World Championship Boxing Manager 2 is a sequel to the 1990 sports sim game. Developed by Mega Cat Studios, this new installment looks to revamp everything that fans loved about the original, while keeping that retro feel intact. I got to play through a brief demo of World Championship Boxing Manager 2 at PAX East and walked away excited to get my hands on the full release.
In World Championship Boxing Manager 2, players recruit and sign boxers to their program. Each boxer has their own unique physical appearance, stats, and name. From your office, there are a plethora of activities that you can participate in to improve your program. This includes training, which lets you go day by day and plan out the weekly training schedule for your boxers. You can assign rest days, and designate different days to focus on specific workouts. Each workout corresponds to a different attribute, and prioritizing it will help the boxer develop faster.
On the calendar, managers will be able to sign their boxers up for different tournaments. Some are standard, easier tournaments, while others feature boxers of a higher rank, offering a tougher challenge. Once I assigned my best boxer to an event, I was able to sim to the day of the fight and watch the showdown. Just as my own boxers have a unique loadout of stats and traits, so did my opponent.
When the fight began, I was able to watch from the side of the ring as the fighters threw punches back and forth, with their respective health bars letting me know who was landing hits, and how hard they were hitting. At the end of each round, I was able to apply different items to my fighter, like ice packs and swabs
During this period, I was also able to change his fighting style. Options included being aggressive, playing conservatively, taking risks, or just going with a neutral approach. I was changing my style each round, figuring out what worked, what didn’t, and adapting to how the enemy boxer was fighting. There was a good bit of strategy that went into managing a fight from round to round.
After the 10-round match was over, the two boxers received points based on each round, which were added to determine a winner. I lost by just a few points, and my fighter got a loss on his record. I had the option to either reprimand him for his performance or encourage him. While reprimanding him would have hurt his happiness, it would have increased his development growth during the next week of training.
There was just a small slice of World Championship Boxing Manager 2 available to me during the demo, but I quickly got a sense of what the core gameplay loop will be like. Juggling a roster of boxers and managing them during fights is exciting sports sim goodness, and I look forward to seeing how other elements of gameplay fold into that loop when the full game launches.
These impressions are based on an in-person demo played at PAX East 2022. World Championship Boxing Simulator 2 launches later this year for PC later this year.