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WWE '13 Review (X360)

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WWE '13 Review (X360)
THQ
WWE '13 takes everything that was great about last year's fantastic WWE '12 and makes one key improvement - the addition of the Attitude Era. The current state of the WWE is pretty darn dismal, which has translated into the videogames having awful rosters full of midcarders and jobbers who are hard to get excited about. How do you fix that? Time travel back to the Attitude Era of the late '90s to early '00s when Stone Cold, The Rock, Mankind, DX, and more were in their prime and wrestling was actually interesting. By expanding the roster to include both current stars and Attitude stars, WWE '13 automatically has the best roster ever in a wrestling game and that by itself makes it worth a look.
Game Details

  • Publisher: THQ
  • Developer: Yuke's
  • ESRB Rating: “T" for Teen
  • Genre: Wrestling
  • Pros: Tons of modes; Attitude Era!; fun gameplay; customization options
  • Cons: Occasional glitches; so-so visuals

Features and Modes

Many of the modes in WWE '13 have seen only minor improvements over last year's entry, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The core of the game is still built around the WWE Universe mode where you have total control over the WWE TV shows and pay per view events. You can make matches however you want, change titles any way you want, and use the fantastic customization features to make your own wrestlers, moves, move sets, finishers, entrances, and even write your own custom storylines. You can also make custom arenas to play in. You control absolutely everything.

All of the crazy gimmick match types return as well, so you'll be able to play TLC, ladder, cage, Hell in a Cell, Elimination Chamber, inferno, iron man, Royal Rumble, and more. New this year are special referee matches (not really "new", they just weren't here last year) and the ability to hold a King of the Ring tournament.

Attitude Era

Replacing the Road to Wrestlemania mode from the past couple of games is the Attitude Era mode. In the Attitude Era mode you start out in 1997 with the formation of DX and then move through several key storylines from the era. When you start the game you only have a handful of Attutide superstars unlocked and have to play through the Attitude Era mode to open them up (along with tons of other unlockable goodies), so it is definitely worthwhile.

One complaint we do have about the Attitude Era mode is that in order to progress through it you are required to precisely re-create the same moments that happened in real life. If the real match ended with a specific move or specific sequence of moves, or weapon strikes, or disqualifications, or escaping the cage, or whatever, you have to do it exactly like it happened all those years ago. If you don't have a good memory, or didn't see the events happen live way back when, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out exactly what you're supposed to do. Just performing some of the complex sequences to end certain matches can be very difficult as well. All in all, though, the Attitude Era mode is an enjoyable trip down memory lane (just remember that when in doubt, do a ref bump because that happened a lot back then) and is greatly improved over the story modes in past games. It is also really lengthy and offers many, many hours of storylines to play through.

Gameplay

THQ
The streamlined, intuitive, fast paced, and fun gameplay from WWE '12 returns mostly unchanged, but there are some tweaks. The reversal system is a little friendlier now, with a button prompt popping up when you can do a reversal, but the timing is still pretty tight. "OMG!" moments where you throw an opponent through the barricade or even break through the ring with bigger stars add some fun and epic moments. Perhaps my favorite feature is that you can give your character infinite finishers in exhibition matches, and it is always fun to start off a match with a Code Breaker or Rock Bottom, just to say hello. We're also big fans of the selection of A.I. sliders (man, I love sliders in sports games) that let you adjust how often the CPU will reverse moves and even how much damage finishers or weapons do. The gameplay is easy to figure out and works fantastically with all of the creation options to give you as many tools at your disposal to have fun as possible.

Graphics & Sound

Tying everything together in WWE '13 is the mostly fantastic presentation. The arenas and crowds look surprisingly good this year, and little touches like the oldschool sets for Raw and Smackdown or PPV events and even the proper fonts used for the TV graphics really make a difference. The character models are a bit hit or miss, with some looking fine, while others look kind of borderline terrible. The animation for all of the moves is good, at least, with smooth transitions between moves and far less jarring, herky jerky movements that wrestling games usually feature.

The sound is also good overall. Most of the proper theme music is here and sounds awesome. Jim Ross and The King do commentary for the Attitude Era mode (The King and Michael Cole do it for normal matches, though) and it is generally quite good. The Attitude Era commentary uses both newly recorded stuff along with the real broadcast audio from when the matches actually happened, which is very cool, but results in some strange volume (and mood) changes when you go from normal calm commentary to "BY GAWD HE'S BROKEN IN HALF" at the drop of a hat.

Bottom Line

THQ
All in all, WWE '13 is another solid entry in the franchise. It doesn't take huge leaps forward like WWE '12 did, but it refines everything the last game did and is all around a better game. It is one of the most fully featured wrestling games ever with the fantastic WWE Universe mode and wealth of customization options and also features easily the best roster to ever appear in a wrestling game. The importance of the addition of the Attitude Era cannot be overstated. For many fans, the Attitude Era is what made us fans in the first place, so having all of the old guys for us, and all of the newer guys for the kiddies of today, makes this a great wrestling game for fans of any era. If you're a wrestling fan, past or present, WWE '13 is worth a purchase.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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