WWE 13 GAME Exclusive Austin 3:16 Collector's Edition Xbox 360
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Released on 02/11/2012
Prepare to be stunned by the GAME exclusive WWE '13 Austin 3:16 Collector's Edition, complete with the signature of the Texas Rattlesnake himself!
WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin was one of the biggest stars of the Attitude Era, and was the obvious choice for the Collector's Edition.
Renowned for his unrelenting, antihero behaviour, from his beer-drinking to his legendary feud with Mr McMahon, to dropping the Stone Cold Stunner on anyone he felt like it, Austin is often celebrated for revolutionising the WWE landscape during one of the company's most prominent time periods in history.
The GAME Exclusive "Austin 3:16" Collector's Edition for Xbox 360 includes:
- Exclusive foil packaging featuring embossed Stone Cold Steve Austin skull
- Exclusive collectable art card personally autographed by Stone Cold Steve Austin
- Exclusive Stone Cold Steve Austin in-game attire: red skull t-shirt (circa 2001)
- Exclusive Stone Cold Steve Austin in-game ATV ring entrance
- "Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Bottom Line on the Most Popular Superstar of All Time" (DVD) Disc 4, featuring classic moments from Stone Cold's career
- Access to WWE Hall of Famer Mike Tyson as a playable character, decked out in his classic D-Generation X t-shirt.
Return to the ring - and to the Attitude Era - in WWE 13.
WWE 13 on Xbox 360 continues THQ's successful series of WWE video games, and boasts the most authentic, extensive and fanatical WWE experience to date, with a host of new features and a new single-player campaign that takes you back to the legendary "Attitude Era"
- Single-player campaign based on the most successful era in WWE history
- Ground-breaking new features for the ultimate live experience
- Exciting new graphics and gameplay
- Huge roster of WWE Superstars from the past and present
- Improved Creation Suite to create your own superstar
Relive the unparalleled and groundbreaking Attitude Era in a franchise-first single player campaign. Set during a time of pure raucousness, grandiose personalities and colossal revolution, you will focus on eight purveyors of attitude during the infamous 'Monday Night Wars,' including WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin.
WWE '13 brings all the excitement and action of a WWE event into your home thanks to WWE Live.
A brand-new audio and presentation system has been designed to produce the most authentic and vibrant commentary, sound effects and crowd participation levels ever heard in a WWE video game. On top of this, you'll get to taste the atmosphere and experience that is a WWE live event through attention-grabbing Spectacular Moments, including ring breaks and barricade crashes.
Predator Technology 2.0, driven by new animations, transitions and modified controls, returns to deliver intelligent and engaging WWE action, offering much smoother gameplay than its predecessors. The career mode WWE Universe will now dynamically introduce matches, alliances, rivalries and unpredictable moments based on your actions and decisions as you compete for championship gold.
The largest roster in the history of the series offers a who's-who of today's WWE Superstars and Attitude Era legends. From CM Punk, Seamus, Chris Jericho and Mark Henry to Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Undertaker, Mankind and Big Show.
WWE '13 will also see a return of the franchise's industry-defining Creation Suite, enabling players to develop and customise Superstars, entrances, arenas, finishing moves, storylines, highlight reels and more, as well as share and download creations with others from around the world.
WWE 13 takes players back to the most successful period in WWE history, a time of pure raucousness and grandiose personalities known as the 'Attitude Era'. The period encompasses the latter half of the '90s and the early 2000s, when WWE was known as the World Wrestling Federation and PG-rated content was shunned in favour of an edgier, teenage-focused form of entertainment.
Confirmed names for what will be the largest roster in the history of the WWE series read like a who's-who of today's superstars and yesteryear's legends, from CM Punk to Stone Cold Steve Austin, Sheamus, the Undertaker, Mankind, Chris Jericho, Big Show, Mark Henry, and the self-styled 'baddest man on the planet' Iron Mike Tyson.
Monday Night Wars
Following last year's slightly underwhelming career mode execution, 'Road to Wrestlemania' has been replaced with a series first: a campaign which focuses on eight purveyors of attitude during the famed television 'Monday Night Wars'. It'll cover a series of events in a chronological timeline as multiple wrestlers' adventures dovetail, and will be complemented by more than 20 bespoke videos that use archive TV footage to build up the feuds and storylines players will relive.
But WWE 13 isn't all about the Attitude Era. The game's also expected to feature current wrestlers in the returning career-style Universe mode, in which individual player decisions dynamically introduce new matches, alliances, rivalries and unpredictable moments on a journey towards becoming a WWE Champion. Developer THQ has promised to support what's going on in today's world of WWE programming with content, so keep an eye out for more details in the near future.
THQ also plans to take the action to new heights with 'Spectacular Moments' based on weird and wonderful Attitude Era matches, moves and events. Remember Stone Cold driving a truck to the ring? D-Generation X invading World Championship Wrestling headquarters? Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches? Inferno matches where the ring was surrounded by flames and the only way to win was to set your opponent on fire? The game promises to be edgy, exciting and daring.
If things go to plan, everything should look and feel better in motion too. The action is driven by new character animations, presentation effects and modified controls that aim to make proceedings more fluid, and better translate the ferocity of superplexes, table smashes, ring breaks and barricade crashes. Throw in improved commentary, sound effects and crowd participation levels, and WWE 13 could well be a contender for King of the Ring.
Olympic fever has gripped the planet, and we're only just over halfway through a year that has already been defined by amazing sporting action. From regular favourites like Wimbledon and the UEFA European Championship, to the glitz of the Olympics and surprise wins in the Tour De France, sport has never hogged so many UK headlines. As always, where there's an audience, there are video games looking to capitalise on the popularity - and a famous face certainly helps to catch our attention (although Mario and Sonic don't really count...). Here's our look back over the history of sporting heroes in games.
You can almost go back to the dawn of gaming and find examples of famous athletes promoting games. Daley Thompson's Decathlon was one of the enduring classics of the 8-bit home computer era, a keyboard-bashing run through ten track and field events overseen by the ghostly white pixellated face of digital Daley.
It was inevitable that a footy-loving nation such as ours would attract a flood of cheesy football endorsements as well, with everyone from squeaky scouser Emlyn Hughes to telly pundits Saint and Greavsie, to top flight players like Gazza and Beckham, putting their name to digitised kickabouts. We even had the bizarre sight of a Peter Shilton goalkeeping game, cheekily renamed Handball Maradona after the infamous "hand of god" incident at the 1986 World Cup. And while there's no name on the box, there's no ignoring the key players endorsing both FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer even today.
Ever-obsessed with sports and strategy, it didn't take long for American software companies to follow suit. John Madden had already retired as both player and coach when his name first adorned the Madden NFL American Football simulation in 1988, but it kicked off a series which endures to this day and is widely considered to be the benchmark of gridiron gaming. Madden was part of the EA Sports stable, a label that knows the value of the right endorsement. In 1999 the company's popular PGA golf series became Tiger Woods PGA Tour, and the fairway superman has been the face of golf games ever since. Indeed, the close tie between game and name may soon become a problem, as the digital Tiger performs better than his struggling real-life counterpart. Will the series revert to plain old PGA Tour when Tiger's star fades, or will EA find a new golfing hero to carry the torch?
That's the gamble when signing a player at the peak of their game. Sometimes, a games company will sign an up and coming athlete in the hopes of backing a long term winner. That worked for Nintendo, when it paid a young Mike Tyson $50,000 to use his likeness in the NES Punch Out boxing game. Within months, Tyson was on his way to being the world heavyweight champ, and the retitled Mike Tyson's Punch Out benefited from his success in the USA.
In the UK, meanwhile, Punch Out was ported to home computers with our very own Frank Bruno as the main character. Punch Out returned to Wii minus its star, while Tyson makes a surprise return to games this year in WWE '13, re-living the brief sting he spent using his name to boost the wrestling company's ratings.
Often, a sport will bubble up to the top of the popular consciousness thanks to the eye-catching feats of a particular sports-person. In the late 1990s, it was Codemasters that perked up long-running, but fairly obscure rugby and cricket sims, by shrewdly putting hot new stars like Jonah Lomu and Brian Lara above the title. Likewise, it was only when legendary racer Colin McRae put his name to the publisher's rally games that they became the owners of a blockbuster franchise, and while the DiRT series has continued to thrive without him, it was his name that got the customers through the proverbial door to begin with. Such moves weren't restricted to cult UK sports either. In 1999, Japanese firm Namco quickly rebranded the latest entry in its fledgling tennis series as Anna Kournikova Smash Court Tennis in order to attract European gamers.
It's perhaps notable that the area where celebrity endorsement paid off most spectacularly was in the rise of extreme sports, where off-beat personalities are more openly celebrated and the players are more likely to be gamers. Tony Hawk pioneered this with his skateboarding games, lending not just his credibility but also his insight and expertise to ensure maximum authenticity. Snowboarder Shaun White and BMX rider Dave Mirra quickly followed Hawk's example. Hawk's back this year, too, in an HD re-jigging of some of his classic titles for Xbox LIVE; he's gone from extreme rebel to a traditional figure, but we still love him!
Whenever sport becomes national obsession, you can bet an enterprising games developer will seize the opportunity. Gold medal-winning swimming star Michael Phelps has got a head start on his Olympic peers this year, with his Push The Limit game for Kinect already on shelves. Will we see Bradley Wiggins grace the cover of next year's Tour De France game? Will Jess Ennis and Mo Farah be running alongside us in the next Kinect Sports? Whoever is next on the podium, it's a good bet that gamers will be the winners.
THQ has spilled the beefy beans on its plans for upcoming wrestlefest WWE '13 in an interview with VG247, and with a new game engine - codenamed Predator - it sounds like the game will enable fans to get closer than ever to recreating the WWE experience at home.
"Our whole vision with spectacular moments is literally trying to recreate those crazy moments that you see on WWE television - really eye-popping, surprising moments that are so great in the show," said THQ's Corey Ledesma. "In order for us to really recreate that we wanted the visuals to be strong, so when you do see the ring collapse off the Superplex, we wanted all those small visuals to be spot on and top notch so it looked like exactly like you saw on television."
A large part of this wild style is down to the game's improved physics, which will make every buckle and impact feel more real . "You'll also see a lot of minor details like the ring shaking, collapsing, the ropes wildly jumping up and down and the referee falling," Ledesma says. "You'll see all of that in there because we really wanted fans to almost do a double take when they saw that in the game like, 'wow, that looks so real, just like I saw on television.'"
WWE '13's single player story mode takes place during the Attitude era of the show, with beloved wrestlers like Stone Cold Steve Austin brought to the fore. It'll also feature Mike Tyson as a playable character. "It's just cool to introduce a character that's so different from all the other WWE superstars and divas in the game," Ledesma says of Tyson. "He's a boxer, so he's got a really cool move set of haymakers and hooks and punches that really sets him apart. He's really fun to play."
WWE '13 bodyslams into action on November 1st, for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii. We have the Exclusive Austin 3:16 Collector's Edition on Xbox 360 and PS3, and for more info on the game, check out our in-depth preview!
Back to the Mat
Good old THQ: every year they're looking out for wrestling fans, offering a brand new slice of WWE action in the form of a big budget grappling game. Last year's entry may have been ever so slightly rough around the edges, perhaps, but this year's is shaping up to be a real return to form. WWE 13 offers a massive amount of superstars to choose from, enhanced customisation options for people who want to really get into the details of ring creation and stage-setting, and a brand new single-player campaign that has us more excited than ever about the prospect of large men in tights beating each other to a pulp.
Or at least pretending to. Shh! Who said that?
Party like it's 1999
That single-player campaign's probably the stand-out feature of what promises to be a great package, in fact. CM Punk might be on the cover, and you'll find other contemporary stars like John Cena and Triple-H in the roster screens, but the main story mode winds back the clock to a special period in the late 1990s.
Grappling fans will know this period as the Attitude Era, and it's amongst the greatest moments in WWE's crazy history. The backstory is pretty simple: in the early 1990s, WWE got a new competitor in the form of rival wrestling outfit WCW. WCW bought up loads of WWE's biggest stars, slapped it's own weekly show - Monday Nitro - on against Monday Night Raw in the TV schedules, and then proceeded to out-spend WWE to take the wrestling crown.
They were successful, too, with ratings for WWE dipping to the point that the whole company was in danger. Rather than bow out, though, Vince McMahon and Co. took an enormous risk: they dropped the family-friendly superhero wrestling persona that had marked the company out in the late 1980s, and they started to go crazy.
Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels: the Attitude era was born, and it saw WWE upping the ante, throwing in bizarre new characters and storylines, introducing some incredibly dangerous events, and generally winning the hearts of teenagers everywhere. It was chaotic and dramatic and spellbinding, and everyone was watching.
And that's the story you'll be playing through in WWE 13, working your way into 6 chapters, each covering a specific WWE hero or stable, and taking on over 65 matches as the battle between WCW and WWE unfolds. Each fight starts with a little historical note explaining the setting and what was at stake, and unlockable documentary films will keep you up to speed on this fascinating chunk of history as you play.
Even better, the Attitude Era campaign offers historical optional objectives alongside its main objectives: while you can proceed from one fight to the next by just beating your opponent, then, you'll gain oodles of unlockables for tying your brawl in with what really happened - smacking somebody down in under a minute, say, or finishing them off outside of the ring.
None of this would matter if the fighting itself wasn't any good, but even here WWE 13 looks like a huge step forward. Wrestlers' animations and character models look better and more realistic than ever, while the grappling engine's been fine-tuned so that each move feels violent and exciting, with quick reversals, great specials, and the ability to pull off mid-air finishers if you get the timing right.
On top of that, the game will feature over 80 famous wrestlers right out of the box, allowing you access to classic characters like Stone Cold and Trish Stratus, and more cutting-edge heroes like Rey Mysterio and The Big Show. Speaking of The Big Show, a new skeletal system's been implemented to allow taller wrestlers to really tower over their smaller foes. Along with added moves like barricade slams, ring collapses, and the ability to slam someone through the announcer's table, this should be as close to the real thing as you've ever seen in a video game.
And the game's classic creation tools return, too, with players now able to kit out an entire arena as well as just building a ring - choosing the stage, tweaking the lighting, and even selecting between a contemporary crowd and an Attitude Era crowd. Create a wrestler returns, too, but by now the options are just getting silly.
This looks like a massive, generous game, in other words, and we'll see you in the ring.
If you're a fan of WWE and pro wrestling in general, then you'll know that one of the golden ages in sports entertainment history was the Attitude Era, that period in the late 90s that gave birth to the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Rock, Mankind and the Monday Night Wars. If you're a fan of wrestling computer games, that too had a golden era around the same time, with the N64's No Mercy being the game to beat.
Well, a new golden age of wrestling video games may be here - and one that celebrates the golden age of the Attitude Era. WWE '13 takes everything that was great about last year's chapter and, much like that other annual sporting titan FIFA, THQ have managed to add some great new features that ramp up the realism and provide new challenges to fans of the series. At a recent THQ event in London, we were able to get some quality playing time on WWE '13, and it is no lie to say that this is the toughest instalment THQ have ever produced.
Career Vs Job(bing)
The new Attitude Era career mode has been the real talking point of the game, and having tried it out, we can certainly say that the hype is to be believed. Of course, there've been career modes in wrestling games before - the 'Season Mode' of the early THQ titles and the more recent 'Road to Wrestlemania'- but Attitude Era genuinely offers something different. This time, it's not about forging your own path, it's about following the paths already laid out by the stars of the 90s as some of the key storylines of the Attitude Era are recreated.
It's this recreation of history that brings the new challenges to the traditional career gameplay. There are several chapters, such as 'The Rise of D-X', and each match is one that actually happened on WWE TV or a Pay Per View - and thus has to end the same way. It's no longer enough to simply win the match; if it was actually won with a pinfall, you have to win by pinfall. If it's a tag match, it has to be the same member of your team pinning the same opponent.
Not only that, but there are extra objectives to complete during the match that grow in both number and difficulty as the career progresses, from simply having Shawn Michaels hit Mankind with a chair to ensuring the New Age Outlaws beat the Legion of Doom's Hawk down to 'moderate' energy before he can tag partner Animal. Yes - it's that specific, and failure to complete all objectives will mean you have to start the match all over again.
For those of you who were watching WWE programming in the 90s (or, like me, since the mid 80s!), the Attitude Era mode is like a slice of perfectly measured nostalgia, and the chance to recreate the infamous Montreal Screwjob, Mankind's legendary fall from the top of Hell in the Cell, and more - all with the Raw vs Nitro ratings displayed between matches - is too much to resist. For newer fans of the sport, it serves as an interactive history lesson, with specially created (and recreated) video packages helping to fill the gaps.
The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be..?
With all this extra dressing, the gameplay and controls are much the same as in WWE '12, with visible grogginess still replacing the arcade-y power bars, and the same grapple controls and 'comeback' option. Other returning features include exhibition matches, create-a-wrestler and the moreish WWE Universe mode, all given just that little extra sparkle you'd expect with a fresh release. And for a game that has much of its focus on the past, there are plenty of today's Superstars and Divas to choose from, as well as a healthy dose of Legends to unlock as you progress through the Attitude Era, giving the opportunity for the fantasy warfare seen in WWE All Stars in the more realistic environment of the main WWE series.
WWE '13 promises to be everything you'd want a WWE game to be, with a massive roster, gameplay that resembles the pace and style of real in-ring action, and a career mode that finally matches (no pun intended) the drama and storylines of the WWE. This isn't just a sports game. This isn't just a fighting game. This is truly a wrestling game, and we can't wait to play it for all its worth come November 2nd.
Review Roundup: WWE '13
WWE '13, the latest version of THQ's lycra-clad grappling game is almost upon us, and judging from the critical reaction it looks to be a return to form for the series.
IGN dropped an 8.4 score on the mat, declaring that the game retains gameplay improvements from last year's game yet "still continues to find ways to advance THQ's franchise as a whole". The game's focus on the Attitude era of WWE also earned respect, with the "superb single-player experience" picked out for special praise.
The US Official Xbox Magazine dished out an 8/10 review, highlighting the successful evolution of the gameplay from last year's edition and the large roster of playable wrestlers. "Another great match from Yuke's, " it concluded.
Games Radar, meanwhile, offered up a four star review which declared WWE '13 "the best wrestling package of the year". In particular, it says, the game will please players who may have lost faith in previous wrestling titles. "For older fans," Games Radar said, "WWE '13 will likely be their favorite wrestling game in some time, a unique throwback that features the best wrestling gameplay currently available."
WWE '13 is out on November 2nd for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii.
WWE wrestling games have been a staple of games consoles since the days of the NES. The evolution of these games has seemingly matched the growth and popularity of Vince McMahon's 'Sports Entertainment' Empire, with both peaking at about the same time - No Mercy for the N64 and the fabled 'Attitude Era' that replaced all-American heroes with foul-mouthed anti-heroes.
Of course, there have been technical improvements on both sides since then, but with WWE '13 it looks like we have a new contender for "best wrestling game ever!™". And that's partly due to it harkening back to the golden age of the Attitude Era with an exciting new storyline mode that revolutionises wrestling games in the same way the Attitude Era revolutionised the real thing.
Are! You! Ready?!
The storyline mode is split into several chapters, each marking the story of the key WWE Superstars of the period, including Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mankind, The Undertaker and D-Generation X. But rather than just be a series of matches to be won, the Attitude Era asks you to recreate the real outcomes of the matches as they happened (well, as real as wrestling is...). This means you get the chance to re-enact Mankind's legendary Hell in the Cell matches and the infamous Montreal Screwjob, although there are a fair few filler matches between these bigger moments.
From a gameplay perspective, however, this means it's no longer enough to simply beat your opponent - you have win the match the way the match was won. Not only that, each match will throw some extra objectives that you have to complete to succeed. Hitting your opponent with a chair or trash can crops up a lot (as it did on TV at the time), but it's not always straightforward. In some cases you need to time this objective right, such as waiting for someone else to introduce said foreign object or risk disqualification. More advanced matches will require more intricate instructions, like pinning your opponent within 10 seconds of performing your finisher. It can get a little frustrating at times, especially as you learn which objectives you need to wait for and which you can just carry out straight away, but it adds a new, challenging element that freshens up the genre for the first time in a long time.
The other great thing about the Attitude Era is the amount of detail that's gone into it. Working in conjunction with WWE themselves, all-new video packages have been created to bring the historical context to life, providing a fun trip down memory lane (just off Know-Your-Role Boulevard!) for those who lived through this Era, and a great history lesson for those who didn't. This attention to detail is spread throughout the rest of the game, too, none more so than the entrances for the WWE Superstars and Legends, which are recreated in their entirety. So, yes, you can enjoy a full five minute dancing entrance for Brodus Clay and his Funkadactyls if you want.
Know Your Role
Which brings us to the roster - which is massive. There are over 50 current WWE Superstars and Divas to choose from, including CM Punk, John Cena, Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar. On top of this, there's a pool of nearly 30 Attitude Era stars (although, to be fair, at least 3 of those are Mick Foley!). You'll need to play through the game to unlock a lot of them, and some key stars are missing - TNA-signed the Hardy and Dudley Boyz are sorely missed, and would have made for an excellent additional chapter for the Attitude Era. But this does lay the groundwork for some WWE All-Stars style fantasy warfare, letting you set-up Punk versus Austin, Dude Love against Brodus Clay and even old-school Kane versus contemporary Kane. For long-time wrestling fans, this will be an absolute dream, and finally a chance to play as some of the stars of yesteryear without having to dust off your old copies of Wrestlemania 2000 or War Zone.
But it's not all about looking back - WWE '13 continues to push the series forward, too. One of the best things about WWE games in recent years has been the massive increase in what you can create and, in WWE '13, it's about the sheer variety of what you can now edit. By utilising and combining all of the tools at your disposal, WWE '13 truly allows you to create a WWE Universe that is your own. Of course, there's the usual opportunity to create Superstars and Divas, share them and download the latest Community efforts, as well as the story, move set and finisher creation tools. This entry into the series shines with the host of smaller but worthy additions. Such an example is the facility to create Championship Belts, which makes a long-awaited return to the series.
Here Comes The Pain
Universe Mode also makes a return. This is the career mode that lets you play as many or as few matches as any available Superstar, or as your created Superstar(s). Depending on what happens with in each match dictates your journey through WWE Universe. You can form a rivalry, a friendship and even injure an opponent, with each action having a reaction that influences how your career unravels.
But this is Universe version 3.0. Overhauls mean that you can now edit the types of storyline that go in. Tired of seeing your Superstars sidelined through injury? No need to worry - you can turn the injury storylines off. The same applies for other key parts of Universe - such as keeping tag teams together. You can specify what storylines you'd like to see, so the game knows how you want your Universe to run. But forcing things too much can take the fun out of it a bit, as the naturally formed alliances and rivalries seem to work the best usually culminating in great battles at the various WWE Pay Per Views.
In conjunction with the heavily improved Universe mechanics, the full customisation allows you to essentially build your own promotion. You build your roster, as before, but you can now delete shows and create shows, as well as editing existing shows and PPVs. You can pick the dates, create your own logos and, in conjunction with the massive amount of arenas, start creating your own era of WWE. For example, the Attitude PPVs and Arenas alongside fully edited Attitude rosters will finally allow you to use them to recreate your own Attitude era calendar, complete with a weekly retro 'Raw Is War' and/or SmackDown. You can choose what belts are contested on the show, who appears when and even if the show is a 'Major' or 'Minor' production (anyone up for some pre-PPV Heat?). You can even add and take themes away for PPVs, meaning certain types of match-ups are guaranteed. It works both ways, so if you really wanted, you could have the Royal Rumble every month of the year!
That's The Bottom Line
That said, Universe 3.0 is still far from perfect. In these days of Skyrim, Assassin's Creed and even Black Ops II featuring branching storylines, Universe mode is still very linear - if you could make choices during a promo or the match, be it simple yes or no answers or smacking your partner with a chair mid match to break an alliance, this would make you feel a bit more in control. And if you play as your created character, the diversity of Universe mode isn't really shown until you are a few months of game time in, as you start at the bottom of the pile without enemies or allies.
But niggles aside, WWE '13 is a fantastic package for grapple fans. Chock full of features that enhance almost every aspect of the gameplay from last year's version, and a brand new storyline mode that provides the biggest - and best - improvement to the genre since the inception of Universe mode, WWE '13 is more than just a beat 'em up in spandex and sequins - it's a wrestling game through and through, and one that leaves no Stone (Cold) unturned.
- Attitude Era story mode is fresh and challenging
- Improved customisation modes throughout
- Excellent roster of past and present stars
- Universe mode is still too linear
- Some objectives in Attitude Era are confusing and frustrating
- Missing some key Attitude Era stars
After the collapse of publisher THQ, the fate of the long-running and much-loved WWE wrestling series was up in the air. Now it's landed, with an appropriately meaty thud, in the warm and slightly sweaty suplex embrace of Take Two.
Despite the change in publisher, development on future WWE games will remain with Japanese studio Yuke's, which has helmed the grappling favourite since 2000.
WWE is the last of the big THQ franchises to find a new owner after the company's unfortunate demise earlier this year. Ubisoft swooped in to nab the rights to the almost completed RPG South Park: The Stick of Truth, Dead Island publisher Koch Media grabbed the Saints Row series and developer Volition, while SEGA picked up Relic Entertainment, home to the Company of Heroes strategy franchise. Crytek, the FPS studio behind Crysis, was already working on Homefront 2, and shrewdly bought the rights to the sequel to publish itself.
There's no word on when the next WWE game will be out under Take Two's new management, but the previous entry in the series, WWE '13, came out last October and harked back to the fondly remembered Attitude era of the sport. As a result, it was widely heralded as one of the best yet by both critics and fans. "A great nostalgia-bomb through a flaming table of joy," said Official Xbox Magazine UK.
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