Why is there another WWE game? You may be asking yourself why THQ is putting out yet another wrestling title only months after Smackdown vs. Raw 2011. The answer is simple. WWE All-Stars is a completely different type of wrestling game. Does it separate itself enough to make it worth a look or is this just yet another wrestling game? Read our full review to find out
Over the last couple of years I have noticed that with each release of THQ’s Smackdown vs. Raw title it seems like it is pulling further and further away from the mainstream audience and building more towards the hardcore wrestling fans. I believe THQ also saw that gap and has now brought us a every day wrestling fans wrestling game in WWE All-Stars.
Where as the Smackdown vs. Raw series can be loosely labeled a simulation of what we see on TV, WWE All-Stars goes to the complete opposite side of the spectrum with an over-the-top arcade feel. The game consists of 30 of some of the most memorable wrestlers over the last thirty years with giant action figure like representations. Everything about WWE All-Stars is big and over the top.
By far my favorite mode in WWE All-Stars is Fantasy Warfare, which gives you fifteen matches between today’s superstars and those from the past. The mode starts off with giving you a little backstory for each wrestler and then pits you in the ring to fight it out. It’s a really simple concept but the execution (especially the intro videos) really fit together nicely.
The rest of the modes in the game are nowhere near as interesting. There is a mode called Path of Champions that is a rather standard career mode where you take a All-Star through ten matches and a final match. There is online play in the game as well but it does suffer from some lag issues, which messes up the timing of the game.
What really stands out about WWE All-Stars is the gameplay that manages to take a much more approachable control scheme. The game is all about timing and is able to combine that with a control scheme that anyone who has played a wrestling game in the last 10 years will be able to pick up and play. Most of the time All-Stars doesn’t end by pinfall but by KO, which keeps matches going for a bit longer then some, might expect. All in all the game controls well and outside of a few minor oddities is a pretty easy game to get the hang of.
By far the best part of WWE All-Stars is the visuals. The over the top neon color scheme combined with the action figure like character models combines to make a really stellar looking game. The animations follow the theme of the game and offer up an over the top representations of all of the moves and even more so on the finishers.
On the surface WWE All-Stars have all of the right set pieces for a great arcade wrestling title. However what ends up happening is that after your first initial bouts you will find that what seemed to be a simple arcade control scheme does manage to become a bit over complicated. It ends up becoming a game where instead of just button mashing your way to a good time you end up having to pay real attention to what’s going on. You can of course play the game as a button masher but you will find quickly that your getting KO’ed and missing out on a much deeper side of the game.
WWE All-Stars is a good game of arcade wrestling. The gameplay mechanics could use some tweaks to lean more towards an easy pick up and play style wresting game. With that being said if your growing tired of the Smackdown vs. Raw series or haven’t played a wrestling game in the last five years, this would be a good place to start.