Short's WWE '13 Video Game Review: Is the new game and Attitude Era mode worthy of the hype?

Posted in: More Reviews, MUST-READ LISTING
Nov 6, 2012 - 12:32 PM

By Josh Short

We all have a memory. A memory of wrestling that makes us a fan. My memory is what I believe to be my first experience of watching wrestling; Lita luring Dean Malenko to her hotel room so the Hardy Boyz could attack him. It’s hardly an iconic moment I know but it got my attention. I’ve been a Team Xtreme and WWE fan ever since.

When I think of this memory I question would it fit in with the current WWE product? Could I see Eve luring Zack Ryder to her hotel room so that two of her associates could attack him? Probably not. The reason being? This event took place in a different time, a different era. An era which is the focus of WWE '13: the Attitude Era.

So WWE ’13 focuses on Attitude Era however does it do well? In short; yes. Unbelievably well.

WWE '13’s presentation of the Attitude Era is fantastic. The video packages that showcase what was happening at the time are what you’ve come to expect from WWE’s production team; they’re amazing. These videos will cover months of action but they make every moment seem crucial to the stories that were being told. There are also a collection of photos to compliment the videos that are shown and stored in the video library. An inclusion of ratings timeline throughout the Monday Night Wars is also featured. Together these parts of Attitude Era Mode give you a complete and thoroughly entertaining overview of the events at that time; allowing you to enjoy those individual iconic moments as you actually take part in them.

The player’s actions in Attitude Era mode is also one of the best thing about this game. WWE ’13 gives the player a main objective which they must complete to progress but also allows them to perform "historical objectives". These are key moments that actually happened and the player can choose to perform these objectives to unlock things such as titles, arenas or even bonus matches for Attitude Era Mode. For example, you can play as Shawn Michaels against Bret Hart at Survivor Series. The main objective is to win by pinfall or submission but if you lock Bret in the Sharpshooter in the ring you will unlock Bret Hart, Mr. McMahon in a suit and a bonus Attitude Era match. The fact that the game gives players this option rather than forcing them to do everything the game wanted and then cutting to a video; robbing them of their moment like in WWE ’12 is a fantastic change and should be implemented in to the series from now on.

WWE '13 isn’t all about the Attitude Era though. For some players a wrestling video game is about creating their WWE. Universe Mode returns and is full of far more depth and creativity than its two predecessors. Paul Heyman as "Creative Rabbi" was a fantastic decision. Paul said he didn’t want the game to feel like a "Paul Heyman game"; he wanted the game to represent the player and this is something WWE ‘13 does well.

Branching storylines are the big addition to Universe mode this year, allowing players to change a story in the way they choose. Another big addition is the changes the player can make regarding WWE shows and their schedule. Don’t want Smackdown at all? You can delete it. Want to completely replicate the current WWE schedule? You can by adding and editing shows. The ability to edit rosters, teams, championship holders all return. Statistics regarding championship reign length is also featured along with ability to turn off or turn on different types of storylines that you want to feature. Universe Mode is fantastically addictive and creative, you can relieve the Attitude Era in Attitude Era mode and you can create your Era in Universe Mode.

Speaking of creation, the ability to edit the stage has been added to the Create-An-Arena mode. Championship Editor allows you to change the colour of Championships; sadly you cannot actually change the parts of the title though. Create-A-Superstar, Create-A-Storyline, Create-A-Logo and Create-A-Moveset all return with more additions to each. In fact, Create-A-Finisher or as it now called; Custom Special Moves, allows you to use the moves you’ve created as signatures as well as finisher.

The customization area and the Attitude Era are great features but what about the overall gameplay?

WWE ’13 builds upon its predecessor very well, using the same core gameplay but refining it to make matches much more fulfilling. The limb targeting system is back with more variety in the ways you can attack the body part of your opponent and the overall feel of the gameplay is much more fulfilling but still easy to pick up and play.

The addition of OMG! Moments, moves which the players can use instead of a finisher is a simple and effective idea that adds to the gameplay experience. The OMG! Moments are great and fun to perform; especially with the new feature; WWE Live.

WWE Live aims to create the experience of a live WWE event by using sounds from real WWE crowds. While I appreciate the fact that finally the WWE video game series now sounds like an actual WWE event, for the most part. The blending of sounds feels clunky. The sounds and atmosphere they create are great but when they are transitioning into another sound it feels unnatural.

Overall I am very impressed by WWE ’13; it builds upon WWE ’12 well and provides the player with simple, yet entertaining gameplay as well as new features which will really excite the player. Ultimately WWE ’13 is brilliant game and I believe the franchise is heading in the right direction. Unfortunately though it fails to meet the standards of its slogan; Live the revolution.

The revolution came last year; the next evolution is here with WWE ’13. Although I must same it is a fantastic evolution.

Overall Game Score: 9.5 out of 10.

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