What’s up guys? Hopefully all is well with everyone as we begin to enter the Holiday season. Meanwhile the hardcore gaming season is nearing its close. November 20th’s Hitman: Absolution marks the last big release this year. There are more releases, but none carry a big hype train like the last few big titles. Of course one of those being Call of Duty:Black Ops 2, the giant gorilla-elephant hybrid in the room. But of course, today we’re here to talk about of my new favorite titles, THQ‘s new iteration of their yearly WWE game, WWE ’13. Some of you may remember my WWE ’12 review last year, which was my first review for The Daily Rotation! I feel like we’ve had a great year together! We’ve reviewed games such as Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Madden 13, and Borderlands 2. I mean, all that in the span of a year is awesome! But onto the game now…
When THQ released WWE ’12, they took the franchise in a totally new direction. A new engine, improved graphics, improved game play, overall a solid entry but it had some serious flaws. After playing it, I was very curious to see what they would do with ’13. Well, once it was announced, I knew I’d be buying it day one. Two words had me glued…Attitude Era. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it was a period in the WWF(E) that revolutionized the entire industry. It was a step away from the gimmicky characters and a move to much more real, far edgier story lines. It launched WWF(E) from getting 1.5-2.5 ratings every Monday night to new heights where they were getting 8.0 ratings some weeks.
It came to be known as the Monday Night Wars when WWF(E) was in stiff competition with WCW. This game goes back to recreate the important stuff between SummerSlam 1997 to WrestleMania 15 in 1999. You start out in the Rise of D-Generation X story which tells, duh, the rise of DX. When you do these matches, its not enough to just beat your opponent up and then pin them. You CAN do that, but you’ll fail the objectives and won’t be able to unlock anything. You have objectives to do during the matches, some of them are even hidden until the right situation is accomplished. Objectives range from “Hit BLAH with a chair while in the ring” to “Win the Attitude Moment” which is just a cut-scene where you have to press the right button within a certain time. Some of them, especially the timed ones, can be very frustrating. There is one part where you play as the Undertaker and you have to KO Paul Bearer inside of the Hell in a Cell in under a minute. I’m not even kidding, this caused me to rage so hard I had to turn off my game and walk away for a few hours.
It can get very insane at times, but all in all, its very VERY enjoyable. I can’t speak for people who are new to wrestling or at least didn’t watch during that time, because I was very into wrestling during that time and I do remember the majority of the major story lines, so this was very nostalgic for me. Another awesome feature is one that returns from the past few years, Universe mode, which is basically like a season mode from other sports games. You play an unlimited amount of time in the WWE, but its broken down to years. You start out the week after WrestleMania and go to the next year’s WrestleMania. After that, you can continue for as long as you’d like. Like years past, you can still edit rosters, champions, etc. But this year you can edit your shows.
I personally set mine up to reflect the late 90s. I had RAW is WAR on Monday nights, I got rid of Superstars, had Smackdown back on Thursdays and I set up older PPVs every month. I even edited in the titles from that time period as well. And of course with the Attitude Era focus this year, there is an abundance of older superstars ranging from Stone Cold and HBK (From DX) to Mankind and 1999 Rock & Undertaker. There’s a literal butt load of them in this game. As well as a large selection of current era guys like CM Punk and John Cena. But the biggest addition to Universe mode this year is the new story lines written by the evil genius Paul Heyman himself. There are a ton of them, and some of them are even branching ones. It will give you choices such as “Hit opponent with chair” or “Throw chair back”. It really adds a lot of realism to it. I hated how in previous games the story lines were out of your hands and at times didn’t make sense. I’ve had a very babyface John Cena beat me, celebrate with the crowd, but then in a Universe cut-scene, beat the shit out of me with a chair.
I’ve yet to see any cut-scenes in this years game that didn’t make sense, so far. Also, one of the biggest complaints and largest problems about WWE ’12 was that the players were CONSTANTLY given the Server Unavailable message when trying to access the online portion, including the Community Creations section where we upload and download our creations in the game. THQ took a lot of flack for the server problems and fixed them somewhat near the end of WWE ’12‘s life. Well, I’m glad to say that the problems are easily 95% fixed now this year. From day one, I have been able to access the Community Creations suite without issue, I currently have the limit filled in CAWs, and the online, while broken for other reasons, was much MUCH better when it comes to lag. However, the game does have some other issues online but it falls under the reversals. But THQ says they are looking into it, so hopefully it’ll be fixed soon. Hopefully.
Aside from the many things that are great about this game, many problems still exist. From random glitches involving weapons, to wrestlers glitching out to the crowd, to moves not connecting right, a lot of problems are still very much present. And aside from them adding over 300 moves to the game, which I must admit, is amazing, the creation suite, at least when it comes to creating wrestlers, is virtually exactly the same. Very few new items were added since last year (which could be argued was the same as 2011), which is annoying for people like me who love to create wrestlers for the game. The only real new addition to the creation suite is the Create An Arena mode. It was introduced last year, but it should have been called create a ring. But this year, they went all out, you can customize the ring, size of the crowd, the stage, literally just about anything. Its great stuff for us creators. I have a video about it which Ill post up now where I use it to create the 2003 Smackdown “First” arena.
Time to break out some Pros/Cons list here:
Pros: Improved graphics. Improved gameplay. Attitude Era! Fixed server issues from
last year. Create An Arena got injected with steriods.
Cons: Some past problems and glitches still exist. New problems for online players. CAW is literally the same.
All in all, this game is very much a win win for me and if you’re into wrestling, I’d say its a win win for you too. Its extremely better than last years title which started off strong when I reviewed it, but it didn’t even take 2 weeks to feel very lackluster. I feel I’ll be hanging on to this one and it’ll keep spinning in my disk tray, at least until WWE ’14, which is virtually already announced. Also, a quick side note, if you do pick up the game, I suggest picking up the Fan Axxess, which is basically what season passes are for other games where you pay for all the DLC at once and get a discounted price. Its $19.99, or for PS Plus members right now, it’s only $10. You get a hefty number of superstars from current and Attitude era, including Ryback, Antonio Cesaro, Damien Sandow, Rikishi & Too Cool, Gangrel, and a lot more and if you buy the Fan Axxess, you get the exclusive DDP & Goldust as well. You also get the upcoming Championship pack which adds a ton of new belts to the game, and you also get the Moves pack which will add even more moves. Everything is due out by mid-January. I highly recommend it.
WWE ’13 – 8.5/10