Fight Night E3 2005 Preshow Impressions

EA knocks 'em dead with its PS3 Fight Night demo. We've got a full report.

Among all the facts, figures, and diagrams that peppered today's Sony press conference unveiling the PS3 to the world, there was actually some game footage to check out as well. Among the most impressive was EA Sports' live demo of Fight Night for the PS3. Series producer Kudo Tsunoda was brought on stage to describe the kind of work that has gone into the game so far. From the looks of it, things are going very well indeed.

The demo featured two fictional boxers in the ring facing off against one another, throwing punches, blocking, bobbing and weaving, and moving around the ring, until finally one boxer lands two huge punches and lays his opponent out on the mat. It all goes by incredibly fast with fluidity and power that are a sight to behold.

Luckily for audience members, the demo didn't just end after this flurry. Instead, the demo continued, slowing down a lot of the footage and showing it from multiple angles to really give a feel for some of the subtleties that are going into the game's graphics. Before we get into that, it's important to mention that, according to Tsunoda, the entire Fight Night demo was running in real time in Renderware on the PS3, making a strong case for the raw power of the PS3.

The overall quality of the boxers themselves was impressive indeed, and they were both incredibly well constructed and lit. The lighting on the skin textures, for example, seemed incredibly precise and well beyond almost anything you'd see on today's consoles. An incredible range of facial motion conveyed huge amounts of emotion in the boxers' faces--you see one fighter grit his teeth with each punch thrown and another's face go slack when he gets caught with a nice stiff straight and falls back into the ropes. The amount of "give" in the boxer's face when the knockout punch makes such devastating contact with his opponent is comical in slow motion and absolutely brutal in real time. The facial skin folds and flaps violently; the glove rubber bends convincingly; and the guy's jaw seems to shift a full inch to his left. It's truly sick.

Beyond the gorgeous graphics, it's difficult to say if this will be a full-fledged sequel to the first two Fight Night games, a rehash of Fight Night Round 2, or something in between. Certainly judging by the content of the demo, the focus on knockout haymakers seems to be well intact. We'll just have to wait and see how the gameplay shapes up. Rest assured that GameSpot will be all over this one in the coming months.

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