(As first published on ITWeb)
WWE ’13 has been hyped as a new revolution in the wrestling gaming genre. While the core of the title is still a brilliant fighting game, THQ succeeds in significantly improving the story and creating a more fluid game.
The game plays like a typical WWE game: button mash until the opponent is weak and take him down through traditional signature moves. The controls are simple and intuitive, making it simple to pick-up. There are also a number of smaller changes to the controls like auto-finishers that make that it easier to play.
The typical shallow single player story is thrown out for a linear, six chapter story of the Attitude era: a period of 90’s when the dominance of WWE is being challenged by the WCW, a rival wrestling company. The Attitude era story revolves around the WWE’s biggest stars (including the Rock, Triple H and others) and how they help to make the WWE the preeminent wrestling company. The story engaging, fun and replays some of the most memorable fights and plot points of the last 20 years.
Unfortunately, not everything works well in the game. The sound and commentary is cut from live matches and the camera is changes to match approach used on TV. Unfortunately neither of these works and takes away from the theatrics of the game. The commentary is very distracting, the sound doesn’t always match the feel of the match and the camera shifts are jarring and confusing.
Customisation is a huge part of the franchise and there is a massive amount that can be done – from customising your wrestlers looks and moves, all the way to the wrestling ring and arenas. These can also be uploaded to the online community with a relative amount of ease. The one negative is that the menu was very clunky and needs significant improvement.
This is probably the best wrestling game in the WWE series. The new story mode is fun, controls are intuitive and makes for a great party game. While the game is definitely unpolished and there is significant room for improvement, it will definitely satisfy fans of genre.
Pros: Attitude era story is great, controls are intuitive, great party game
Cons: Sound, commentary and camera angles are poor, framerate issues