Boxing is a well-loved sport with years of history behind it. But, there hasn’t been a major video game release celebrating boxing in a decade.
At one time, EA Sports’ Fight Night series was the place to go if you wanted authentic in-ring action, a series that was almost to boxing as the FIFA series is to football.
But there hasn’t been a release in that franchise since 2011’s Fight Night Champion. So where are boxing fans to go if they want to strap on the virtual gloves?
Step forward Undisputed, which is hoping to provide one of the most authentic depictions of the sport in video gaming history. It comes from Sheffield-based publishers Steel City Interactive, and hopes to capture an audience not recently catered for by video games.
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What is Undisputed?
According to its developers, “Undisputed aims to be the most authentic boxing experience to date.”
The game aims to accurately represent the strategy that goes into every match, because punching is only one aspect of boxing. The ring is a tactical battleground where fighters can decide how to attack, lay traps, and outwit opponents using cunning strategies, and you’ll be able to do all of this in Undisputed.
Innovative footwork techniques make it easier for you to move around the ring, while over 60 different punches, coupled with block, weaves, evades, and slip punches give you all the tools required to be a defensive wizard. THe majority of these movements are physics driven, so punches can sometimes go around or even through the guard.
Graphically, the game packs a punch too, with incredibly detailed boxer models utilising the latest scanning technology, realistic damage, progressive sweat, and facial deformation, and broadcast presentation with expert commentary by Todd Grisham and Johnny Nelson.
Undisputed also allows players to play locally against friends or computer opponents, or online against other players to climb the leaderboards.
Which boxers are included in the game?
Undisputed has an unprecedented list of combatants, with more than 50 of them playable on day one.
These include Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, Deontay Wilder, Canelo Alvarez, and Katie Taylor (who comes part of a fully-fledged women’s division of fighters), but there’s also legendary fighters from yesteryear too, including Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson
The game has also collaborated with all of the heavyweight boxing organisations, such as the British Boxing Board of Control, Empire and the World Boxing Council, so you can expect to see authentic branding across arenas and equipment.
When can I play it?
Undisputed will be released on 31 January 2023 on PC, where it is being released into a period of Early Access on Steam.
Early Access means that while a game may be of a playable quality, it is not necessarily feature complete, and may have a number of bugs and issues. Developers use this time to iron out any issues that players discover, ahead of a ‘full release’ when the game is ready.
“We believe creating a great boxing game requires a deep connection to the sport, community, and fans,” says Steel City Interactive on the game’s Steam page. “Early Access provides that platform to ensure our vision delivers against player expectations.”
The game will also be releasing on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S down the line, though there is no official release date suggesting when this might be.