'Knockout League' Gets Updated With Training Modes, Calorie Tracker

Grab Games released a new update for its virtual reality (VR) boxing simulator, Knockout League. The new Fitness Update patch adds the game’s previously unavailable training modes, in addition to a calorie counter and several gameplay improvements.

Train Before The Pain

When we first went toe-to-toe with Knockout League, we noted that the training section was unavailable and that we could have used some more pointers before stepping into the ring. The Fitness Update patch provides that opportunity with two new training modes: Focus Mitts and Speed Bag.

Focus Mitts lets you enter the ring with your mentor, Doug Johnson (Sweet Dougie J), and test your hand speed, punch accuracy, and hitting power as you try to score as many points as possible. There’s also a Stamina Mode, which allows you to follow Doug’s commands indefinitely, which can quickly become a workout in itself. Although it’s not yet implemented, Stamina Mode will also feature an online leaderboard in a future patch.

The Speed Bag shifts the focus to hand control. You can have Doug lead you through bag drills, where you try to score points by following his commands, or you can play freely on your own (without your coach or a point system) to just smack the bag around at your leisure.

Count The Calories

Knockout League’s latest update also adds a calorie tracker to the game. You can input your weight to the settings menu, which allows the game to approximate the calories you burn while playing. You can view your lifetime calorie-burning activity and how much you burned in your current session. Post activity screens (say, after a fight) will now also let you know how many calories you burned.

Other Improvements

The new update also lets you choose an alternative controller grip style in the settings menu, in addition to featuring a new background audio option that lets the game audio play even if it isn’t the active window (you’re tabbed out). The hit detection system has also been revamped, making the timing of your dodges more critical (you need to dodge, duck, dip, dive, or dodge as the attacks are thrown at you in order to avoid them). Previously, you could preemptively move to avoid an attack, but the new update curbs that exploit and keeps the same avoidance techniques in play (you still need to duck hook punches and lean in the proper direction for slashes across the body).

The round timer has been changed to reflect real time, correcting the unintended “slow time” of the original release. Rounds would go on for about ten minutes, but now they last only six minutes. Also, any of your previous best times have been adjusted to reflect the actual real-time length of the bout. The tutorial was also shortened; it's now broken down into two parts, dodging and blocking. You can also skip the blocking section the first time through.

Your Opponents, Dialed Back

Your opponents have had some mechanics reworked as well, with Crimson Fang, Scurvy, and Tri-tip all getting nerfed in one way or another to balance them out. Changes to their attack patterns and a healthy (and helpful) dose of damage reduction should make advancing in the game slightly easier (our original foray got us to only the second opponent, so we’re all about that). We still have a score to settle with Crimson Fang, and the new update gives us the tools, training, and tenacity to step into the ring once again and throw hands with the opponents of Knockout League.

Knockout League is available now on Steam and Oculus for $20.

Derek Forrest
Derek Forrest is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes hardware news and reviews gaming desktops and laptops.