This review was originally created in December 2018 for HTC, targeted to their original Vive/Vive Pro (VIVEPORT). It is reproduced here without alteration.
There are many different types of virtual reality boxing games out there these days. Some skew more realistically towards the sport, some skew more towards being fitness workout oriented, and some skew towards the fantastic. Boxing Apocalypse falls into the latter category.
The game casts you as a futuristic deadly assassin, captured and locked away on a floating prison somewhere in outer space. Aliens are in control of the prison, and, as they’re wont to do, have begun testing on the inmates, turning their bodies into weaponry to prepare for a war on humanity. As part of this testing, the inmates are forced to battle to the death in a fight club. It’s now up to you to use your boxing skills to punch your way to the top of the ranks to win your freedom, defeat the alien leader, overtake the prison, and ultimately stop the war.
Designed for Vive and Vive Pro owners, Boxing Apocalypse is a room-scale experience that can be played seated or standing. Naturally, standing is preferred, as it gives you a bit more freedom and a better workout.
Although “boxing” is in the title, the actual game plays more like an arcade brawler that focuses on the use of your fists. There are power punches, finishing moves, attachable weapons, an energy shield for blocking and counter combos, and a customizable armor system. You’ll need to master all aspects of the game to move up the challenge board and increase your rank among the prisoners.
Both Vive controllers represent your fists, with natural movements to throw punches. Of course, you’ll need to do a bit more than just punch as fast you can by setting up combos and dodging attacks, but speed definitely helps, especially when fighting more than one opponent.
Outside of the single player campaign mode, there’s also an online Player versus Player (PvP) mode. As with most online games, and particularly those in virtual reality, it may be tough to find other players to battle, although in a nice twist, the developers do help to mitigate that problem a bit by generally make themselves available as opponents for one hour a day via the schedule posted on their website. Fair warning, though, the developers are really good!
Outside of the developers, tracking down other players may be worth it anyway as your PvP wins and losses count towards your ranking inside the prison fight club. In fact, playing PvP matches can also help you level up and unlock more weapons and specialty armor that’s otherwise not available through just playing the single player campaign mode.
Audio-visuals are below average. Everything is cleanly rendered, but the character models and metallic, glowing environments are on the simpler side. The sound effects consist mostly of impacts.
The developers promise future developments for the game, including a ranking system, in-game championship belts and prizes, live studio broadcasts, cash prizes, online voice chat, PvP lobbies, and more. Of course, only what’s in-game now can be evaluated, and what’s there still has plenty of rough spots, especially in terms of how well the fight mechanics work. However, if you can look past some of its weaker points and don’t mind repetitive fights, you can still have fun with this title while getting in a pretty good workout along the way.
Score: 3 out of 5 stars.
Boxing Apocalypse is available on Viveport or with a Viveport Subscription.