Imagine this. You walk into a room and notice a buddy watching boxing on the big screen TV. "Whoa," you say, "that's a hardcore fight." Both boxers are sweating and viciously trading blows. You see one boxer knock the sweat off another with a combo, but eat a hard uppercut. The screen slips into slow-motion and zooms in. The other boxer is visibly shaken, uneasy on his feet, and eats one more punch before he crumples to the ground. You see the spit and blood come flying out of his mouth as the camera follows him on the way down. You look a little closer. "Did Muhammad Ali just knock out Roy Jones, Jr.?" you ask.|
Welcome to Fight Night Round 3 and its heretofore unseen levels of detail. There's a Fight Night Round 3 demo up on Xbox Live Marketplace right now, and we've got the straight dope for those of you who don't have access.
At first glance, Fight Night looks a great deal like real boxing. The characters are detailed enough that close-ups reveal pores and detailed haircuts, and the animation is sharp enough that it shows body language. If you're clever, you can guess at where your opponent is going to place his next punch, block it, and counter with a jab of your own. The animation is extremely fluid. I hate being countered, but there's a kind of child-like giddiness at seeing Jones deflect one of your punches and rock your jaw with a haymaker.
The demo is a simple four-round match featuring Bernard Hopkins vs Roy Jones, Jr. The action is slightly slower than it's been in the previous Fight Nights, but not even remotely less exciting. The camera has been retooled to better show off the graphics, as well. The on-screen display is gone, replaced with visual and gameplay cues that let you know how your boxer is doing. If your guy wobbles after a simple jab, go on the defensive. You're about to get knocked out. The camera zooms in and out based on where the boxers are on-screen. If you're in tight together or in a clinch, the camera gets extremely close. At this level, punches rock the camera back and forth. This is a great effect, particularly when combined with the vibration of the controller. The camera is intelligent enough to make the action even more interesting for you. The lack of an on-screen display also makes Fight Night Round 3 feel just that much more like attending a real boxing event.
They say that a picture's worth a thousand words and we've got a gang of them for you. You can fake out your friends with Fight Night Round 3 in late Februrary.
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