My wrestling fan days are all but over but there was still a
frisson of excitement in my bones when WWE 13 loaded
up for the first time.
For: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii
Four stars (out of five)
A year after THQ took the game that accompanies professional
wrestling's biggest brand in a bold new direction, the
developer returns with some shines and tweaks.
Most notable, especially for those of us of a certain age, is
the introduction of a new story mode called ''Attitude''.
For the uninitiated, the ''Attitude Era'' refers to a seismic
period in wrestling history. Two shows - Raw (WWE) and Nitro
(WCW) - were competing on Monday nights. Nitro, backed by Ted
Turner's millions and with the great Hulk Hogan on board,
started to win the ratings war, and WWE owner Vince McMahon
knew he had to do something about it.
He made sweeping changes to his organisation, introducing
new characters and a new (here's that word again) attitude. In
essence, he threw out all the old rules and embraced a heady
mix of sex, foul language, rudeness and obnoxiousness. It was
dodgy stuff, basically, but the ploy worked. Raw won the war,
and WWE eventually bought out WCW.
The new Attitude mode in WWE 13 has dashes of the
grubby stuff but do not let that put you off. It's a fun,
well paced mode that allows you to recreate some of the era's
Challenges within each level provide extra playability, and
there are loads and loads of unlockable goodies.
A second major mode - Universe - returns, and allows you to
experience month after month of shows and pay-per-views,
playing or simulating anything you like.
The roster is the biggest yet for a WWE game. Modern
stars (CM Punk, John Cena, Kane et al) can be augmented by
unlockable classic characters, and variations thereof.
Wrestling games have always been big on customisation and
WWE 13 goes HUGE on customisation. More creative types
can spend hours upon hours shaping and crafting their dream
superstar, complete with belts and finishing moves.
Inside the ring, the game plays much as it did last year.
While I still pine for the old control system - up, down,
triangle equals the DDT - it is very simple to pull off a
huge range of moves. Shame the reversal mechanic is still
Modern wrestling fans will lap up WWE 13 and find
months of gameplay inside. Old-timers like me will forget the
responsibilities of adulthood for a while and rediscover our