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‘Creed: Rise to Glory’ Update Brings Viktor Drago and Danny Wheeler
Oculus Blog
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Posted by Oculus VR
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November 27, 2018
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In Creed: Rise to Glory, you can fight like a champ without ever stepping into a real-life boxing ring. But don’t let the virtual part fool you—there’s plenty of dedication, training, and sweat on your path to boxing fame, even here. Rise to Glory, the latest game from developer Survios, is an immersive boxing experience where physical dedication plays a vital role in success.

Survios designed both Sprint Vector and Electronauts, so it’s no surprise Rise to Glory is a virtual experience built on real physical activity. Based on the record-breaking Creed II, Rise to Glory is the closest you'll ever get to throwing punches at legendary fighters and training with the Rocky Balboa. Aspiring prize fighters can play through the game’s story-driven Career Mode, or simply get calorie-roasting practice through the Freeplay and Online PvP modes.

To ensure an authentic experience, Survios paid careful attention to in-game controls and how stamina functions during bouts. It even developed something called Phantom Melee Technology, which gives your virtual actions—like jabs and haymakers—a sense of real-world impact. This works both ways, so getting rocked by a rival boxer means you’ll stagger about the ring and experience fatigue. Better still, the latest game update introduces Viktor Drago and Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler, the antagonists from Creed II, available in both Freeplay and PvP modes.

We caught up with Survios Lead Engineer Eugene Elkin to hear what makes Rise to Glory a knockout VR experience.

What was the initial inspiration behind CREED: Rise to Glory? How did the metagame evolve from pitch through production?

Eugene Elkin: Survios is always focused on creating new and innovative technologies to push the VR medium forward. On this particular project, we started with the desire to explore a unique approach on Melee technology. Once the team decided to go down this path, we then looked around to see if there was any great IP that would enhance the product we already wanted to make. That's when MGM suggested Creed and we thought it was an excellent combination of great gameplay and exciting IP.

With MGM providing resources, our artists recreated environments and characters from the Creed films while also building content completely original to the game, while our engineers devised the all-new Phantom Melee Technology gameplay system that makes CREED: Rise to Glory a completely unique entry in the VR boxing game genre.

Who did you work with on the soundtrack, and what was that experience like? How does the overall sound design add to the full gameplay experience?

EE: Sound design and soundtracks make up a huge part of any game, and we’re very fortunate with our MGM partnership. The entire soundtrack pulls from the original CREED score, in addition to some beloved anthems like “Gonna Fly Now,” a very popular song that we’re sure Rocky fans will have a blast hearing during training.

In addition to the music, our audio and creative departments put a lot of thought into building out the Creed universe with narrative elements including: radio podcasts, announcer commentary, and character dialog. We can also testify the flesh-crunching sound effects are very satisfying. It was an incredible honor to have Michael B. Jordan provide the voice of Adonis Creed. Working with him on this project has been a great experience. His passion for the character and film were obvious in the work he did—he is a true professional when it comes to his craft.

What can you tell us about Creed’s Career mode, and the narrative there?

EE: We wanted to give players the opportunity to relive some classic moments from Creed, but also expand the world. Our career mode starts where Adonis starts—making his way up through underground fighting. You’ll get to play through Adonis’ struggle for legitimacy, to his first sanctioned match against Leo Sporino, and finally his epic struggle against Ricky Conlan at the climax of Creed. We even take the story a few steps further as we build towards the incredible story for Creed 2.

Each fight takes the player against tougher and tougher opponents, showcasing different styles of boxing and—of course—a training montage. It’s important players remember they are actually going to be standing, swinging, and fighting. Adonis takes months between his fights, so don't forget to take five minutes to rest between fights—and stay hydrated.

What can you tell us about the other modes in Creed: Rise to Glory?

EE: For training, we drew inspiration from actual boxing drills—a lot of our dev team actually took weekly boxing classes to learn everything firsthand—so you’re practicing a wide variety of skills and not just punching dummies over and over. There are endurance exercises like speed bags and treadmill sprints (using Fluid Locomotion to “run”); reflex drills like mitt training with Rocky, where you have to dodge and weave as well as hit; and strength challenges where you learn how to punch harder and deliver more damage per hit.

Freeplay is exactly that: you have as many combos of title fights as you could want, with all the locations and opponents from the game plus some content you can only access in Freeplay. If you want to be a true champion, there’s a whole world of opponents waiting for you in online PvP, where you can link up with a friend to settle the score or jump into Quick Match and challenge some unassuming contenders.

What can you tell us about your new Phantom Melee Technology, and what sort of response have you seen from demos? How, if at all, does it build upon your earlier Fluid Locomotion System?

EE: When we started conceptualizing CREED: Rise to Glory’s gameplay, the first question we had was, “How do you bring impact to melee combat in VR?” Melee in VR is really fun and intense because it’s so active and in-your-face, but the temptation is to fight without thinking of the repercussions. We wanted to increase the immersion—and, by extension, the cinematic feel of the game—by adding consequences like fatigue, staggering, and getting knocked out. We accomplished this by stacking two player avatars on top of each other and using triggered desynchronization. That ghostly avatar tracking your movements while Creed is punching slower, staggered, or laid out? That’s the “phantom” of Phantom Melee.

As we demoed CREED: Rise to Glory around the trade show circuit this year, it was awesome to see how quickly everyone took to it, even taunting opponents and cheering when they KO’d. The ability to jump in and start playing quickly is satisfying and liberating.

Phantom Melee’s 1:1 active gameplay, which translates the speed and force of a player’s movement into momentum and damage, definitely evolved out of Fluid Locomotion, which itself began as a 1:1 climbing mechanic. You’ll also recognize improvements to the arm-swinging mechanic used for running, now used for treadmill training and racing your phantom back to your body after being knocked out.

What’s next for you? Any exciting projects in the works?

EE:Survios currently has several dev teams working on a wide variety of projects, but none of them have been formally announced yet—you’ll have to stay tuned to see what’s coming next.

Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

EE: Our studio is truly passionate about the games we make, and we genuinely value any feedback we can receive from the growing VR community. To our existing fans and supporters, we want to say thank you for trusting and supporting us as we continue to explore what’s possible within the burgeoning virtual reality landscape. If you pick up CREED: Rise to Glory, we want to hear what you think! Send us a message through our website or social channels (just search for Survios). Happy boxing!

Ready to step into the ring? Grab your boxing gloves and play Creed: Rise to Glory today!

— The Oculus Team