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Back with it's yearly edition of games, THQ is still rehashing a lot of the same mechanics but has added some neat new stuff this year. Every match now has some cool new features for you to throw in like: "Comeback Specials", "Wake Up Taunts", "O.M.G. Moments", and a newly revamped limb-targeting system. Special matches are even more special with nuances like wedging ladders between ropes, and trading the Hell In A Cell door for a more brutal exit. Even the traditional tag team match has upped it's game with strategic double teams like low-bridges and tag finishers.
Attitude Era Mode takes the place of Career/Story Mode this year, and it's an absolute blast. Starting in 1996 with chaptered stories like "The Rise of D-X" and "Austin 3:16", you play through some of the most memorable matches and moments during the hottest period of sports-entertainment. While being super fun, this is a great mode because it'll be retro to old WWE fans and educating to new WWE fans.
But here's the part in the review where the brass knuckles come out.
Visually, the animation is getting left in the dust by today's standards. While Uncharted and Assassins Creed look like they could believably be watched on a cinema big-screen, Superstars and Divas of WWE '13 resemble cheap plastic action figures. If that's not bad enough, even after the most recent software update as of writing this, we at Organized Remains have run into plenty of animation glitches.
WWE Universe Mode seemed like a good idea on paper, throwing random match cards with random feuds at you and letting you pick which matches to play off that card. Unfortunately, WWE has so many TV shows now that it just seems like a chore reaching the next in-game Pay-Per-View. Create-A-Superstar has it's new designs and apparels, but it's still 90% the same designs and outfits recycled from past games. And while past games the bones have been shelled out for a decent soundtrack for the game, in WWE 13 we get only one original song. By far, the worst feature can be turned off but is the default and a big annoyance - The Highlight Reel. After you win your match you're subjected to six replays of all the subjective "highlights". During the match, whenever you hit your finisher, don't get too excited about quickly making that pin because you're going to sit there and watch a triple slow-mo replay from different angles of you hitting that move.
Final Say: WWE '13 has some new tricks up it's sleeve but is far from the epic wrestling game fans want. After putting out so many WWE Titles, the burnt out THQ is relying on a sleeper hold to keep the series without really innovating anything too crazy. Fans need to will WWE back to life with a slow-clap so the company can break free from the submission hold, because while Attitude Era Mode is really fun, it's not lightning you can catch in a bottle twice. Sports-entertainment fanatics should buy this game in a month or so when it'll be on sale for the holidays and hopefully will have some bugs fixed, but casual gamers can rest easy skipping this year's edition.
WWE 13 can be purchased here at Amazon: http://amzn.to/TqoIoG
It's available on the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii.
Written / read by Shawn
Video by Nick