WWE games have faced a real problem in recent times. They are catering for two types of fans – the fans who know every wrestler from the WWF days to now, to the fans who lost interest when the Rock went off to Hollywood. How do THQ deal with this? The Attitude Era!
WWE 13 focuses on the Attitude Era and the rise of WWE Legends like Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Both the idea and the execution is amazing. Replacing the Road to Wrestlemania career mode, WWE 13 allows you to re-create the past events, even giving you historical objectives to attempt to complete in each match so that you can re-create exactly what happened.
As mentioned above, the career mode is now the Attitude Era in which you start off playing The Rise of D-X from 1997 and continue playing many characters of that time including Hunter Hearst Helmsley (Triple H to the younger fans), Shaun Michaels, Mankind and yes, even Kane. You’re set match objectives as well as historical objectives in order to complete the game. The match objective is usually to win the match via pinfall or submission and is usually achieved quite easily. The historical objectives however, can be a real pain in the butt to complete, but they allow you the satisfaction of re-creating the match almost exactly as you remember it! Historical objectives can be anything from distracting the ref to allow your tag partner to cheat, hitting someone over the head with a chair, or simply just performing your finisher a certain number of times. Completing the historical challenges often prompts cut scenes – making the match just that much more “real” but they also allow you to unlock a whole load of new things, from wrestlers such as Triple H and Davey Boy Smith to new move sets, arenas and even match types. There is plenty of incentive to keep replaying the matches!
The attitude Era mode is separated into separate storyline segments that chart each character paths to the top or bottom of the WWE and making the Attitude mode very big. You get to play through the Ride of D-X, Austin 3.16 and the Brothers of Destruction (to name a few)- effectively showing the rise of the Monday Night Wars between WCW and WWE through the chart.
Grappling itself has improved massively over the last few years, however in WWE 13 it feels more fluid than ever. You can target your opponents individual limbs, steal finishers, wake-up taunt and all other sorts of fun moves all with the use of just the strike and grapple buttons (which feels far less overwhelming than it did back in WWE 12). There are minor tweaks that make the game leaps and bounds better than its predecessors, such as submissions are still the usual button-bashing tug-of-war, however now, if the player trapped in the submission manages to break out, it turns into a reversal rather than the attacker just letting go and backing off. You can now also hit opponents into the ropes, turnbuckles and commentary tables for extra grapple moves, without having to throw them there first. Again, just one of those really nice logical fixes that makes the game so much nicer to play!
Graphics & Sound
WWE games are famed for their dodgy audience animations and incredibly annoying commentary. WWE 13 has made a small improvement with the commentary at least, pulling sound clips straight from archival broadcasts – allowing the commentary to really flow and adding to the feeling that you’re replaying the attitude era. Even the crowd noise incorporates samples from live audiences and broadcasts and it really is a nice touch to the game. The game has captured the look of the wrestlers, with their attitude era outfits, even including additional Stone Cold outfits for those of you that pre-ordered the Stone Cold Steve Austin edition of the game, however the crowd seems to have not been touched on at all from the previous game. Not that this is really a problem, but it would be nice to have a crowd of people not all looped in the same set of moves.
WWE 13 is a fantastic game, that has improved the already great gameplay even more, with just a few minor tweaks and is sure to impress players with its superb single-player Attitude Era experience. There are some mild annoyances in the game, but nothing that disturbs the overall gameplay and every wrestling fan – young or old should definitely pick this game up. It will not disappoint!
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.