"The Attitude Age Is Back"
I remember the mid- to late 90s like they were yesterday. Sure, those years brought us The Matrix and a string of ear-bleeding bubblegum pop and boy bands, but they also brought us some of the best Professional Wrestling the world had ever seen. THQ's newest wrestling game, WWE '13, brings us back to the attitude age of pro-wrestling, and that's something that's going to perk the ears up of long-time wrestling fans who are paying attention.
The choice to move the franchise back to this era of pro wrestling is a good strategy on THQ's part, because "old-timers" like myself who spent their late teens watching this stuff are going to eat it up, and younger fans who want a background on the newer stuff will love to get a chance to play a contemporary game with the old favorites. The franchise may have refreshed itself last year, but WWE '13 is a step up for various reasons. One of the reasons for this is because Paul Heyman has returned to pen up the storylines this time around. Now, that is something to be happy about (if you're a pro-wrestling fan).
Let's continue past the fanboy wrestling talk and get to the other aspects of the game. Starting with graphics, WWE '13 looks fantastic. There are very few times when you see jitters or strange motions, but wrestling games have come a long way, and the graphics in WWE '13 are superb comparatively. As far as recreating the actual feeling of real life arena matches, WWE '13 still hasn't achieved the exact feeling we, wrestling fans, have been waiting for in game. It may take another year or so for THQ to concentrate on atmosphere and sound to get us really into what it feels like to be at (or watch) a match, but WWE '13 is close.
There is also plenty of in-game content to help bring back those memories or to help new fans get in touch with the past. Meticulous recreation, cutscenes, story exposition, and familiar plot strings all bring the attitude era back to life, making WWE '13 almost a pro-wrestling history lesson or interactive museum of the franchise.
Each match will tempt you to recreate these old matches of the past millennium by completing a full set of objectives. These objectives are optional, but older fans will probably want to do them all to re-create that match exactly. Controls can be a bit sluggish or off, but I think this is something fans of wrestling games have become accustomed to. This is no justification, but it will be easy for wrestling gamers and fans to look past this. Gamers outside of pro-wrestling games, however, will be just sort of frustrated. What I'm trying to get at here is that this isn't a Capcom fighting game.
Customization in WWE '13 is huge and expected. From each wrestler, to the arena and ring, there is plenty to keep customization freaks busy. Customized models and arenas can be used in the online matches.
So what's the verdict? A few shaky graphics, a couple design elements that need tweaks, and some rough controls all can't outweigh WWE '13 as an amazing game for the fans. WWE '13 has probably offered me the most fun I've had playing a pro-wrestling game since the attitude age itself. Okay, maybe that statement is a little overboard, but it's hard as a wrestling fan not to be excited about what this game offers. Which is where the conclusion of this review leads: WWE '13 is for the fans. Those who want a fighing game will need to go elsewhere, but those who ever watched wrestling in the attitude era or watch WWE now will absolutely love it. This is some great fan service.
GameDynamo's Score for WWE '13 (X360)
Three things describe Rando: Good beer, good food, and video games. On occasion, Rando flies a zeppelin through time seeking power crystals.
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