Wrestling was all the rage when I was a youngster. I’m now twenty four and while the majority of my friends have moved onto different things, there are still a few of us who keep a casting eye over the current on goings in the wrestling world. It’s hard to keep up with who’s who though as there are so many wrestlers in a variety of different divisions. We all still have our favourites, but we are all in agreement that the younger years were the best. By younger years, I am of course talking about the Attitude era; the era that saw the creation of DX, the Texas rattlesnake Stone Cold Steve Austin and of course in my opinion, THE greatest wrestler of all time, the people’s champion, The Rock.
So you could probably sense the excitement when I found out that WWE 13 had its own game mode known as ‘The Attitude Era’; a series of matches and storylines allowing the gamer to replay historic moments throughout the rise of the then World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Within each match you have certain objectives to complete including bonus objectives for re-living certain epic moments in WWF history. The nostalgia rating is through the roof and it doesn’t do anything but put a smile on your face. Not only is there little montages of footage from the 90s throughout, the real audio is also often used and while this can cause some sound volume issues, it adds to the epicness of the occasion.
Whether you class yourself as an experienced wrestling fan, or have only recently taken up an interest, the Attitude Era is, for want of a better word, awesome. There’s plenty more though so if you don’t fancy the history lesson then there are a ring full of other options to keep you occupied. Bringing you back up to date where the likes of WWE frontman CM Punk, Randy Orton and John Cena await you can play almost any type of match you can think of in the custom matches.
Making a return is the Universe Mode which in effect your career mode within WWE 13. Like the real life superstars you will find yourself touring the states in different shows ranging from minor shows like Monday night Raw to major Pay-Per-View events such as Royal Rumble where there are championship titles up for grabs. Throughout there are also storylines which you can expand yourself. For example you might be fed up with all the trash talk from your opponent during a cutscene, well instead of just taking the trash talking you can interrupt and just do your talking with your fists. You can also create alliances as well as break them; it’s almost like a soap within itself. Some would say better than the storylines found in EastEnders.
Not story driven? Well jump online and compete in various different types of matches. It also seems more enjoyable when you know that there is another human holding onto the controller as you put them through a table, although I’m usually that other person. Online also includes the opportunity to share content with other users further expanding the user experience.
Those of you of a creative mind will be in what I like to call “customisation heaven”. Not only can you create your own wrestlers to an in depth degree but you can also create your own shows which includes the arena itself. Custom ring entrances for your create user, mine being Craig ‘The Assassin’ Anderson, as well as creating your own custom moves keep you entertained. Fancy yourself as a WWE scriptwriter? Well you get your chance within WWE 13.
The one thing that does bug me with WWE 13 is the fact that it’s actually quite difficult to just pick up and play for the novice user. There is a Lycra thin tutorial which only seems in text form, so when you actually start to play I constantly found myself having to pause the game to go into the tutorials to check which buttons I’m supposed to press. Then immediately after doing that I’d find myself either being head-locked into the opponent’s arms or constantly repeating the same manoeuvre (usually the formidable Irish Whip). After a quick change in the AI difficulty I was soon able to utilise the right stick and I was able to have more time to turn my whips into impressive high flying moves.
WWE 13 isn’t without its faults though. The way the camera system works is just strange and while in theory the idea is a good one, overall it just doesn’t quite work: Introducing live camera mode. What I mean by that is that it’s almost as if when you are playing they are trying to show the match how they would on a TV, but this doesn't really work when you are trying to control one of the wrestlers, especially when the camera can’t decide which angle looks best. It’s not horrendous, but does take a little of the shine away from the game. Off putting is probably the best way to describe it.
Commentary in wrestling games has always been a bit ‘meh’. WWE 13 is not really any different with the constant repetitive phrases and cue card like comments. Luckily you’re usually too focused on laying the smackdown to notice. There are also certain glitches which remain and the odd texture can stand out from time to time but nothing to put you off the game.
WWE 13 might not have any real competition when it comes to wrestling video games, but nevertheless it’s a great wrestling game and any fan should have this in their collection. The Attitude Era game mode was so nostalgic I smile thinking about it. Reliving those moments is worth it alone. If you smelllllllllllllll, what the Rock, is cooking!