While the vast majority of sports see annual outings in the video game space, catering for fans of football, basketball, wrestling and more, enthusiasts generally have to wait a little longer for the latest boxing game. But now the leading franchise in this genre returns to shelves with Fight Night Round 4.
The third bout of EA Sports’ renowned boxing series debuted back at the start of the current console generation and redefined the genre with its stunning visuals and deep gameplay, offering the most authentic digital boxing experience ever – until now.
Fight Night Round 4 advances the sport further with a completely new gameplay engine, a wealth of new features and the biggest names in boxing just waiting to punch gloves and begin fighting. Understandably, EA is confident about Round 4’s potential and the publisher is claiming that consumers seem to be just as excited.
“There is a great level of buzz and anticipation around the release of Fight Night Round 4, a title that’s been a long time coming for fight fans,” offers a bullish EA Sports senior product manager Luke Cousens. “We’re expecting our strongest launch for a Fight Night title to date.”
Once again, the development team behind Fight Night has aimed to take gamers closer to the ring than ever before. The new engine, developed from scratch for Round 4, recreates the sport perfectly, with an all-new physics-based animation system making the action appear to be even more realisitic.
The animations treat fans to innumerable punch impacts, calculated to reflect the angle and strength of each and every hit. Taking the game beyond simple ‘hit or miss’ conventions, Round 4 shows off missed punches, glancing punches, knockout blows and rough and tumble inside fighting. All of these depend not only on the player’s skill, but also on the boxer’s fatigue, adrenaline, footwork and timing.
“There’s a powerful new gameplay engine keeping the action in the ring faster than ever, delivering the truest representation of the sport’s incredible speed, accuracy, timing and power like never before,” adds Cousens.
“We’ve also got the most exciting boxer line-up of all time, with over 40 licensed boxers from today’s best and the greatest of all time. Notably, we have the man everyone wants to see in-game: Iron Mike Tyson.”
Tyson is joined by other boxing legends, including Muhammad Ali, which means that players have the chance to pit the two icons against each other for the first time. Depending on the star they choose, players will see their onscreen boxer employing unique fighting styles that affect their performance – whether it’s the bobbing and weaving of Tyson or Ali’s reach, hand speed and fleetness of foot.
The use of these styles allows gamers to vary their own fighting preferences: they can choose to be a brawler, counter-puncher or an inside fighter. Only by mastering the distinct styles that cater to their height, reach and other attributes will they beat the all-new legacy mode and survive the online multiplayer bouts.
Since Fight Night titles arrive less frequently than the likes of FIFA and Madden, Electronic Arts will be working hard to make sure all of the series’ fans are aware of the latest edition, as well as aiming to entice those who have yet to play the acclaimed boxing games.
With its marketing weight heavily focused on Round 4’s target audience, the publisher has everything in place to boost its new title.
“We will be targeting gamers and fight fans with an extensive launch campaign featuring standout creative across TV, print, online and outdoor,” explain Cousens.
“In addition to this, we will be working with our in-game talent to generate significant PR coverage throughout the launch window on top of the specialist reviews which are shaping up nicely.”
Electronic Arts’ Fight Night games have always been popular, and with a loyal fanbase waiting patiently for Round 4 to enter the ring, expect the game to fly off shelves when it arrives at the end of the month.
Certainly one to stock up on.