Undisputed (Early Access) Impressions – Watch the Throne

Undisputed (Early Access) Impressions

It’s been a long, long time since boxing fans have landed a game that accurately portrays the sport itself. It’s been 14 years since we stepped into the ring with Fight Night Round 4, widely considered the last true king of the genre. Since then, sporadic contenders have appeared, only to fade away quicker than a first-round knockout. But, with a lightning-like jab and a violent, vicious hook, Undisputed (despite being in early access) is primed to claim its rightful seat on the throne.

What makes Undisputed so promising is its relentless attention to realistic hitboxes. Each strike, whether a fading glance or a rock-solid bomb, not only needs to be timed but placed correctly. Maybe I’m dumb (definitely am), but I never realized how vital proper hitboxes are in creating an authentic boxing simulation. Fight Night has a bad habit of rewarding players for punches that shouldn’t be as effective as they are, primarily because of large, inaccurate hitboxes. Undisputed, however, has demanded that I work on the fundamentals. Nothing comes cheap, and I love it.

Piece By Piece

This means that while getting around a guard is still preferable, players can split through a defense like never before. I can’t remember the last time – if ever – I had so much fun fighting at close range with my opponent. Getting in tight to work the body before landing a massive uppercut or hook is satisfying. But doing so while also surgically cutting through a rival’s wilting defense? Supremely rewarding. I can’t wait to get my hands on more of the roster, as I imagine it will be a blast using different styles to power through various guards.

Given Undisputed’s penchant for having each boxer feel true to life, undoubtedly, you’ll come across a style or two that plays differently from anything you’ve previously experienced in a boxing game. Most beneficial to each fighter’s authenticity is their signature loose movement modifier. Tapping the d-pad will switch the way your fighter moves about the ring. This could open you up to being tagged, though you’ll also be able to land knockout blows at a higher rate. These modifiers work wonders in bringing the roster to life in ways not seen before.

Granted, I’m a bit disappointed by the roster itself. I know; it’s early access. And many, many more competitors are on the way. But some glaring omissions from the final list have me concerned. Mike Tyson is nowhere to be found. Floyd Mayweather’s dad is here, but Floyd is staying home. Manny Pacquiao isn’t making the trip. George Foreman was too busy with cheap barbecues to put his gloves back on. Ernie Shavers won’t be putting people into a coma anytime soon. And the list goes on.

Don’t Keep Me Waiting

It should be noted that there eventually will be a create-a-boxer implemented to Undisputed. And we’ll be able to download others’ creations uploaded to the Undisputed servers. Chances are, anybody that doesn’t make the cut will end up with a created version of themselves for you to check out. But they won’t have the aforementioned loose movement modifier specific to said fighter. A created Mike Tyson will feel like a created Floyd Mayweather. That Floyd Mayweather will end up feeling like a created George Foreman, and so on.

With that being said, it’s far too early to tell where else Undisputed’s shortcomings will lie. Without a doubt, in my mind, we’re sitting on the precipice of the greatest boxing game ever made. It’s nothing but uphill from here. How far uphill is what’s left to be determined? A fleshed-out career mode that we can sink hours upon hours into and a top-of-the-line character creator could be all we need to bring home the becauseecause the in-ring action is already second-to-none.

When I’m not playing Undisputed, I’m thinking about it. So, I gotta go. See you in the ring.

***Steam key provided by the publisher***

Thank you for keeping it locked on COGconnected.

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