|System: Xbox 360*, PS3|
|Dev: Yuke’s Yokohama|
|Release: October 30, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Crude Humor, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence|
And here is the kicker. All of this customization, all of this user-made content, can be shared online like some sort of testosterone-driven LittleBigPlanet. You can download someone else’s custom superstar, put them in a storyline with your superstar over a belt that a third person made, and then re-upload that back to the Internet. Granted, at the time of writing the pre-launch servers were a bit barren, but given enough time, WWE ‘13 will be fleshed out with its own user-generated universe of wrestling insanity. I can only hope that Vince McMahon sees some of these concepts and eventually integrates them into the WWE itself.
Now, to be fair, the game isn’t perfect. In fact, some of its most glaring flaws are in its control scheme. You have buttons for strikes, grapples, and miscellaneous actions like Irish Whipping and going for pins. These buttons all do different things depending on where and how you are standing and what direction you are pushing. You then have another button for finishers and signature moves, a trigger for interacting with the environment, and another trigger to reverse the opponent.
Unfortunately, this control scheme has a few limitations. For one, the window for a reversal is unfairly small, which is very frustrating for new players. On the flipside, there is no limit to how many times you may reverse a move, so skilled players will find themselves in reversal loops that get boring quickly. In addition, it’s kind of hard to tell when you can and can’t move, i.e. when your character is dizzy and helpless or not. This leads to a lot of button mashing. The HUD is unfortunately barebones, and your HUD options don’t get remembered from match to match if you set them, say, inside a match in the Attitude Era mode. There’s also no way to check your move-list in the middle of a match, just your passive ability list, which makes some Attitude Era matches a lot of trial and error.
However, as frustrating as these flaws can be, you tend to look them over just so you can get to more narrative goodness. In that way, WWE ‘13 is actually at its most fun when played alone. It’s far more fun to hop into the WWE Universe mode so you can take your wrestler of choice on a trip through the ranks in order to become the WWE champion than it is to simply sit down and play a vs. match with a buddy.
WWE ‘13 is one of those games that has just too much content to review. I’ve had WWE ‘13 for a couple weeks now and I still haven’t seen everything the game has to offer. It has a feature set unlike any other and its commitment to both built-in narrative and player-based customization is greater than anything we have seen from almost any other title on the market, regardless of genre. In fact, the only flaws I can find in WWE ‘13 are concerning the gameplay engine itself, but the feature set is so huge it’s almost like it doesn’t even matter.
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Date: October 30, 2012