Featuring The Attitude Era, WWE 13 promises you will get to live the revolution.
Culture it is what pro wrestling has always been about it, its been the culture that surrounds it, the television stars, sports icons & even stars that transcended into music. Pro wrestling games has always been a huge part of the wrestling culture. Whether it was the early Super Nintendo Royal Rumble & Raw games , arcade classics like Wrestlefest & Wrestlemania The Arcade Game or the more hardcore series such as The AKI & Smackdown brand of games, you cannot have wrestling events without a game to go along with it.
The developers behind WWE 13 has a great lineage dating back to 1995 with their debut wrestling title Toukon Retsuden, a Japanese wrestling title that was prominently featured on the original Playstation console. In the year 2000 we saw the debut of a new brand of pro wrestling games by WWE called Smackdown. Smackdown at first was releasing the same year as AKI’s brand of games such as Wrestlemania 2000 & No Mercy. No Mercy being AKi’s final WWE game, along with final wrestling game to my memory. It was now up to Yuke’s to carry the torch that AKI ran with for so long, they previously did WCW games as well.
So now some 12 years later we have our 13th core Yukes game, not counting the Wrestlemania series from the GameCube. The thing that has stayed the most tried & true over the series, is that whether you are a novice or someone who loves to turn the computer on hard, you will have a good experience with the game. Speaking of the game play, the game play in WWE 13 is largely reminiscence of WWE 12. Thats not a bad thing in my opinion, that’s a good thing, to quote a certain WCW / WWE legend so to speak.
The controls that were revamped for the first time in many years in WWE 12, return with A being grapple, B being whip , X being Strike & Y being special moves(Finishers,Signatures & Objectives.) I personally was not a fan of the right stick grappling system, because it just did not feel like the wrestling games, that I grew up on, I thought it really added nothing to the game play, aside from a few odd interactive moves but there is a Left stick for that after all as is seen in Undertakers old school move.
Like I said earlier about Yukes wrestling games in the past, this is a game that you pick it up, you can mash a few buttons, pull of some maneuvers & have a good time. It also is a game, that if you talk to some people, read online or dig deeper into the manual who is available in the options menu, a very welcome feature,(save the trees), WWE 13 can be quite a deep experience.
Some new game play elements that have been added to this years game feature such as “OMG” moments, these are basically different instances you can pull off that recreate classic moments such as barricade breaks, Superplex off the top rope to the outside, table finishers & when using two heavyweights you can implode the ring ala Brock Lesnar & Big Show. Catching finishers have also been included, while these are not OMG moments these are something to their own, recreating infamous spots like Orton’s legendary midair RKO’s on Christian, Shawn Michaels springboard Superkick & The Undertakers catching tombstone he did to Shawn Michaels at one of the greatest matches of all time at Wrestlemania 25.
I remember a few years back, one of the WWE games were this is your moment, it might have taken a few years to include some of these crazy moments in WWE history, but the inclusion of those such things, makes it WWE 13’s moment no doubt. In my opinion the gameplay in WWE 13, is about as good as its every going to get, the reversals have been fine tuned, so you see when you missed it, the reversal window for both regular & special moves is just perfect.
One of my favorite part about having matches in WWE 13 is the new leverage pins, you can perform one when your opponent is groggy by hitting the right stick up or down, you will see pins like small packages, jacknife covers, rollups & bridge pins. These can be countered into leverage pins of your own which cam gp back and forth, just one of the little touches that makes you feel like you are having a real WWE match.
Last year I stayed away from the online largely, do to the timing in the reversal system was for me in most matches was completely different. I am happy to say that, its a seamless transition from single player to online, even in MULTI MAN matches. To say this makes me very happy, is an understatement.
There has been a lot of strides made in this years title as far as online goes, Yukes took a page out of Treyarch’s book, they included bots online, so you & another friend or two, can now replace missing slots in a 6 man or 4 man with computer AI, I was tried it & it works pretty good. Also you can now use created Arena’s online, when doing so, no issues was noticed online. There is some issues however with XP, not applying to profiles after ranked games, but I am sure that will be fixed, personally doesn’t matter to most, as most play games mainly with their friends over online.
I really would loved to see the King of the Ring, WWE Universe or even a basic online league system. I have been clamoring for this in years past, while we do not get those things, the improvements & additions to the online experience is a great start & foundation to those things I would love to see.
The online Royal Rumble returns once again, I played one online royal rumble & it worked with no glitches like have been an issue in years past. A big issue with last years game, was the servers would have to go through about 5 loading screens & during those 5 loading screens you could lose your connection. Also it would take forever to download created content, the determination of the WWE Games crew & WWE Games Universe , is visible to getting the online servers where they are today. It was you guys as a community, that scratched, pushed, & clawed and said that, the servers the way they were when WWE 12 shipped, was unacceptable, where WWE 13 online sits is proof of that.
As per tradition of past Yukes wrestling games, every year we get a modification of some game modes and a few additions. Inferno Match in this years game is much improved, as you now see the rigging that is around the ring that the flames shoot out of , instead of dragging your opponent to the ropes you now have to ground then and roll them to the ropes, which is followed by a mini game much like the royal rumble. Also improved is the backstage brawls, now instead of Irish Whips, you now throw people around, while the area’s are largely the same, there is certain hotspots that have multiple attacks such as the circuit breaker box.
One mode that was a surprise to see was The King of the Ring mode, as we have not seen a King of the Ring tournament, since 2010 when Sheamus won the tournament. Now we get a full bracket, with a coronation at the end and everything. In the past we have seen this mode, but it made its return in full glory, now it makes me want to see a King of the Ring on WWE TV again to elevate a new star, I wish this mode was online, but its a fun addition to the huge list of modes.
Also added was special referee mode, which features one player acting as a referee, there is a meter where if you get it full you can DQ people, if you attacks the players in the ring, John Lauranaitis will come out & replace the special ref with Charles Robinson. A mode that I was big fan of in the early years of Smackdown games, was the I Quit match, this mode returns with great timing, to coincide with the Attitude Era Roster & Mode. This mode you have to beat down your opponent, when you feel its time for them to say I Quit, you grapple their head or you put on a submission, the referee will ask them & they will be able to counter with pin kickout style mini game.
Speaking of the Attitude Era, WWE 13 has one of the most comprehensive rosters in history, giving us not only 50 current day superstars, but a roster of over 40 Attitude Era wrestlers to chose from, in the end there is over 100 WWE superstars to choose from giving the wrestling fan, the largest roster in WWE Games history. I can tell you that every single guy on the roster has been given the love & care of almost everyone, there is over 300 new moves & a ton of reanimated moves as well.
Entrances have been updated, such as one of my favorites Kofi Kingston, also there is more title entrances then ever as well. While the superstars are great, what is a WWE experience without legendary arenas in WWE history & present day. There is over 12 current day WWE arena’s & two Attitude Era Wrestlemania arena’s, along with iconic arena’s like Halftime Heat, the Smackdown oval arena & more.
Customize A Championship
The 30 plus championships in WWE 13 can be used as a template, with ability to customize the color of the championship piece & the strap of the championship as well.
Create a Superstar
Create a Superstar is back as one of the most popular modes in WWE Games in the past. Added is something called hit damage, where you can select what parts of the Superstar is the weakest & strongest. Some things I noticed that popped out that may or may not have been in past games
- Jeff Hardy facepaint
- Jig Saw Mask
- Super Dragon Mask
- Jason Mask
- Kamala Mask
- MVP Attire
- Jeff Hardy Underarmour
- Tights designs many of popular Superstars tights you can use on any trunks in the game.
- redesigned naming system featuring WWE.Com layout
- different brand for both exhibition & universe
Create an Entrance
Create an Entrance is very much the same as previous years, but they have added some special theme songs for stables of past, plus more pyrotechnics selections & more title entrances.
Here is the list of preset entrances.
01. Hulk Hogan
02. Jimmy Snuka
03. Mr. Perfect
04. Dusty Rhodes
05. Junkyard Dog
06. Jake Roberts
07. Terry Funk
08. Mick Foley
09. Ricky Steamboat
10. Lex Luger
11. Ultimate Warrior
12. Randy Savage
13. Arn Anderson
01. Kurt Angle
02. King Booker
03. Chris Masters
04. Rob Van Dam
07. Test (ECW)
08. Kenny Dykstra
09. Bobby Lashley
10. Gregory Helms
11. Matt Hardy
12. Balls Mahoney
13. Lance Cade
14. Trevor Murdoch
15. Big Daddy V
16. Shelton Benjamin
17. Paul London
18. Chuck Palumbo
19. Tazz (w/ Towel)
20. Triple H (DX)
21. Randy Orton old
22. Shane McMahon old
23. Tommy Dreamer
25. Charlie Haas
26. Super Crazy
28. Chavo Guerrero
31. Jimmy Wang Yang
32. Jeff Hardy
36. The Hurricane
37. R-Truth (mic)
38. Demolition Ax/Smash
39. Demolition Ax/Smash
40. Michael Cole
41. Jerry Lawler
42. Jim Ross
43. Vladimir Kozlov
44. Trent Barreta
45. Dean Ambrose
46. Sonjay Dutt
47. El Generico
48. Austin Aries
49. Big Show (heel)
50. Alex Riley
51. Evan Bourne
52. Mason Ryan
53. Ezekiel Jackson
54. Husky Harris
55. Michael McGillicutty
56. Tyson Kidd
57. William Regal
58. Yoshi Tatsu
59. Daniel Bryan old
61. Cellphone Guy
62. Appeal to Crowd
63. Looking muscles
02. Torrie Wilson
05. Candice Michelle
06. Mickie James
08. Gail Kim
11. Michelle McCool (LayCool)
14. Cartwheel girl
16. Michelle McCool
01. The Hardys
02. Cryme Tyme
03. The Brian Kendrick & Ezekiel Jackson
04. Jesse & Festus
05. Carlito & Primo
06. Straight Edge Society
11. Arms Raised & Pointing
13. Hawkins & Ryder
14. Shane & Vince McMahon
15. Cade & Murdoch
16. Hooliganz (Kendrick & London)
17. Umaga & Estrada
18. Cena & Tony
19. Hunico & Camacho
01. The Road Warriors
02. The Rockers
Mixed Tag Teams
02. Nitro & Melina
03. Knox & Kelly
04. Paul Burchill & Katie Lea
02. Spirit Squad
05. The Hart Dynasty
06. The Legacy
07. Primo & Epico w/ Rosa
Create an Entrance Video
Create an Entrance is back with many of the same templates as last year, but now you can select more theme songs for the created entrance.
Create an special move (Finishers & Signatures)
In the past it was just finishers that could be created, now you can create signature moves as well, added is a true Package Piledriver for all of you Kevin Steen fans.
Create a Moveset
The move set mode is more versatile then ever, with the ability to customize the limb targeting now as well.
Here is a list of preset move sets
01. Evan Bourne
02. Alex Riley
03. Mason Ryan
04. Ezekiel Jackson
05. Michael McGillicutty
06. Husky Harris
07. William Regal
08. Tyson Kidd
10. John Morrison
11. Chris Masters
12. Vladimir Kozlov
13. Chavo Guerrero
16. Michelle McCool
19. Shelton Benjamin
20. Charlie Haas
22. Kurt Angle
23. Rob Van Dam
24. Mr. Anderson/Kennedy
25. Jeff Hardy
26. Matt Hardy
27. Samoa Joe
28. AJ Styles
29. Ric Flair
30. Roddy Piper
Create an Arena
The created Arena system has been improved, now allowing you to modify elements from the set design recreating such arenas as Raw 2002, Smackdown Fist, the new WWE HD sets, Taboo Tuesday, & Tribute to the troops. The Create an Arena mode, also now allows you to change lighting, arena size & whether its a Attitude Era Crowd or WWE Universe Era crowd.
Retaining the same feature set of past WWE games with this feature you are able to edit various elements of attires, the only big issue I have seen is you cannot complete remove the blue from CM Punk’s attire, on the side of his trunks.
Create a Logo
Create a logo returns, with the same paint tools, great for those looking to customize their arenas. superstars & entrances.
Story designer is back again with more customization, with more story animations, more non playable characters & the ability to make your stories more elaborate then ever, here are some animations that popped out to me
Take That - DX comes out and hits Pedigree & Superkick followed by DX chops.
Card Game with APA - You are having a card game with drinks, playing cards with APA this is branching.
Roulette - The Raw Roulette wheel is seen in the ring and it lands on a star.
Double Tables - One superstar is on double stacked tables on the outside, one goes to top rope & drives an elbow through both tables
Invasion - Two are fighting in the ring, one comes out to help attack, two more come out they argue, then look at the one guy & all 4 attack.
Monster Truck - One guy is talking on his cell phone , then all of the sudden his car, gets run over by a monster truck.
Ortons Teaching - Orton stalking his tag team partner after he poses, then hits with an RKO
The Pyro - The pyro displays for AEM Raw and Smackdown are great, cannot wait to play some really good quality stories.
All of things are great companions to WWE Universe 3.0. WWE Universe 3.0 is the evolution and the third iteration of WWE Universe mode (WUM) for short. I am going to breakdown the features & what is improved over last years title.
Here we have a list of different match cards, there is now 5 matches for major shows & 3 matches for minor shows.Overall pretty basic, not any improvement from last year, but not anything really needed.
Here is where you see a calendar of events, allowing you to move the date of the ppv, allowing you to see in the monthly calendar when various events will be taking place. Branching into each show there is the following options
- Show Name
- Show Logo
- Major,Minor,Tag,Womens Championship
- Match Template
- Universe Draft On or Off
- Rosters Included
- Arena Selection
A huge improvement from last year as you can now have 7 shows a week , 31 days out of the month, as far as I know superstars don’t go on a another show that you do not want, also even though it was in last year, if you have the same belts on the major shows, you can super shows.
Here is where you have a top list of Superstars, who are vying for the championships in your WWE Universe. Not much has changed here, pretty straight forward, nothing really needed to be changed to be honest.
In edit universe you can now custom rankings, vacate championships, & edit Superstars.
- Edit Superstars
First off edit superstars have many of the same features of past years but you can now edit hit ratios, just like you can with caws. The reasoning for this is you can now edit how much damage a given superstar can take based on head, body,arms & legs. Contender status here you can now remove yourself from minor title race, as well see what your major rank is.The relationships shows who your allies are , who you are feuding with & who you are currently tagging with.The last part of the edit a superstar is the stats, breaking down title runs, career length, Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania & Money in the Bank appearances.
- Edit Rosters
One big improvement is now default inactive brand, as well too my best knowledge it keeps them actually inactive. Once you select a brand, it has a new layout showing icons of current roster stars, with options to choose brand name,brand logo/ As well it gives total roster size, superstars, divas , day of airing & shows superstars & what the minimum is.
- Edit Teams
The ability to edit tag teams is back, with basic options as members, name, team announcements(which there is way more then ever), as well edit entrances which brings you to create an entrance for tag teams.
- Edit Titles
Here is where you do everything related to titles, listed at the top is the current WWE titles. You can vacate a title or you can select a list of Superstars & make him the champion.
- Story Options
Here is a bunch of new options such as universe stories,non-ppv stories,team forming/disbanding,crowd reaction changing stories & injury stories.
- Reset WWE Universe
Pretty straight forward, it resets your universe back to system defaults.
One huge improvement with WUM this year is the inclusion of stats for your WWE Universe. You get such stats as Royal Rumble featuring elimination records, win records, length of time in the rumble. Also is Wrestlemania win streak, appearances, & main event appearances as well. The great thing about the stats in WUM, is the fact that it incorporates real life stats as well, a very welcome addition.
Overall I am pretty happy with the improvements to WWE Universe mode, lots of great improvements to the mode, plus all of those stats makes this an ideal mode for those who love arcade games. I have only played around two weeks of Universe mode so I have just barely scratched the surface.
I look forward to playing it a lot more, just like AEM its a great way to introduce yourself to all of the Supestars in the game. One thing to be noted however so if you have 6 cards a week, expect storylines to be a slow burn so to speak.
While WWE Universe will keep the hardcore fans busy till next year, there is a mode that allows you to live the revolution that took place during The Attitude Era, which is a mode that both casual & hardcore fans alike will enjoy.
When I first heard that we could re live the era that I grew up with, to say my mind was blown would be an understatement. It was a team effort of an all star list of WWE Superstars such as Degeneration X, The Rock , Stonecold Steve Austin & The 3 Faces of Foley. The Attitude Era changed our perception of Raw, brought in many new fresh eyes & blurred the lines between who we cheer & who we boo. The Attitude era was a combination of Steve Austin winning the WWE Championship , Bret Hart leaving for WCW & the rise of talents like The Rock, Triple H & Mick Foley.
I am going to try to be as spoiler free as possible, yes I am sure a lot of you guys have experienced The Attitude Era for yourselves.However there is some there have not, so I will do my best to make sure that when you play this mode it is a surprise for you. So first off the main structure of the game is very much like past games there is a handful of chapters, it tells a narrative that you interact with & when you defeat a missions you get unlockables.
In the past games like Legends of Wrestlemania & past WWE games have started using archive videos of historic WWE events & moments of note on WWE television. This time there is over 20 videos telling the stories of The Attitude Era and the Monday night wars. While this mode is told in the perspective of the WWE, we do get a bit of WCW back history during key dates in the Monday night wars.
The Attitude Era mode starts just around when DX was formed in the summer of 1997 leading up to the huge match with Bret Hart taking on The Undertaker with Shawn Michaels as the referee. Last years Road to Wrestlemania story mode while had 3 really good recreations of past WWE storylines with a 2011 twist, the game play was tiresome & became very frustrating.
This is remedied, as instead of simply either having matches then backstage brawls, then repeat you will have the core objective in most cases of just winning the match. While there is a core objective of winning the match, there is something called historic objectives such as doing finishers, using weapons or interacting with something called Attitude Moments. What the Attitude Moments are, are these interactive quick time events just as hitting the ref or interacting with a cinematic, in last years game, this was over used , this years game, it is used very sparingly. The audio experience is much improved in this mode as there is both Jerry Lawler & Jim Ross on commentary giving it that added feel of experiencing the Attitude Era.
While the main feature of the mode is to go through the various chapters featuring Degeneration X , Stonecold Steve Austin, The Brothers of Destruction, 3 Faces of Foley, The Rock & Wrestlemania XV, there is some other features that complements the story that you play through. One of the unlockable features is called Off the Script, this is a bunch of 10 matches featuring other moments taking place in the Attitude Era that tell a story on a per match basis. You get to play as such Superstars as The Godfather, Chris Jericho & Lita.
Like I mentioned before WWE Games & WWE put together over 20 excellently produced video pieces, that tell the story of The Attitude Era, one great feature of AEM is the fact at anytime you can re watch all of the video pieces. I look at it like you getting a tease at the WWE Attitude Era DVD that is coming very soon. Also included is a ratings chart that has a graph that features the Rating from zero to 8, demonstrating the back & forth battle that was The Attitude Era.
While the videos are awesome, you also get a photo gallery for each mission that you defeat, WWE 13 Attitude Era mode is the complete visual representation of the historic era in pro wrestling. What would a video game be without a ton of unlockables, that is one key element of Attitude Era mode is there is over 100 unlockables, that are unlocked via doing main objectives, as well as hidden objectives that pop up when you damage your opponent to critical.
Over the past month I took in a lot of Attitude Era content from the Austin DVD to Monday Night Wars to even watching Beyond the Mat again. I feel this is the most historically correct, immerse & satisfying of all the content that I experienced. I will admit WWE 13 Attitude Era mode is not without faults with your usual situations that were a great idea on tv, but don’t play as well as they could in the game.
The core single player mode in WWE 13 is much improved from last years mode, while there is less backstage area experiences, the accurate objectives that are a lot of fun make up for any lack of backstage. Missing is any co operative or online in this mode, but other then that, this mode leaves me hard pressed to create a list of complaints. If anything The Attitude Era mode is a great introduction to constantly returning stars like Mick Foley, The Rock & Bret Hart. With the ability to create a 1997 – 2001 show in WWE Universe mode, Attitude Era mode is a great introduction & tribute to a fine group of Superstars who made the WWE a household name.
The presentation of WWE 13 is greatly improved with the new feature called WWE Live, with WWE Live the crowd chants more, there is a bigger reaction when signatures & finishers are performed, the crowd generally reacts more to entrances as well. There is a certain feel that is exclusive to WWE matches where the crowd reacts a certain way, they sound a certain way when there is a signature performed & sound an even different way there is a finisher performed, followed by the crowd counting 1 .. 2 ..3. WWE 13 uses real crowd noise from WWE events, it just feels that much more like a WWE show in WWE 13.
WWE 13 also includes a new replay system, as after you perform a finisher you get 3 different camera angles. There is a issues with the final replay of the finisher, as sometimes there is times when the referee gets in the way. The camera cuts can be turned off, display counts can be turned on & one of my favorites, the full HUD can be turned on as well. The lighting in WWE 13 is also improved as the models & arena’s look as detailed & true to life as ever before. While the created superstars still do not look as detailed as the actual WWE Superstars, the quality is probably the closest to the real models that I have seen before.
WWE 13 released literally in a shark infested waters releasing smack dab along with & before titles like Call of Duty , Halo & NBA 2k13 , not to mention all of the other holiday toys. WWE 13 in my opinion offers one of the most complete packages out of all of those potential choices. I really found it very hard to find faults with WWE 13, but those faults do not bring down the score from last years game, but a few things such as WWE 13 lacking a story mode featuring current day roster, odd camera angles glitches with replays & some few commentary glitches, but big picture those things don’t matter.
What really matters is this is a game produced by a team that it is apparent they are fans of what they make, the unmatchable creation suite, the truly epic Attitude Era mode, & the unlimited amount of replay value available in WWE Universe Mode. As pro wrestling fan of almost 20 years WWE 13 has everything I need, working online, 10 plus hour story mode, extra career mode & allows me to keep my experience updated.
WWE 13 is a package of wrestling content, that is in the conversation & surpasses ,as far having the most bang for yout buck as what was the greatest sports game of all time NBA 2K. I know a lot of people had the vision that NBA 2K was the benchmark for content in a sports video game, but that new benchmark is now WWE 13. Go out and live the revolution that is realized with WWE 13.
+ Best WWE Roster of All Time
+ Great selection arenas
+ Online is very solid
+ 14 hr voiced over story mode
+ Unprecedented creation suite
+ Unlimited replay value with WWE Universe mode
- Universe Mode could use some better presentation pyro / show opens
- audio glitches in commentary in Attitude Era Mode
- odd camera angles at the end of finisher replays
- lacking online league / tournament support
- no voiced over story mode for current day Superstars
4 & 3/4 / 5 (95 Percent)
*Editors note, my copy of WWE 13 was purchased before receiving review copy*
Brad Ward can be followed on Twitter for tweets on Universe mode , current wrestling product & all of the great titles coming in the fall of 2012. He has the back history since 1990 from the original Pro Wrestling on the NES to recent titles like WWE Allstars, AAA Lucha Libre & Fire Pro Wrestling.