Night fashion, lets you generate a boxer, take on champion boxers of yore and work him up through the ranks, both offline and online. Another cool feature is Online Gyms which, as the name suggests, lets you create an online gym in which you can slug it out with your mates to decide who is top dog. And if you reckon you can handle it, you can take on other people’s Online Gyms via so-called Rivalry Challenges. One of the joys of your Online Gym is that you can make the rules – so you’ll be able to fight 15-round bouts or change the round length if you feel that way inclined.
There’s not even a shadow of doubt that Fight Night Champion will come closer to capturing the experience of being a boxer than any game before it. Indeed, it may well prove to be the most realistic sports game ever, bar none. If you’re a true lover of the pugilistic arts, then it’s the game you’ve been waiting for all your life.
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Reviewed on 13/01/2013 by
Fight Night: Champion is so amazing.
Reviewed on 31/08/2012 by
The Fight Night: Champion game itself is great, pretty much the same as the last Fight Night but I don't think it's worth the price.
Reviewed on 14/06/2012 by
Fight Night: Champion is awesome! If you are a boxing fan, do not hesitate in buying, if you're not then you will probably become one. The story mode is a little short but a nice new addition to the franchise. The graphics are simply amazing and the controls work like a dream. At this price you just can't go wrong. I can't put this game down!
Reviewed on 16/03/2012 by
Actually is the best boxing game, better than UFC3.
Reviewed on 10/02/2012 by
Best one I have played with more features. With a single player story to playing in a tournament with a multiplayer gym. Must buy! I look forward to the next one.
Reviewed on 05/02/2012 by
The champion mode is great up until the final fight where the difficulty is insane, I had to turn the difficulty down to amateur to win, and backpedal from him a lot. Apart from that though the fighting itself is great and the graphics are much improved over round 4!!
Reviewed on 26/12/2011 by
This blows the previous versions of Fight Night out of the water. One annoying thing about the game is you need to buy some boxers and cant just unlock them. Which is annoying since you bought the game. Besides that, the game play is magnificent!
Reviewed on 09/10/2011 by
Fight Night Champion, is certainly a set in the right direction from EA, over the previous titles of Fight Night and Knockout Kings. Another point on the plus side, there are a huge number of licensed boxers to choose from and the presentation and graphics are better than ever. But there's still a lot of potential left.
Reviewed on 17/08/2011 by
I liked Fight Night Champion because it has brought a lot to the "Champion Mode" that was one of the best things of the game. Champion Mode is like a story mode in a different video game. The Fight Night Champion Roster is very well put together and you can make fantasy matches like David Hayes vs. Mike Tyson. The online was also very good because you can play against the people who are the same level as you in the game.