According to fresh details currently sparring around the internet, EA's forthcoming next-gen brawl-fest, Fight Night Round 3, is promising to bring a staggering new level of detail to the delicate and graceful art of punching someone squarely on the nose.
Working closely with US sports TV network ESPN, EA is attempting to bring all the teeth-shattering, brain hemorrhaging fist-focused action of live televised boxing to the comfort of your sofa - in videogame form, obviously. "EA turns on TV - boxing match is on" wouldn't make too much of a story.
One of EA's key goals for the franchise this time around is to create unique personalities for each of the fighters in the game. Alongside detailed back-stories for each character, every boxer has his own individual combat style, forcing gamers to explore and exploit each character's nuances if they plan to wield the fiercest fists and wonkiest conk in the game. The developer's have even gone as far as incorporating different damage models for each fighter, meaning they'll bruise and bleed differently in the ring. Oh God, no! Not like that!
With all this attention lavished on fighters - dust particles, real-time shadows and individual rippling muscles are promised too - it should come as no surprise to hear that EA is keen to show off its visual achievements as much as possible. To this end, EA has apparently done away with the usual in-game HUD, instead relying on the fighters' facial expressions and general appearance to indicate their current conditions. Presumably if your collarbone is sticking out of your hip, then it's time to have a bit of a sit down.
To top everything off, the usual roster of commentaries will be accompanied by real-time picture-in-picture videos of commentators gurning along to their words, and the game will automatically select the best bits of your matches to playback in a highlights reel.
From the sounds of it, Fight Night Round 3 is promising to pack some serious punch (sorry) when it finally arrives on Xbox 360 and PS3 some time in 2007.