As gamers we’ve been pretty starved of decent boxing experiences on console and PC. In fact, you could probably look all the way back to the Fight Night series for the last properly good all-round puncher. That all looks to change though with the release of Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions on PC and console, as the Survios team break free from the shackles of VR to provide boxing fans with a new option. We wanted to find out more so reached out to the team behind it. Thankfully they were more than happy to divulge a little more info ahead of launch.
Hi, please could you introduce yourself. What is your role at Survios and on the development of Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions?
My name is Eugene Elkin, I am Senior Software Engineer at Survios and serve as Project Lead on our new title Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions. I also served as Project Lead on the previous Survios title in the series Creed: Rise to Glory.
So, sell it to us. Why should gamers be interested in the upcoming release of Big Rumble Boxing on Xbox, PlayStation, Switch and PC?
Simply put — boxing is back! Boxing game fans, like ourselves, haven’t received a new boxing title in years, and while this doesn’t follow in the footsteps of boxing sims, our goal was to craft an arcade-style boxing game that gamers on all platforms, of all ages and walks of life can pick up and enjoy.
It’s been a while since us console players have had the chance to climb into the ring. What should we expect to see when we join this rumble?
The new game features storylines from the movies which fans know and love, and all-new storylines created especially for the game. Joining the rumble are core characters including Adonis Creed, Rocky Balboa, Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, Ivan and Viktor Drago — and we also have a couple of surprises! The stories, and gameplay really harkens back to the feel of a classic arcade style beat ‘em up.
Could you talk us through the fighter roster? How will each playable character differ from another?
There are 20 unique boxers to choose from. The roster includes the characters mentioned above, and fighters fall into three categories: The Swarmer, The Generalist and The Slugger. Fans of the franchise might be able to guess which class their favourite Creed characters fall into. Each character also has their own signature “finisher” moves to unleash on opponents.
And what arenas will we find ourselves fighting in? Are there numerous different stages to enjoy?
Let’s just say many of the stages will be familiar — I won’t spoil anything for you but, each individual fight in each fighters’ stories adds a little piece to the overall puzzle, eventually revealing a full tapestry of honour, legacy, crime and fighters’ braggadocio. Let’s say if you like punching meat and working out in a junkyard, you’ll be set.
How much access has MGM given to allow for full accuracy of the Rocky and Creed films as you translate them to the video game scene?
Accuracy might not be the right word. The game is not a boxing simulator — it is in the same vein as an old school brawler and features the same mechanics and play styles to boot. Therefore, we did not aim for a 100% real aesthetic. At the same time, it’s not “in canon” to the film series either, which lets us have a lot of fun. We got to dig into character backstories, but without worrying about being as serious as the franchise is known for. MGM has been great about letting us build the game we wanted to from the very beginning. They’ve been fantastic partners.
And how have you managed to bring the backstories found in those films across to Creed Champions?
Think of these more like “What If” stories. MGM gave us a runway to make a fun game and nurtured our creativity, so we tried to have as much fun as possible playing “what if” with these characters. They all start from an original plot point from the movies but evolve far beyond the expected. If you’ve ever wondered about Rocky’s background as a bruiser, or what happened to Adonis Creed after his battle with Viktor Drago, and the backstories to characters like Ivan Drago and Clubber Lang, you’ll get a taste of that and much more!
What game modes will be present at launch? Are you open to expanding on these post-launch?
Big Rumble Boxing features three key modes: Arcade Mode, where you fight against a series of curated bouts to unlock new characters and outfits; local PvP which lets you go shoulder-to-shoulder against your friends, and finally a Training Mode to practice combos and controls to master each fighter. The team is always considering new ideas, but we can’t share any further details at this time.
We’ve been promised the opportunity to partake in thematic mini-games based on classic Rocky and Creed training moments. Can you give further insight into how these work?
The arcade towers also feature minigames, which play out as mini montages which relive classic moments from the Rocky movies. This is also something special we want the fans to see for themselves, so I’m afraid I can’t share any more detail than that.
And in terms of the multiplayer, we understand only local opportunities will be present? What has kept you away from utilising the power of the online worlds?
Creed Champions will support two-player competitive multiplayer, for intense 1-on-1 fights. We drew inspiration from arcade and arcade style games, which are frankly better played in-person. Obviously we saw a major world event that pushed a lot of people to optimize online play. At the same time, fighting games are notorious for lag when it comes to online matches and since PVP was the aim here, we decided to stick to our original vision. Hopefully the fans who asked for this game will appreciate it!
The trailers must definitely point to Big Rumble Boxing laying the smackdown with multiple explosive hits. How and why was the decision taken to run an arcade-styled route as opposed to a simulation one?
We explored a much different experience with Creed: Rise to Glory. We wanted to make sure that this game felt fresh and not just a clone of a game which was incredibly well received, and which remains in the top ten of VR titles on PlayStation.
With Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions, we wanted to design a game which harked back to the golden age of arcade fighting games, such as Ready to Rumble and Fight Night, where you can really hammer your opponent and punch them 20 feet in the air if you want to do that — designing the game this way gave us a lot more freedom to create the game how we wanted to. Big Rumble Boxing is, first and foremost, an arcade-style boxing experience, and we wanted to bring back the old school feel of simply mashing buttons and having fun.
How deep does the control scheme go? Will we have multiple combos to learn and master or could we get away with a bit of a button mash?
We took inspiration from games like Smash Bros, and therefore wanted to keep the control system as simple as possible, making it possible for anyone to pick up the game and play at any time. There are signature moves bespoke to every character in the game, and button mashing is definitely do-able, in fact it’s even encouraged! But at the same time, if you want to master this game, you’re going to want to move past the button-mashing stage and actually learn those combos, defence mechanics, and the nuances of each fighting style.
Are there any new mechanics included in Big Rumble Boxing that fans of the sport would never have seen in previous boxing titles?
Nothing new to speak of, however the team did focus on the core mechanics involved in a cutting-edge boxing arcade experience such as slipping, parrying and so forth. Since our aim was to stay true to the original control schemes of the old school brawler games, such as Fight Night and Ready to Rumble, we sought to build on and improve the existing styles of those types of games.
We understand that you were one of the leads on Creed: Rise to Glory as it launched on VR. What have you personally, and the team as a whole, learnt from that game as you bring things over to a more traditional console release?
I learned that the team here at Survios is even more talented than I had previously realised. We’ve developed games in every genre, for every platform. At Survios, our goal is to be recognised as one of the top developers, so we want to ensure we are always looking toward the future. While we have been developing games for traditional systems, such as with Big Rumble Boxing and the upcoming Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey, we’re still focused on creating best-in-class VR experiences as well.
How has the arrival of the next-gen consoles of Xbox Series X|S and PS5 affected any development? Is the game fully optimised for those consoles and has their power allowed for further ideas to be integrated in?
This is a PS4 / XB1 title so there won’t be any PS5/XBSX|S specific features; however, you should be able to play on PS5/XBSX|S via backwards compatibility.
And finally, if there is one feature that will see Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions deliver the knockout punch to any and all other boxing titles, what does it manage to pull off?
There are honestly too many incredible features in the game to choose just one, but I will say in this game you can truly feel the gripping intensity of stepping into the ring in the Rocky and Creed universe and don the gloves of some of the most famous movie boxing legends of all time.
Huge thanks go out to Eugene and Survios for giving us a little more insight into the upcoming release of Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions on Xbox, PlayStation, Switch and PC.
Keep an eye out for our review of the game very soon. And if you want to pick up the game for yourself, it’ll be available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S from the Xbox Store for £33.49 from the 3rd September.