The Undisputed beta was live and open to the public for three days, November 4-6. I logged over ten hours of gameplay, and I just want more. Undisputed plays fun and realistic, and the game is highly addictive. Developers Steel City Interactive and Ten24 capture the improvisation that makes the sport of boxing so special. Let’s dive into our SGO hands-on gameplay impressions.
Undisputed Beta Hands-On Impressions
According to Steel City Interactive, over one million rounds were played during the play test weekend by 17,000 unique players. Considering just how many players were online for an indie-title, the beta was quite a success. SCI had to upload a number of patches throughout the weekend to improve network performance. By Sunday, Nov. 6, I was able to log hours of matches successfully.
The beta featured four total boxers to choose from; Two each from the men and women’s fight divisions, respectively. I went to work with Sophie Alisch, fighting out of Germany, for the majority of my fights. Sophie, rated at 71 overall, had a slight disadvantage versus Terri Harper at 73 overall in both player attributes and reach. I was dominated by Harper a few times until I learned to weave effectively under punches, and how to move a bit more freely.
In our fourth roundtable we discuss our online test, address some of your feedback, and discuss the need for another multiplayer beta test. #BecomeUndisputed 🥊
— Undisputed (@PlayUndisputed) November 10, 2022
While there was considerable lag and network issues, I found Undisputed’s fighter footwork excellent. Specifically, the game features a free-movement mechanic. I activated it for my fights on November 6 and I started to let the combos fly. As I continued to put in virtual work, I began to understand how to float a bit more in and out of the pocket. Although I initially criticized the footwork, it may need less tweaks than originally thought. The “loose movement” completely changed my experience.
A beta-code was provided direct to Sports Gamers Online.
Undisputed Gameplay Specs
PC Specs: AMD Ryzen 9 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce 2060 RTX graphics card; 10MPS internet speed.
Controller: Microsoft Xbox Series S controller.
Undisputed Beta Physics
If I had to make a comparison, the momentum plays more like NBA2K than any EA Sports game. The movements must be precise and punches must be tactful. I learned to ease off the throttle with the movement on the analog stick. This allowed me to change directions quicker, find my spots, and move off-center.
I also eased off the gas with the punch analog stick. The game rewards measured strikes because a full stamina punch has more power. Consequently, spammers will find less power behind their throws very quickly as energy drains. We have to make the punches count. And when punches landed, I could all but feel the weight in Sophie’s animated golden gloves at impact. It is extremely satisfying. The sound, the animations, and the controller rumble response blend beautifully.
Further on the point of physics, the Undisputed beta rewarded logical combinations. If you weave right, and fire a right with weight behind the punch, you receive a damage bonus. The bonus damage was confirmed by one of Steel City’s community managers in its Discord server. My experience in Undisputed’s beta corroborates the statement. My fastest fired combos started with same side weaves and throws, finishing with the opposite hand. The motion blur and whip action on hooks are pure magic. Once I began blending light footwork and weaves, I started piecing together buttery combinations.
As I mentioned, when I fought with Sophie Alisch against a bigger opponent, I learned to weave under strikes and work angles. I think I even weaved under a body shot. I was able to pick my spots, counter-punch, and I began to find success. Additionally, I started to mix in the power jab to throw something quick but forceful. I had to find ways to slow down aggressive opponents and this also helped in close-quarters. A well-timed power jab is rewarded with an animation interruption and the opponent freezes. Like a portal key, the punch opens infinite windows of options to step through.
“Like a portal key, the power jab opens infinite windows of options to step through.”
Continuing with collision detection, the defense is fascinating and enriches the fighting experience. A player’s squared-up power punches appear to do some damage through guard, whereas less accurate shots seem to glance and misdirect off of stiff-guarded gloves. These collision physics make spamming the guard less viable. Alternatively, the weave becomes more important – especially in the pocket. The punches that glance and miss in the Undisputed beta previewed the game’s refined physics.
Lastly, the lighting and graphics were top-grade, even on my laptop running an NVIDIA 2060 RTX– a lower grade graphics card than what is available in Microsoft’s Xbox Series S/X and Sony’s PlayStation 5. I will say, the network performance clouded my ability to appreciate the dynamically beautiful renderings. Cuts and blood were visible on day three of the Undisputed beta. The game is coming together well.
Undisputed inspires controller-gripping fights, satisfying combos, and deploys excellent physics. I cannot wait to get back in the Undisputed metaverse and improvise.
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