Don King Presents: Prizefighter - exclusive screens

At first glance, Don King Presents: Prizefighter seems like it’ll be doomed to play second fiddle to the current champion of boxing games, Fight Night. But Prizefighter may offer boxing fans what they never got from Fight Night: Round 3 -a level of realism that transcends the beads of sweat that fly from your next-gen boxer’s head.

According to Don King, “[Prizefighter] is more than a game - it is a glimpse at what life is like in and out of the ring for these incredible athletes.” Of course, anything coming from the mouth of the world’s most bombastic boxing promoter needs to be screened for excessive hyperbole. After checking out an early build of Prizefighter, we can assure that it is not “more than a game.” It’s a boxing game, plain and simple. But Prizefighter’s career mode does try to give you a taste of what it’s like to be an up-and-coming boxer and features lots of exclusive footage that’ll interest fans.

Above: “Spectaculocity,” “intestinal fortitude,” “trickernation,” and “besmirchify” are just some of the novel terms that Don King has employed to make his point

Developer, Venom Games is trying to deliver what they’re calling an “authentic boxing experience,” one that goes beyond the usual train-then-fight-and-train-again routines common in other boxing game career modes. It follows the form of a sports documentary. In between matches, you’ll see exclusive footage of famous folks from the industry talking about you, the player, and your rise to fame. Casual boxing fans may not recognize all the talent scouts, cut men, trainers, and fighters featured in these documentary scenes, but they’re still great fun to watch and offer a nice break from the norm.

Above: If you have the “intestinal fortitude” to see what the life of a boxer is really like, go to your local gym. If you’re like us, keep your eyes on Prizefighter

And when it comes to your opponents, stepping up against contemporary ass kickers like Joe Calzaghe instead of some generic no name is pretty impressive. Another feature that Venom Games is using to try to preserve Prizefighter’s “authentic” feel are the unexpected special challenges. “It’s very rare that, in the boxing world, two boxers meet and they are perfectly matched,” explains Denby Grace from publisher, 2K. While training, you might injure your hand for example. You might injure it so badly in fact, that throwing heavy punches with your damaged hand might even hurt you, forcing you try alternate fighting styles and stances.

Above: Some may try to “besmirchify” Prizefighter as a poor man’s Fight Night. But maybe they’re just trying to pull a “trickernation” on you?

As for the controls, Venom Games has decided to use the face buttons and freeform combos instead of the anolog sticks for the 360 version (pictured above). “We just thought the analog [controls] led to button mashing - even though there weren’t really any buttons,” explained Grace when asked about their decision to break ties with the traditional control scheme. In Prizefighter, you’ll need to block, lean, and sidestep with various combinations of the face buttons and bumpers with the clinical precision of a surgeon. Or at least, that’s what we’re told.

It’s too soon to tell if Prizefighter’s attempts to provide an “authentic experience” will make the game feel more like work than play. Don King Presents: Prizefighter is currently scheduled to release this June. In the meantime, check out the latesttrailerand more 360screenshotsof what might be Fight Night’s next big contender.

Apr 30, 2008