I’m probably going to anger a subset of the population that regularly dresses in Ed Hardy clothing, who’ll be spitting out their EFC-branded creatine protein shakes in disbelief, but friends: Televised MMA tournaments suck. They’re about as exciting as listening to your grandmother moan about the costs of food these days, and 90% of the time they end up with two guys engaging in a sweaty game of floor twister. And don’t get me started on the pre-fight hype reels either, where one guy is guaranteed to mention that he’ll be “throwing bombs” come match day.
Boxing on the other hand? Now that’s where it’s at. Nothing satiates my bloodlust more than watching two bruisers square up, and slip a concussion into the other dude’s face between swift jabs and feints. Boxing has also been criminally underrated in recent memory, as EA’s Fight Night series ended an entire decade ago and the company instead shifted towards producing MMA games under the UFC banner of competition.
Sheffield studio Steel City Interactive plans to change that with its own upcoming take on the sport of kings, with Esports Boxing Club. It’s an awful title, but the actual gameplay looks surprisingly good so far! There’s an impressive level of photorealism on display, while the actual animations of these boxers looks incredibly authentic. You can see some of the game in action below as the studio runs through a few of its systems while iconic strongman Eddie Hall and lethal heavyweight David Adelye go at it.
One of the cool systems inside of Esports Boxing Club is its adrenaline bar, which can be activated once your heart rate hits its maximum BPM. Triggering that bar results in your stamina being restored and also slightly shortened, allowing you to unleash a flurry of punches. The adrenaline bar has to be used sparingly though or you’ll find your fighter completely out of fuel in just a handful of rounds.
The game looks to be shaping up nicely so far, and includes a number of features that you’d be looking for in any boxing game. With EA chucking real-life boxers into its UFC games, ESBC looks set to be the purest version of the sport in video game form and seeing it lay all its cards on the table in the video above in a matter-of-fact style is a refreshing change of pace. It’ll be headed to Steam Early Access at a later date.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go duck some roid rage EFC fans who want to throw cans of Monster Energy Drink at my head for mocking MMA.
Last Updated: March 31, 2021