EA Sports’ latest entry into the Fight Night franchise, Fight Night Champion, is only a few months away from launch. That means the hype train is going to start rolling full steam ahead as it gets closer to release time. Champion pulls out of the station with a pair of new short promo spots to whet the appetite of eager virtual pugilists everywhere.
Ever since it was announced that this would be EA Sports’ very first M-rated title, speculation ran wild regarding what type of content would be in the game that might require the mature stamp. Watching the two teaser trailers, it’s not hard to see why EA was able to foresee the mature label, even before the ESRB had even looked at the game.
The most talked about addition to the game is an actual story mode. Players will take on the role of Andre Bishop as they try and fight their way to the top of the boxing world. EA clearly wants players to realize that this isn’t just a little tacked-on story about a fighter and his trainer. From the looks of these teaser spots, Fight Night Champion will feature a fully fleshed out world and narrative for fans to experience.
The biggest question remains, whether or not this is really a good direction for Fight Night as a franchise. Even though the videos are short, they still manage to show what looks like some armed goons jumping Andre, a jailhouse shower beat down and an expletive shouting old man (possibly a promoter?). It’s even mentioned that the business of boxing is, “a whole other battlefield.” Apparently that means fighting off criminal activity and staying out of prison.
This isn’t to say that Fight Night Champion won’t be an exciting game, or that that it won’t possibly tell a compelling story. It just makes one question whether or not this sort of portrayal of the industry belongs in a boxing simulator. If this is the new trend, does that mean players will start to see performance enhancing drug mini-games showing up in the next MLB The Show? Perhaps the next Madden will feature a similar jail-time sequence for the player’s career mode.
The point is that there are negative aspects to almost all sports, but most developers aren’t rushing to use them as a tactic to get people excited. It’s understandable that EA would want to do something to stimulate sales of a niche franchise, but is this the best way to do it? What do the Ranters think?
Will you be checking out Fight Night Champion with its new direction when it hits the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 March 1st?