THQ and Yuke’s are back again this year with the latest instalment in the WWE games franchise with WWE 13. This is the second WWE branded game and the fifteenth overall in the combined series. It is the anticipated sequel to WWE 12 and is due out on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii on October the 30th in North America, November 1st in Australia and November 2nd in Europe. I had the privilege of seeing an exclusive presentation about WWE 13 at a recent THQ event in Dublin.
THQ and Yuke’s have taken huge steps to improve on their previous incarnation of the franchise series by introducing many new elements. WWE 13 runs on a new games engine called “Predator Technology 2.0” which is an improvement on the “Predator Technology” engine from WWE 12 as it now includes a feature called “OMG Moments”. The engine has also allowed for a much more fluid match flow graphically.
These moments allow you to recapture some of the biggest moments in WWE history such as power-bombing your opponent through the announcers table, catching mid-air finishers, breaking them through the barricade and in the case of two super heavyweights, completely break the ring. While these moments are often viewed as very over the top, their representation within the game is impressive and encapsulates the atmosphere of when a superstar preforms a move like that on television.
WWE 13 uses a new crowd audio engine which dynamically adjusts itself throughout the course of a match, from being loud at the big moves and finishers, to being quiet when there’s not much going on. They also respond differently to if you’re a good guy or a bad guy within the story. It is the first time in a WWE game that a crowd engine of this type has been introduced, with all audio coming from actual WWE broadcasts. It results in a very dynamic, authentic and engaging crowd that you could expect to see on a WWE branded show.
WWE 13 also boasts the biggest roster in any WWE game to date, containing a full roster of current superstars and diva’s, along with a full roster from the “Attitude Era” to coincide with the new Attitude Era single player mode. You can expect to see the big names of the Attitude Era such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Mankind and for the first time in a WWE game, Mike Tyson, who played a monumental part in turning the tide for the WWE. Along with the full roster, you can also expect a full set of Attitude Era arenas with full authenticity to its real life counterpart with everything from how the logo’s look to using steel barricades instead of the current barricades.
Attitude Era mode replaces the Road to Wrestle Mania mode from previous instalments in the franchise. It allows you to take some of the biggest names from the Attitude Era such as Stone Cold Steve Austin or The Rock and relive their story with key fights along the way. Along with winning matches and working your way through the respective career modes of the Superstars, there will be objectives that can be completed during the course of the match. These objectives aim to recreate key moments from that fight to give more authenticity to the retelling of the story. These objectives then unlock bonus cut scenes that reveal more information on these historic moments in the WWE’s history. It is a very different approach to the single player careers of the past, but a definite improvement.
At the event we were shown four different types of matches available when the game launches this holiday season; Normal, Hell in a Cell, Extreme Rules and for the first time since Smackdown vs. Raw 2007, Special Referee. In special referee you control everything from how long your pins are to count outs. It has been reintroduced to the game as fans have wanted to see it back within the franchise so THQ aimed to provide its audience with what it wants.
For the first time in a WWE game, Yuke’s and THQ have made dedicated skeleton models for its super heavyweights to make them look larger than life and give a better representation of how big they really were. The result is impressive as a character such as The Big Show towers over his opponents, representing his billed height of 7”2 inches perfectly. The super heavyweights also contain moves that are unique to their respective weights categories.
WWE 13 is shaping up to be one of the best instalments in the franchise series, boasting with the biggest roster of any WWE game, impressive visuals, unique gameplay, dynamic crowd audio and a completely new single player mode.
Keep your eyes peeled for my opinion from an exclusive hands on of the game and also an interview I done with Cory Ledesma, Creative Director of WWE games at THQ regarding WWE 13, all of which can be found on the site.