Fight Night: Champion looks superb. It's taken a long time for the franchise to get where it is now, and surprisingly, the biggest changes this year don't come from the tech. Instead, there's a subtle aesthetic shift that really establishes Champion's identity as the most unique installment in the series. Keeping in line with the game's newfound edginess (and Mature rating), the developers have imbued their boxing experience with a gritty, raw, and undeniably human essence. Andre Bishop's story could keep you involved with its high production values alone. It's obvious that Champion Mode is a tribute to classic boxing films, and it's equally obvious that the developers have a cinematic flair that is extremely refreshing to witness in a sports game.
Inside the ring, the visuals are slightly above-average for Fight Night. That's just a roundabout way of saying the animation work is borderline impeccable and the level of detail is above and beyond the call of duty. This is most apparent with the damage effects, which are more realistic and unsettling than ever before. Blood splatters on the trunks of both your boxer and the guy you drew the humor from. It even stains the canvas if you keep at the affected area.
There are some visual problems that occasionally interfere with the fun factor. Having the referee get in the way of the camera during critical make-or-break moments is a real nuisance. Additionally, I ran into some audio/video desynchronization issues during some of Champion Mode's otherwise excellently-produced cutscenes. But it really doesn't matter which way you slice it; Fight Night: Champion is a stunner despite these blemishes.
There's not much to say about Fight Night: Champion from a sound-related standpoint, especially when you judge it alongside the superlative visuals. The voicework in Champion Mode is solid, but the commentary from Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas could use a bit of work. I especially grew irritated with the commentary track when playing Champion Mode; their tendency to state (and then repeat) the painfully obvious took away from the sense of authenticity that the game should be striving for. Thankfully, the licensed music stays out of the way far more than it does in other Fight Night games, and there's even some original stuff that is quite good.