WWE '13

More Fun If You Don’t Play

Sorry CM Punk, WWE ‘13 isn’t taking home the belt this year.
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: January 14, 2013
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Decades ago when I was still a young’un I enjoyed WWF wrestling as much as the next guy. My grandfather and I would gather around the TV on Tuesday nights to watch Mean Gene Okerlund and Lord Alfred Hayes regale us with commentary about Jimmy “Superfly” Snooka, Iron Sheik and a very young (although still balding) Hulk Hogan. We couldn’t get enough of Piper’s Pit and the controlled chaos of every event. Then I started middle school and I never really went back, even when the “sport” experienced a renaissance in the late 90’s.

That lack of interest in professional wrestling also meant that I skipped over the deluge of wrestling games that started cropping up on the Nintendo 64 and later consoles. In fact, to me there will never be wrestling games that can eclipse classics like Pro Wrestling on the NES (you can’t mess with Star Man) or my all-time favorite Bop’N Wrestle. I broke that trend when UI got my hands on the PSP version of WWE All Stars last year, a game I could appreciate because it paid homage to those wrestlers I adored in my youth.

Therefore I wasn’t totally filled with trepidation when the copy of WWE ‘13 came across my desk for review. I wasn’t bouncing off the ropes with excitement, but I was willing to give it a fair shake. Once I was done with it though I was left wondering if this wasn’t all part of the demise of THQ. This time around the focus of the game is the Attitude Era (aka that 90’s renaissance I alluded to earlier) which meant that I didn’t really give a damn about most of the wrestlers. Developer Yukes has returned and made a few tweaks to last year’s game and I can’t find complaint with how the game looks. How it plays though, well, that is another story.

The central attraction is Attitude Era Mode, a lengthy series of matches that intersperse archival footage with some newly produced bit that follow various famous storylines over a two-year period. The mode is broken up into various chapters that tell different stories like “The Rise of D-Generation X”, “Austin 3:16” and “Wrestlemania XV.” In each chapter you’ll take control of the main protagonist of that chapter and recreate some of the famous fights of that arc while the genesis of the rivalries are explained in amusing over-the-top worked shoots. It’s all very well produced and I did enjoy getting more details of this era that I had mostly only known about from the periphery (most of my knowledge of that era comes from seeing people’s “Because STONE COLD says so” shirts and occasional appearances at my local mall). There are 60+ matches to work your way through so it can keep you busy for quite some time.

Also making a return is Universe Mode, which is more of your standard career mode where you play through WWE “seasons” with plenty of opportunity to customize you own events, wrestlers, belts, arenas or what have you. You can play just about any sort of match that Vince McMahon has ever thought of, from standard matches to cage matches to ladder matches to HELL IN A CELL. There are dozens of real-life wrestlers to choose from and of course you can bring in your own created grappler to lay down the smack.
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