eSports Boxing Club is set to be the first realistic boxing game in over a decade. Fight Night Champion was released in 2011, and the series as a whole is regarded as iconic. It follows that comparisons are mandatory. Here are the top five ways ESBC will improve upon Fight Night Champion.
1. ESBC Graphics Win Against Fight Night Champion
eSports Boxing Club has a clear advantage thanks to technology. Fight Night Champion was released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and has since been upscaled – but not remastered – on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. Since the 360 era, ray-tracing (RTX) has emerged to be a difference-maker in visual effects. Just one glimpse of ESBC in motion demonstrates the power of RTX. The dynamic contrast ratios, lighting, and shadows saturate ESBC’s gameplay video.
To be fair, Fight Night Champion performs admirably; I think the graphics aged exceptionally well. Occasionally, it can be mistaken for next-gen at certain angles, in the proper arena, and in the right light. FNC is easily one of EA Sports’ best visual achievements, and ESBC is following suit. Ten24 Studios, a development house specializing in face and body scans, is taking the lead role in scanning ESBC’s endless roster. The results to date are not to be trifled with.
ESBC showcases what is being called velocity movement & momentum. According to ESBC art director Andy Turner, the footwork flow is 100% motion captured and processed in real-time, or “performance-based.” In my opinion, locomotion is the foundation of any sports title, and ESBC is on an excellent track.
Continuing, FNC struggles with chaining together big steps and footwork – I find myself getting stuck in the dangerous pocket far too often. Contrasting with FNC, ESBC’s engine can transition between movements fast and fluid and implies organic animation branching at work – a departure from traditional animation “stitching.” The fighters appear to float as Ali told us to.
Additionally, Fight Night achieves excellent results with momentum. If players lean into a punch, fighters absorb much more force than average. The physics in FNC are so on point Neil deGrasse Tyson could host a StarTalk episode on its realism.
Comparatively, ESBC’s fighter body weight and momentum shift from one leg to another depending on the movement. Based on the gameplay videos, ESBC emphasizes back-foot punches as a defensive technique, which clearly deal less damage.
Collision detection is a physics component, and FNC occasionally suffers from animation clipping or punches that do not always connect properly. They are rare occurrences. Countering, ESBC’s latest footage portrays a precise collision detection system; SCI developed a blocking mechanism with several specific zones to block on-coming damage, highlighting the accuracy and variety of its collision detection logic.
ESBC has a chance to match the great Fight Night Champion in physics and, dare I say, surpass it.
4. ESBC Roster Unmatched by Fight Night Champion
Speaking of StarTalk, ESBC is a nebula of boxing talent. The Steel City Interactive roster will feature over 200 fighters (according to the E3 trailer) spanning the globe. The replay value is exponential with that kind of roster depth – it will allow players to mix and match for weeks on end. If ESBC can capture each fighter’s mannerisms and signature style, then we will be in for something special.
I like the roster being built by ESBC and director of talent acquisition Todd Gresham; boxing “prospects” are introduced to the world via the game. It is a brilliant business move because lesser-known fighters command less money to license. These international fighters, who are accomplished in their own right, simultaneously bring interest to ESBC worldwide.
5. Indie Spirit
Everyone loves an underdog. SCI started ESBC as a passion project. Today, the game looks like a flagship IP, and the project is continuing to grow. Everyone wants a piece of ESBC. In fact, if I were Microsoft, I would open the checkbook to make this title Xbox exclusive; and I would feature eSports Boxing Club to headline a new Microsoft Sports lineup of games.
FNC and the Fight Night series were always backed by industry giant EA Sports. Instead, now we can rally around an indie title that is elevating fight game competition. EA Sports will be pressed to respond with significant improvements for its UFC fight game series, the spiritual successor to Fight Night.
SCI is showing the world how to compete with Big Tech giants. And ESBC will undoubtedly improve upon Fight Night Champion. How can we not love that?