On Monday morning a number of content creators posted to their channels to talk about their hands-on experience with, and provide feedback of, the upcoming eSports Boxing Club (ESBC). While all of them admitted their solid impression of the passion going into the development of the game, it was nearly unanimous that expectations for the game need to be brought back down to Earth a little bit.
First thing’s first, the version of the game they played was allegedly an Alpha build of ESBC, and wasn’t even the latest build available. So when they spoke about bugs and glitches in the game, the build version needs to be taken into consideration.
The one element that everyone praised was how the fighters looked in ESBC.
“Terence Crawford looked exactly like Terence Crawford, and he moved with the personality of Crawford,” Youtuber Showbizz The Adult said.
He added that while they were only allowed to use 11 fighters, every fighter available was “true to form”.
There were also mentions of various presentation bugs like crowd members floating, cornermen randomly moving around during a fight, a lack of pre-fight entrances, and more.
How Does It Play?
When it comes to gameplay, everything can be summed up in a single word: incomplete. Again, due to it being an Alpha build, this is the expectation.
Showbizz stated that all the fighters felt different and, once again, used true to life to describe it. Each fighter will feature special traits to help them feel unique. On top of that, there aren’t specific counters that every fighter can pull off. To find success in the ring, you will have to fight in the style similar to the boxer you control.
Punching is done via buttons or the analog stick. According to the developers themselves, punches will feel more natural and authentic using the analog stick as opposed to buttons. Take that how you will.
Because of the build of the game, there were also some areas that proved to be a disappointment with those who got their hands on the game. Elements like the clinch, no lean punches, uppercuts, inside fighting, and more were either completely broken or not included at all. If anything it showed just how much further development has to go for an accurate in-ring boxing experience.
Other areas of gameplay like head weaves didn’t flow properly, and Boxing Fanatico even said that there were times fighters would get stuck mid punch or block, stopping any other actions from being able to happen.
“We couldn’t punch, move, or block anymore, and would have to press as many buttons as we could to try and break out of that bug, or just ride out the round as a new round would reset it,” he said.
One area they didn’t get to try was fighting against the AI. All fights, according to those who played, were against another user.
While most of that sounds negative, the biggest positive to come from everyone is that when everything worked, the game was great.
Check punches allowed players to be more “deceptive” in the ring to gain the upper hand on the opponent. Even the punch combinations were said to be rewarding when landed properly due to the game’s mechanics being more physics based rather than animation driven. On top of that, the game’s movement is said to offer more control than any other game of the past.
Fanatico even said that ESBC had the best boxing video game mechanics he had ever played “hands down”. So, it’s clear that they are on to something right with the development of ESBC.
When Is The Game Coming?
Of course, everyone still wants to know about a firm release date for the game. What was once slated to be coming to early access for PC in 2021, the game still hasn’t been able to be put into the hands of the public in any fashion. And based on what many who’ve played it have said, it’s quite possible we are looking at 2023 as the earliest release date.
While a 2023 release sounds upsetting, think about it this way: would you rather have a rushed, broken, and buggy game, or one that was delayed a bit to make sure it’s as polished as possible? Everyone should want the latter.
Obviously the release date is purely speculation at this point. Hopefully Steel City Interactive will have a larger update in the coming weeks and months on the status of ESBC and just when fans will be able to get their hands on it.
What Does The ESBC Feedback Mean?
All in all, it’s clear there’s a long way to go before ESBC is ready for the public. Based on everything said, there are a number of things the developers at Steel City Interactive need to complete before every releasing the game to the public in any sort.
What’s clear, at least from what’s been in the ESBC feedback, is that we aren’t looking at a full boxing simulation. It may lean closer to a simulation experience, but there will be mini-games within the fights that lean more towards the arcade style of gameplay.
The game isn’t going to be similar to a Fight Night, or any other boxing game ever made. Their goal is clearly to be a game with the best in-ring boxing ever seen. It’s going to take quite a bit of time, but the hope is that with that time and effort, ESBC will be the boxing game everyone has been wanting since Fight Night Champion released in 2011.
What do you make of the feedback for ESBC so far? Let us know in the conversation below, and take the conversation further at the official SGO Discord Server.