Boxing fans eager to get their hands on the next installment in EA Sports' Fight Night franchise won't have to wait much longer. A demo of Fight Night Champions will make its way to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on February 1, 2011.Out of the 54 licensed fighters that will be included in the full game, the demo of Fight Night Champion will allow wannabe pugilists to take control of Muhammad Ali, Miguel Cotto, Manny Pacquiao, and Mike Tyson in the "Fight Now" mode. The fights will only last three rounds, but that should be enough to get a good sense of whether the new bloody graphics and stamina control scheme appeal to you.
EA Sports is also including online play in the demo, so you can test your skills against your friends (or enemies). Online access is set to last a week, but may go two according to Gameplay Producer, Brian Hayes. [Update: See below]
Somewhat disappointing is that the new "Champion Mode" featuring Andre Bishop will apparently not be a playable feature in the demo. EA Sports has been releasing dramatic vignettes featuring Bishop over the last couple of months, and it would have been nice to actually check out this new addition firsthand. You can get a taste of what the Champion mode may be like in the following videos where Andre Bishop discusses boxing, the significance of championship belts, and the business side of the sport:
With the full release arriving on the scene a month after the demo, EA Sports is providing gamers with plenty of time to offer constructive feedback on the new additions to the series. What features are you most looking forward to in Fight Night Champion?
UPDATE: EA Sports has just released a new trailer further promoting the demo for Fight Night Champions. The trailer confirms that the online versus mode will last two weeks as suggested by Brian Hayes and that the game will have six-controller configurations. Catch Ali vs Tyson and Pacquiao v. Cotto in action:
Fight Night Champion enters the ring on March 1, 2011, for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.