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Real Boxing Hands On

Hands on, gloves off

I’ve been watching Vivid Game’s Real Boxing very closely over the past few months, waiting patiently till I could sample it for myself. This week I’ve been able to do just that with a preview of the game that will be released later this month. To get into the spirit of the sport, I’ve been randomly punching people in the face at the TouchGen offices. Torbjorn has seen the funny side of it (perhaps it’s because I haven’t got round to punching him yet), Nathan has attempted to punch me back a few times leading to a scuffle or two.  Nigel isn’t amused.

This is an ambitious title which is aiming to effectively be the first ‘proppa’ boxing title on the App Store. There are of course others, but they’re nothing like this. I’m sure you’ve seen the screenshots by now, it’s a disciple of the Unreal Engine, and even though this is a preview I don’t need to be coy: it looks fantastic.

A lot of work has gone into getting the look just right. High quality character models are almost a given, but the stadiums, crowd and UI also look just as polished. Boxers also come complete with full intros before each fight and animation is motion-captured for authenticity.

If you’re squeamish, you might not like to know that facial damage modelling is included. As fights progress, and you and your opponent progress from playful taps on the chin to fully-fledged haymakers, your respective faces will show the result in real time. That means blood, bruises and blood. And blood. Did I mention blood? There’s blood here.

A full career mode features, where working your way up the ranks of 14 fighters through three different tournaments is supplemented with some very cool training mini-games where you hit the gym with skipping ropes, heavy bag and speed bags to gain XP between fights.  You can also customise your fighter with an extensive range of hair, skin, tattoo and clothing combinations. Your dream of a blonde haired, purple-faced mugsmasher with bell-bottoms is about to be realised.

All this would make for an interesting boxing game in it’s own right, but the surprising addition of Kinnect-style motion gesture control really makes this a unique title. That’s ‘Kinnect style’ by the way, you don’t get an actual Kinnect with the game. Just in case you misread that last sentence.

The system is called ‘V-Motion’, it uses the eyesight camera on your device to track your movements and reproduce them in-game.  You can even hook up your pad or phone to your TV for a true console-like experience. As far as I’m aware (and I know everything), this is a first among App Store titles and if I’m right, it’s definitely not going to be the last. Depending on how it’s received, you’re going to see a swarm of developers trying to figure out how to integrate this into their games.

The good thing is, it works. To find out how well, you’ll have to tune back in next week after I’ve properly taken it through it’s paces.  If accidentally smacking yourself in the face isn’t quite to your liking (can’t see why not, I’ve already done it), normal swipe controls are available to control left and right uppercuts, hooks and jabs.

Not long to go now till the full review. Until then, feast your eyes on this video of people not hitting themselves while illustrating the V-Motion Gesture Sytem. Show offs.

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