The Attitude Era defined the WWE—and pro wrestling as a whole—from the mid-90s to early ’00s. Fueled by the Monday Night War between WWE’s “Raw Is War” and WCW’s “Nitro” programming blocks, Vince McMahon’s promotion pushed the wrestling envelope with a theme change that leaned more to adult sensibilities: class warfare, swearing, sexuality, and violence. Game publisher THQ and developer Yukes bottles a bit of that magic in WWE 13, an outstanding wrestling title that summons the controversial nature—and WWE Superstars—of years past in a dedicated Attitude Era Mode.
Are You Ready?
The Attitude Era is the game’s true selling point, as it lets wrasslin’ fans play key periods from that time frame. You start with the “Rise of DX,” a hardcore match between the Heartbreak Kid and Mankind. In order to move onto to other Attitude Era matches, you must simply win the match. That’s not difficult. But the real joy comes with meeting in-match objectives such as “Hit Mankind with a Chair” and “Win by Pinfall,” which mirror what happened in the actual “Raw Is War” match in 1997. Doing so unlocks goodies that I won’t spoil. Other Attitude Era Superstars include “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Three Faces of Foley, and “Blue Blood” Triple H.
WWE 13 displays television ratings info about the Monday Night War between Attitude Era matches—a nod to the brutal competition between the two organizations. Unfortunately, the game mode mostly focuses on the WWE product. I would’ve liked a larger WCW presence as WWE’s focus change was a direct result of being spanked by WCW Nitro’s ratings (spurred by the monster nWo angle), but this is a McMahon product, after all.
Let’s Get Ready To Suck Ittttttttt!
WWE 13 has more than just ’90s edge. It includes tons of today’s Superstars such as Shamus, Miz, and coverboy CM Punk. Should you not want to use either wrestler set, you can opt to create your own in a Create A Wrestler mode that nearly matches Fire Pro Wrestling’s insane amount of flexibility. You can tweak faces, move sets, and finishers—and share them online, too. Game developer Yukes includes several game modes such as tag team, triple threat, 6-man, handicap, and Hell in the Cell matches. All in all, there’s a lot of content on the disc.
Yukes’ wrestling engine is one of the best in the business as it overlays a deep mechanic with simple controls. You can wrestle highly technical matches using reverses and body part targeting, or just simply hammer opponents. In fact, the game’s pacing very much mirrors the pacing of WWE matches—lots of chair shots, hot tags, and other spots that make fans pop. I noticed the occasional awkward reaction to blows, but it’s nothing that sullies the product.
Dynamic camera angles highlight comeback, signature, and finishing moves, giving the game a very TV-like appearance. The production quality is top-notch, too: Wrestlers have their own intros (in the case of the Attitude Era wrestlers, their ’90s TitanTron intros), and the announcers give serviceable commentary. The crowd really gets behind the action, but some of the move and weapon sounds lack impact. In addition, a high-pitched noise sometimes appears randomly and really grates on the ears.
Because Stone Cold Said So!
WWE 13 excellently captures the WWE’s highest and lowest moments with its Attitude Era Mode, which harkens back to a time when professional wrestling was forever changed. It has a few bugs—THQ and Yukes have recently released a patch to fix some of the issues—but the game is worthy pick up for WWE fans.
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|Platform||Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii|
|ESRB Rating||T for Teen|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc