Review by horror_spooky
"Gimme a hell yeah!"
The most famous (and infamous) period in professional wrestling history occurred in the late 90s during a period known as the Attitude Era. It was at this point that the two largest wrestling companies of all time, World Championship Wrestling and what was once called the World Wrestling Federation, went head to head in a brutal war for ratings. The results? Wrestling's greatest superstars, an exhausting list of unforgettable moments, and a pro wrestling popularity boom rivaled only by the one that occurred in the 80s.
To celebrate this storied and loved era of professional wrestling, THQ has created WWE '13, a game that takes a look back on the best moments of the Attitude Era, taking us through storylines involving wrestling legends such as The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and more, step by step, in what is the most accurate representation of the time, showing just how great the booking was in the late 90s to boot.
Attitude Era Mode is the bread and butter of WWE '13. This mode starts in 1997, at the height of the feud between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. It continues all the way to WrestleMania XV, which saw Steve Austin face The Rock in the main event. Over the course of this story mode, players take control of various wrestlers, ranging from the ones already mentioned to others such as Mankind and Triple H.
Each match has set objectives that must be fulfilled, and optional "Historical Bonus Objectives" that can also be completed for rewards. These rewards include wrestlers to use in multiplayer, new arenas, and bonus matches to play in the Attitude Era mode that may be a bit off the storyline path, but also depicts a special match or memorable moment for the superstars involved.
Honestly, this story mode is the best story mode THQ has pulled off in years. It is certainly better than the Road to WrestleMania mode featured in WWE '12, and that is without any doubt. With a style reminiscent of the classic Nintendo 64 wrestling games such as WWF No Mercy, Attitude Era mode is what wrestling fans have been asking for since THQ acquired the WWE license.
Yes, I had a lot of fun going through Attitude Era mode. Official WWE clips make up the cut-scenes, providing a much improved presentation over the awkwardly animated cut-scenes in previous games. Voice clips are often taken directly from the broadcasts in regards to any cut-scenes that do happen to be made of in-game graphics for whatever reason, but that also extends to the commentary.
For the most part, the historically accurate audio clips help lend another cool layer over the presentation in WWE '13. Unfortunately, these clips are not always of high quality, and can be grating on the ears. It is also painfully obvious when the commentary switches from canned voice work to the historical soundbites. Commentary also doesn't match up with the action quite right a lot of the time. Other sports games have managed to provide incredible commentary systems that have given their games an authentic feeling. It's time WWE '13 does the same.
The rest of the presentation ranges from impressive to outright ludicrous. The improved physics system lends itself to shocking moments multiple times in the game, and makes the in-ring action that much more entertaining. Wrestlers look great, but the game is filled with a crazy amount of glitches. I've seen wrestlers fly into the sky and disappear into the crowd, and I've seen weapons fly from ramp to the announce table for no discernible reason.
Multiplayer is fun as always. Of course, it's largely the same, but damn it, it's a blast and it probably always will be a blast. That's the thing with this formula THQ has cooked up. Yes, it may be aging, but it's just so incredibly fun in multiplayer, and that's a huge reason why I consistently play these games each and every year. In the meantime, online multiplayer is much better than in any other WWE game before, but it's still not quite there. Connection issues are still a huge pain, matchmaking needs improved majorly, and the community is mostly garbage.
WWE '13 is more of the same. It's WWE '12, but a better version thanks to Attitude Era mode. THQ's DLC plan for the game is a little bit insulting, unfortunately. Wrestlers that have no business being excluded from the game are excluded, including wrestlers that were introduced over half a year in advance of the game. Wrestlers like Damien Sandow and Ryback are noticeably missing, plus the Chris Jericho's signature Lionsault move is being included in a future DLC pack as well.
WWE '13 is certainly a WWE game from THQ. Attitude Era mode will make it more entertaining for older fans than previous entries in the franchise, but it's still not quite the perfect wrestling game. Online needs major improvements made, glitches need to be ironed out, load times need cut, and audio clips need improving. With no other competition, WWE '13 is virtually the only wrestling game worth buying this year, as it is every year.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/08/12
Game Release: WWE '13 (US, 10/30/12)
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