WWE 13 Review
Posted by PlayDevil.com Staff on Nov 29, 2012 15:19
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Written by: Mark
11, 12, 13 – Does it really matter?
In recent years I have been somewhat disillusioned with the direction (or lack of it) in which the WWE video game franchise has headed. Admittedly with each years release there has been new features and content yet it is the somewhat tired gameplay which has led me to wonder just what can be done to breathe life into the flagging formula.
Cut forward one year and guess what? Yes, we’re back with another WWE title, predictably called "WWE 13" with once again the promise of an even bigger and better experience. I for one hope so!
The one area in which any WWE game cannot really be criticised is with the vast array of content on offer whether this being in the superb amount of match types or impressive roster of wrestlers at your disposal from the outset or available as unlockables and WWE 13 does it’s very best to make this are more impressive, and succeeds!
Firstly the match types are staggering to say the least with every gimmick offered by the real life counterparts on offer. Secondly the roster of wrestlers has improved somewhat and features all of the popular current crop plus several others from previous eras whom feature heavily in the all new ‘Attitude Era’ Mode which replaces the pretty flawed ‘Road To Wrestlemania’ seen in previous years and allows the player to recreate the golden era of WWE gone by with their favourite superstars of yesteryear. This mode does seem to be a good inclusion and certainly brings a new aspect to proceedings which will make the game more appealing to longer term WWE fans as well as those who are newer to the brand.
Overall I have to say that the contents will certainly offer something to appeal to all and as a result does make the game pretty good value for money. However it will ultimately be judged on other aspects such as presentation and overall gameplay which it would be fair to say if these areas are not of an equal high standard then it becomes more of a mediocre offering rather than an essential purchase.
Another aspect which the WWE games have always excelled is in the presentation so it is no real surprise that WWE 13 maintains these high standards with the game looking and sounding like the real WWE world.
This is reflected in the incredibly detailed graphics as wrestlers look and move like their real life counterparts with in ring mannerisms pretty much spot on and introductions present. This, in combination with a solid soundtrack and decent (but repetitive) commentary makes the game have a highly polished feel which is very easy on the eye and makes the whole package on a par with many other sports titles released this year.
In recent years I have found the gameplay in WWE games to be getting rather tired to the point of me not really looking forward to the latest in the series however I am always willing to give them a fair crack each year in the hope that new inclusions can see new life breathed into the games.
Anyone who has played a WWE title before (especially the more recent ones) will pretty much know what to expect as the fairly in depth move lists return along with reversals, comebacks, signature moves and limb targeting. For newcomers the game does have a fairly complex learning curve to get the best out of proceedings but thankfully this is where my previous experience with the games stood me in good stead as I could jump in pretty quickly and have an understanding of how best to approach proceedings.
One gameplay area which I have had mixed feelings about is in the AI of computer controlled characters and often matches could be over pretty quickly. It seems this year that the developers have tightened this area as matches are now lengthier, back and forth affairs giving the gameplay a much more realistic feel and this is very pleasing indeed and makes WWE 13 the best in the series for many years.
Admittedly it is still far from perfect as sometimes the player can jump back to button bashing particularly if you miss time the spilt second reversal commands and this can ultimately lead to some incredibly frustrating moments. As I have previously stated however the player really needs to practice long and hard to overcome such frustrations in order to get the best out of the game as it really is one that rewards patience and skill.
Another impressive area in the game is in its multiplayer with the vast array of match types and game modes standing out as being very impressive indeed.
As expected with the global popularity of WWE the game is incredibly popular online with no problems connecting to matches all of which have played pretty smoothly so far even if there are some very skilled players online who have obviously dedicated an awful lot of time to honing their skills in order to hand out the inevitable ass kicking’s which I hate to admit have happened to me all too regularly.
This is only a minor criticism as there are some very well balanced matches online and once these are found then these do provide some excellent enjoyment. It is just a shame however that there is no real way of telling who can play at a similar level as you when joining or creating matches meaning that it is simply a case of pot luck as to whether you have a competitive encounter or a one sided affair.
I will openly admit that I had lost a lot of love for the WWE video game franchise in recent years and wondered whether the latest in the series "WWE 13" could rekindle any enjoyment I had with the games throughout their history. It is fair to say that the new inclusions of game modes and gameplay tweaks have certainly improved proceedings making this year’s release the best in recent times.
There are still several areas which are far from perfect and lead to some incredibly frustrating moments but if you are willing to overlook these then I am sure that you will find some enjoyment from this well put together package which has lead me to think that the WWE video game franchise is not ready to give up the ghost just yet.
+ New game modes work well
+ Impressive amount of content
Lots of practice needed to get the best from proceedings
- Multiplayer hit and miss
- Commentary can be very repetitive