I have been a WWE fan for the past 15 years and I have every WWE game for the past seven years and the evolution of the wrestling gaming genre is like the evolution of man…it is very, very slow. WWE 13 is another step towards the perfect WWE game.
Much like every game in the WWE genre, the graphics have gotten better as the game progresses. The WWE superstars look like who they are supposed to be and the arena look much like they would on TV. The edition of the Attitude Era arenas in exhibition game play is great since some people might not want to play as Stone Cold vs HBK at Wrestlemania 27. When you turn the blood capability on, it looks more realistic, smearing on your opponents head as it drips to the mat. One of the big things that has been fixed is that superstars no longer have the ropes go through them when you perform certain moves. It would have been nice if they had fixed it when a title belt goes though the clothes of a superstar during his entrance though. Overall, the graphics are where they should be for a wrestling game in 2012.
I have played the game for about 36 hours up to this point and so far I have not had nearly the amount of problems that I have had with previous WWE games. When you try to hit a running move, it actually connects. The same goes for springboard moves and diving moves. Last year I could not hit Macho Man’s or HBK’s elbow drop to save my life. The gameplay is more realistically slower which may not sound like a good thing but it adds to the overall feeling that you are watching something that could be happening on RAW or Smackdown rather than playing a game. When you try to pull your opponent up to his feet, it takes a second just like it would on TV. When you try to Irish Whip someone, it takes a more realistically slower pace as it feels like the opponent is trying to resist it. A new physics system has been put in place so Rey Mysterio can no longer lift The Big Show. The AI knows not to even try. The AI will automatically to a hurricanrana or a simple kick to the head. One of the coolest little add ons this year is the pinning duel system. Sometimes when you pin someone using the leverage pin, they will reverse it and you have the capability to reverse their pins. Overall the gameplay is definitely a step up and it is a lot more fun to play this year than it was last year.
WWE 13 has the most expansive roster in franchise history with superstars from the current PG era and Attitude era. There are some noticeable missing characters like The Hardyz and The Dudleys from the Attitude era but since they are current TNA superstars, you cannot expect them to be in the game. One of the things that is inexcusable is the absence of Tyson Kidd, who was given a bit of a push when the game was in development. Tyson is absent in the game while Ted Dibiase, who was on the injured list is in the game, it does not make sense. Another sad thing is the amount of Divas in the game. When you first get the game out of the box, only 3 or 4 current WWE Divas are available, other have been fired or have left WWE. I understand that most people will not play as the Divas but it would have been nice to have added some current Divas Tamina, Kaitlyn, and Aksana rather than to have the Bellas and Kharma. If you want more superstars, during the holiday season, a DLC pack will be released with more current stars like Antonio Cesaro, Damien Sandow, and Ryback. There will also be a title belts pack and a move list pack that will be released at the same time.
When I first got the game, the first thing I did was to go to the creative suite and make my favorite original Create-A-Wrestler Jason Gryphon. I was happy to see that all the parts I needed to create him were still intact. There are a few new things in the CAW options but not nearly enough in my opinion. Transparency is back as well as a feature that remembers what colors that you have used the most. The long and the short of it is that if you created someone in WWE 12, you will be able to create them in WWE 13. The create a finisher is again pretty much the same but it seems a bit more fluid. For you Kevin Steen fans out there, you can finally create a real Package Piledriver. The big new feature in the creative stuff is the stage entrances for create-a-arena. I have seen what some other people have been able to create like the TNA and ROH arenas and they are simply amazing. Because the game is so fresh a lot of the more creative CAWs have not had the opportunity to be uploaded to the Community Creations yet. I have seen a rather awesome Kurt Angle that someone has been able to create. Hopefully in a couple of months you will have to capability to create the roster of your choice. One thing that I wished would have been updated was the Create an Entrance Video. That was one of my favorite little features last year but sadly all of the entrances are the same as they were in WWE 12. That feature gives your original CAWs a little something extra. If you are disappointed about certain superstars being deleted this year like I was, the good thing is that if you find a CAW that you like on Community Creations their moveset and entrance are now presets in the creative suites. WWE has brought back the Create a Title feature but it is nothing like it was in the old game. The only thing that you can do in this feature is alter the colors of existing titles that are already in the game.
WWE Universe 3.0:
This was the feature that I was most excited for. I love going through WWE Universe and seeing what crazy cutscene pops up after a match. There are a few new ones that I will not spoil and most of the ones from WWE 12 are still there. The big thing that THQ advertised about were branching cutscenes for storylines where you could choose what happened next. I have played the game for 10 days and I have only seen one of these and even then, the options were blacked out. Those branching cut scenes are either extremely rare or there is some kind of glitch that needs to be fixed. This year you can create your own show, put in on WWE Universe, and play it every week. You can replace RAW with NXT, you can put TNA Impact on Wednesdays, or you can replace horrible PPVs with names like Capital Punishment with Unforgiven or King of the Ring. If you want to get rid of WWE Superstars and just have RAW and Smackdown, you can do that. Another feature that will make many people happy is that you can now control who you want to be the #1 Contenders for championships in WWE Universe. Are you sick of Santino Marella or John Cena getting title shots? If so, you can move them to the bottom of the rankings and move someone you want to the top.
Attitude Era Mode:
Finally we come to the main event, the main selling point about WWE 13, the fact that you can relive what made the most of us wrestling fans in the first place, The Attitude Era. I have played through about 3 modes so far and it is quite entertaining. You start off the game during the Rise of DX and relive some epic moments like the first Hell in a Cell match, The Montreal Screwjob, and the beginning of Austin 3:16. During the cutscenes, it is hard to tell whether HBK and Austin redubbed their lines or if they used the voices from actual footage. This year when you are put in a match you are given a set of objectives to accomplish like hitting someone with a chair to cause of DQ or hitting someone with a finisher three times before pinning them to win the match. If you accomplish the objectives, you will unlock things like characters and title belts. The objectives add a sense of accomplishment that last years Road to Wrestlemania failed to deliver on. One thing that I would have loved to see in the game is a feature after you have beaten the game the way you were supposed to, you could go back and alter the timeline of events such has having HBK win against Steve Austin at Wrestlemania or have Kane break The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak. If you have been a fan of WWE for a long time, you know what is going to happen already but it is nice to relive some of your favorite moments such as throwing Mankind off of the Hell in a Cell. Attitude Era Mode is definitely a selling point to this game. It will be interesting to see where WWE 14 takes us next year in the WWE timeline but I would love to relive the Golden Age of Hogan, Savage, and Warrior.
Overall this game is still pretty much what you would expect. There is nothing really mind blowing about it but if you are a fan of WWE and their past games, you should definitely pick it up. I give the game a 7.8 out of 10.
Thank you for reading this, if you would like to hear more of my ramblings, you can go to my Twitter page @TheMichaelG85