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Sale Price: $38 Last Price: $39.99 Buy now! 3rd Party 37.77 In Stock
Release Date: October 30th, 2012 Movie Release Year: 2012

WWE 13

Overview -

Let me start out by saying, if you’ve played “WWE 12” and are looking for a marked advancement in modern wrestling game play, “WWE 13” is not your game. While the latest installment has a few enhancements over its predecessor in game play categories, a few surface enhancements and a few solid game play improvements, “WWE 13” is actually a step-back for strictly modern era fans. Instead, Yukes and THQ offer players a trip back in time, by scrapping a modern story mode for the Attitude Era Mode, a lengthy and satisfying re-exploration of the matches and moments that made the WWF a ratings juggernaut in the 1990s.

OVERALL:
Rating Breakdown
VIDEO
AUDIO
Tech Specs & Release Details
Video Resolution/Codec:
720p
Audio Formats:
Dolby Digital 5.1
Release Date:
October 30th, 2012

Video Review

Ranking:

Visually, “WWE 13” is eye-pleasing at times, but still quite a bit behind in terms of living up to the potential of this generation’s console hardware. The games absolutely capture the visual flair of a WWE event, most notably the rich color schemes. Nothing from this angle, could be said to look unrealistic and this applies to the creation mode, which sports some truly amazing old-school (and new-school) creations by players.

The actual detail level in the game is a different story; yes, this game looks better than offerings from a few years ago, but compared to “WWE 12” the actual improvement factor is negligible. There’s just something lacking from giving the character models a more realistic “pop” off the screen and while equally an improvement, background elements still feel a bit flat at points. At the end of the day, I suspect things aren’t graphically A+ to ensure any hiccups resulting in what would be game breaking, slowdown occur, but still, the WWE games, seem just a step behind the industry standard.

The biggest graphical offense committed by the game though, comes from the animations. While, 90% of the game is fluidly animated, a small portion of that 10% that doesn’t look quite right is downright frustrating. Characters will float around ropes instead of resting on them; rarely, a character will “teleport” slightly when engaged in a boundary area. Some moves look great until it’s time for the character models to “sell” the impact, which robs the game of the required sense of realism. Moves that should result in some notable, but subdued writing, often are instead animated in broad moments of theatrics. It’s a real shame “WWE 13” wasn’t able to fix these elements fully, as some are still lingering complaints from the days of the PSX.

Audio Review

Ranking:

Sadly, the audio on this game should have been a slam-dunk, but alas, “WWE 13” is rife with a multitude of audio follies, that ultimately tally up to a near embarrassing quantity. The commentary in any sports game is always a dicey factor and as usual, it’s still a bit stilted in this offering. The transitions between canned lines aren’t always smooth and once in a while, a new line starts too quickly. To make matters worse, the Attitude Era story mode pulls archival audio from actual telecasts and the difference between real commentary and computer-generated commentary is glaringly obvious. Even then, the censoring of a few words (notably WWF), turns right around and reminds players this is all history and they shouldn’t get too invested in what they’re playing.

The biggest downfall of the game is a poor sound mix, which could have been entirely fixed by providing more audio sliders in the settings menu. Too often, cutscene dialogue is drowned out by excessive crowd noise or music, and I found myself constantly fiddling with the volume to try and hear what was going on at times. This problem ends up being almost exclusively noticeable in the Attitude Era mode, but even in standard exhibition matches, the balance between elements is not solid.

“WWE 13” is not the best wrestling game ever made, but possibly the best of this generation of consoles. It doesn’t pave new paths in terms of technological prowess and if you’re looking for something revolutionarily different over “WWE 12” in terms of A/V, this isn’t your best bet. What it does do, is offer a love letter to 90s-era wrestling fans by taking the bold step of using the requisite story mode in such titles to relive some of the biggest historical moments of the Attitude Era of wrestling. The giant roster of both veterans and current stars can make for some fun mash-ups and on the local multiplayer side, a gathering of true wrestling fans are going to have an absolute blast. With THQs future in doubt, no one knows what the future holds for WWE games, but right now, “WWE 13” is a good sign that with a bit more ingenuity, WWE games don’t have to follow the Madden style of improvement.