The WWE is all about the spectacle, all about the event (no matter how scripted it may be). It’s a show about pulling off huge stunts and getting a reaction from the crowd. It’s almost classic in its style you have the wrestler who is the obvious fan favourite then you have the bad guy, the wrestler who is willing to do everything to win even if it means cheating. It’s almost like a pantomime at times but when it gets into game form it becomes more as the player is able to shape the events that are to come. WWE ’13 is the new edition of THQ’s top wrestling game and looks to continue its tradition of being one of its popular titles. Bringing back the Attitude Era and adding enhancements to the game engine they look to keep the fans happy and offer plenty of chances to open up a can of whoop ass on the opposition.
Any wrestling fan will head straight to the Attitude Era option when they start the game as this is the most eagerly awaited part of the game. Working as the story mode WWE ’13 it heads back into the history of the WWE to pull its story lines pushing the player into one of the most popular eras of the wrestling show. Giving them the chance to play through such story lines as the birth of D-Generation X, the Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Vince Mcmahon feud and the genesis of The Rock character as “The Great One” the player gets to take part in the most famous matches. During these fights there are rules that have to be met to succeed and historical moments to include, if these are all done then a bonus is unlocked. This is used to create the story the player takes part in. Of course you can cheat a little and miss out a few but then you won’t unlock the bonus. When these bonuses include such things as Austin and Attitude Era Mankind you obviously want to get the bonus. What this all adds up to is the most enjoyable part of the game, especially with the feeling of success the fights give when you finally manage to fulfil all the criteria.
Added to this is the WWE Universe mode which pulls the game back into the present. This mode includes all of the up to date wrestlers (but for the ones saved for DLC of course) and fits with the newer style the WWE has taken now. There is less attitude but more spectacle, though some of the script seems very biased towards making John Cena the most important part of the game. For the fans though (and non Cena fans) more time is spent making sure he loses at every given opportunity. The WWE Universe mode is not as engrossing as the Attitude Era, but this is not for negative reasons, it is a fun section, just not as engrossing as the stronger stories of the past. I will admit to needing more time to fully try this mode out, it still may prove me wrong.
Outside of the two main modes are the “Exhibition” style events where you choose what type of one off match you want (or tournament such as King of the Ring). Here you get the chance to play all the different kinds of matches which include events such as Hell in a Cell, Ladder matches, Tables and of course TLC. These types of matches in the past have felt quite annoying as changes were made to make them more of a challenge and more exciting, which have failed. A lot of work seems to have gone into these modes this time though to bring back the fun element. You’ll be throwing people through tables and off the Hell in a Cell with ease and for the fans this is the important thing.
WWE ’13 in my opinion is probably the best wrestling game THQ have provided us with in years. Previous versions have attempted to make the experience better, with tweaks to matches and the customisation elements that have been hit and miss at times. This time though time has been taken to bring back the fun, the ease of controls and the feel of actually having a storyline in the events. The wrestler animations have had improvements so have the arenas and while I won’t use such a cliché line as “probably the closest you can get to wrestling without heading into the ring” what the game does is create quite an addictive experience that pulls you into the game, it’s not perfect yet there are still many things that can be improved but for now, it may just be one of the best WWE games THQ have made.
WWE ’13 is released in the UK 2nd November and is available now in North America courtesy of THQ