Virtual Fighting Championship wants to bring the excitement of fighting games to the realm of VR. Fighting games revolutionized arcades. Coming out of the 80’s heyday you see in Stranger Things, arcade operators needed a way to turbocharge profits and fighting games pit two users against one another directly. Suddenly, your skills mattered at the moment, and the cost was high if you lost.
Virtual reality’s early start is playing out a lot like those early arcade days, where high score games tend to rule the competitive landscape. Until recently, competitive VR multiplayer has been a difficult prospect. Now, multiple titles build specifically for online matchmaking.
Their simulation relies on some gimmicks but promises a reliable translation of physics to create a realistic fighting scenario based on your physical abilities.
The game is not yet in Early Access, but VFC already garnered buzz ahead of the July 13th release date.
What is VFC?
Virtual Fighting Championship is a room-scale boxing simulation that uses three classes/types of characters to facilitate a classic fighting game matchup. You can think of the game as boxing, but with the added twist of unique characteristics, skills, and moves that change depending on the character you choose.
Early Access releases of this game will feature 3 fighters, LAN capability and PvP multiplayer, so players get a feel for what the developer is attempting to accomplish. From the video footage, it looks like much of that work is already done. There isn’t much single player content in the game; the focus is on real-world interactions.
Players will need to duck, tilt their bodies, dash, and even jump to find an opportune space to strike. Backhands, low blows, elbows, everything is legal. You can also dance if that’s your thing. Players are already able to jab, cross-over, hook, and perform 360-degree punches.
A typical fighting game focuses on button combinations to achieve special moves. This game will utilize the grips on your controller to help less-skilled users deal damage and stay in the game. Those who are able-bodied and skilled at boxing should do well in the league. The game will track ferocity of blows, calories lost, and other physical attributes that determine how hard you hit and if you win the fight.
Even the Dempsey Roll is possible.
The VRFI Bottom Line
Fighting games are typically hard, so virtual fighting games that translate your movements into an avatar would lower the bar for entry for many of us. Most of us grew up playing with swords, boxing gloves or just running around and climbing or jumping. Today it might be cardio at the gym in a boxing class. When you’re the one throwing the punches, you don’t need to think about what buttons to push.
Emphasizing your power and skill gives VR Fitness heads something to work toward. Ultimately, that’s the goal of VR Fitness. A world of eSports is on the cusp with games like Virtual Fighting Championship leading the way. Virtual Boxing League is attempting a similar endeavor, a pure fighting game designed around eSports.
The Future of VR Boxing
Fighting games in VR need good physics and some arcadey elements that allow for less skilled fighters to participate. Virtual Fighting Championship addresses the problem that Virtual Boxing League does not: skill deficit. Not everyone is an excellent boxer. Most of us can throw a punch. Not everyone can dodge one or knows how to roll with one.
VFC seems to understand this and simulates body tackles and spinning backfists, with some extra special moves. A life-gauge or damage based approach might shift how the game works, and reward those who flail around. The Thrill of the Fight created an entire behind-the-scenes calculation to avoid this scenario. Some tweaking will help improve how the game is scored, how winners are determined and how knockdowns might work.
Boxing provides a good model for VR fighting, but it’s important to balance for people who will cheat the system. Especially in a multiplayer-centric title such as VFC.
Overall, we are excited to see what Virtual Fighting Championship can do. The class-based approach will encourage players to take a specific approach to each fight based on the skills available to them.