Fight Night Champion answers the bell

EA boxing sim series returns to the ring next year for Xbox 360 and PS3 with a "grittier" take on the sport; EA Canada studio handling development.

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While EA Sports' Fight Night series of games has traditionally touted itself as a straight-faced simulation of a strategic sport, the next installment will apparently showcase the sour side of the sweet science. At its Studio Showcase today, EA announced Fight Night Champion for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and gave an indication that the series is heading in a new direction.

Pacquiao has seen better days, considering he likely can't see much with that eye swollen shut.
Pacquiao has seen better days, considering he likely can't see much with that eye swollen shut.

While the sport of boxing is inherently rough, EA Sports' Andrew Wilson promised a "grittier" and "darker" game with animations and player damage that "truly conveys the brutality of the sport of boxing." The publisher released a screenshot in support of those comments, depicting a bloodied and battered Manny Pacquiao.

As far as gameplay goes, EA is promising a refined physics-based animation system and a new "Full Spectrum Punch Control" scheme. The publisher didn't mention the game's Online Pass-limited multiplayer features, instead focusing on a single-player mode intended to re-create the dramatic and emotional aspects of the sport.

Fight Night Champion is being developed at EA Canada by the team that put together last year's Fight Night Round 4. It is set for release sometime next year. For more on its predecessor, check out GameSpot's review of Fight Night Round 4.

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