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WWE 13 Review

WWE 13 Review

COME ON PHIL, yesterday.

WWE is in a rut. WWE 13 is the perfect example of this fact. The only real forward steps this year’s entry to the wrasslin’ series has taken are by going back to the Attitude era – that point between 1997 and 2002 when it was genuinely must-see TV – and recreating it, blow for blow, insult for insult, censored use of the term ‘WWF’ for censored use of the term ‘WWF’.


Nostalgia is a powerful thing and, in the case of wrestling fans, a very powerful thing. So starved are they for something that’s actually enjoyable to watch these days that they’re certain to lap up the Attitude content, power through the hours of content it offers, hit every historical match condition (hit Vince with the chair when Dude Love ducks it, bliss!) and lap up the videos and photography from the era thrown their way. Stone Cold, Bret Hart, The Rock, Mankind, Kane before he got fat, the New Age Outlaws, British Bulldog, Ken Shamrock, even the Big Boss Man: there’s so many names here it can’t help but bring a smile to the face of players of a certain age.


But the game behind it, cowering at the back of these personalities of yesteryear, is very similar to what came last year. All the talk of a Predator 2.0 engine just means it’s a bit quicker and – unless you turn the on-screen prompts off – reversals are easier for fat-handed berks to pull off. Beyond that it’s the same tweaked and iterated engine that has been in dire need of a factory recall and total reworking for the last… god, since Smackdown vs Raw 2006. Clipping is still a massive issue, with moves simply not registering contact when they make contact and other silly little foibles and problems that really shouldn’t exist anymore. It’s been years. There’s no excuse.


Similarly there’s little rhyme or reason for character movesets being very similar across the board. The need to pad out what the performers actually do is understood, but not every single WWE Legend used a gutbuster. They just didn’t. It’s lazy and smacks of a rush-job.


WWE is in a rut both on TV and in the videogame world, and all the nostalgia in the world can’t fix that. Both products need a fundamental reinvention if they’re to become anything other than an irrelevant side-attraction you can only sometimes be bothered with. Frankly, WWE 14 needs its own Attitude era.


You’ll notice this number is higher than that we gave WWE 12 (50%), even though we complain about a barely-evolved sequel here. Well, the power of nostalgia and the strength of the Attitude era combine nicely. Other than that? This is a pointless game.


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  • Cody

    I’m going to try and be as nice as possible about this. Can this really be considered a review? No mention of the majority of game modes, especially the new ones. How is this years Universe Mode? How about the I Quit match and Special Guest Referee? Online features? And calling it a pointless game, that’s kind of harsh.

  • Ian Dransfield

    It’s taken from the mag and I was limited to a single page of space, unfortunately.

    In all honesty, I felt Universe mode’s upgrades still don’t make it worth the effort – though the ability to make your own shows is welcome, it doesn’t change the fact the game itself it pretty shonky to play.

    As for mentioning the other modes: nothing major has changed in them, so why would I? It’s an issue of economising space. I chose to dedicate most of the space to Attitude mode – the biggest new addition and the one getting the most focus from people that I’ve seen – rather than dispassionately recite a list of modes you can pick.

    I Quit and Special Ref have both been in the Smackdown series in the past, I see no need to highlight them as anything special or standout when it’s just a lazy return to things that have come before.

    And it is a pointless game. Better versions of it exist in the very same series (well, the Smackdown/SvR series), rendering this one needless. Pointless. Slap Attitude and Universe mode in Here Comes The Pain or SvR 2006 and you’ve got a much better game.

    As for online: we were specifically instructed not to take the game online for our review, as we were playing before it came out. That’s just the way it is sometimes.

    Hope that clears some things up.

  • Ryan King
  • Bolivwx

    This review is far too low! Perhaps you don’t like wrestling???

  • Mark

    Every review of the game that comes out, people complain about the reviewer not talking about Universe Mode. Hello? Nothing’s changed. It’s not any better. Those 200 branching storylines aren’t there.

  • Kangman

    This is the only low review for this game I’ve seen, you’re free to your opinion but I feel you were waaaay to critical. From a wrestling fan stand point and someone who likes a fun game to kill time, this game deserved way better.

  • Chuck

    I think this is a fair score for the game and its lack of new features. Not to mention to amount of bugs that still remain from the past games. And online ending up being still terrible.