WWE 13 PS3 review – Grappler goes old-school for a mega main event

WWE 13 ps3 preview Sheamus

NO! NO! NO! Where in the blue hell is Daniel Bryan’s hairy, goatlike hairy face-garden? The recent breakthrough star’s beard is way too kempt in WWE 13. Which is strange, because in every other way, this suplexfest offers the most accurate, slavishly detailed wrasslin’ fan service you’ve ever seen. It’s also got the Attitude of a ten-time undisputed champ.

WWE 13 PS3 review

Rather than my caps lock going on the fritz, said ’tude refers to wrestling’s golden era of the late ’90s. The Attitude Era is the focus of the game’s brilliant new career mode, which spans a time when Stone Cold Steve Austin was more famous than Tom Cruise and the Dalai Lama combined. This is the sports entertainment your inner teenager remembers – all middle fingers, Corporate Elbows and WWE furiously duking it out with WCW in the Monday Night Wars for cable ratings. Such a rich period of grappling gives Yuke’s the perfect platform to build a thoroughly memorable, nostalgia-driven campaign.

But before I get more excited than Funkasaurus at a cheesy disco’s free buffet bar squealing about Mankind and The Corporation, it’s worth noting that little has actually changed in the ring since last year’s outing. The only real showy addition is ‘OMG Moments’. Rather than a pampered 16-year-old being bought her first BMW by daddy, these are special finishers that let you spear men through the audience barricades or piledrive them through the announcers’ table.

Outside of ruining Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler’s desk, the core experiencing of slamming 30-stone men about still has the same satisfying, hefty physicality of WWE 12. Moves also look more realistic than ever thanks to clipping being almost entirely kiboshed and improved physics. It means WWE 13 is easily the most assured game in Smackdown’s history. Now back to gushing about masked men shoving socks down people’s throats.

WWE 13 Universe mode screenshotsAttitude Era is broken up into five different sections, covering some of the biggest stars ever to be squeezed into a pair of fighting Y-fronts. Starting with the rise of DX, the story missions eventually encompass Austin’s legendary fights with Vince McMahon, The Rock and Mankind’s bizarre battles for the WWE Championship, and Undertaker and Kane’s brotherly beatdowns.

Like Big Show’s waistline, WWE 13 is a generously proportioned game. Attitude Era contains a whopping 56 matches, letting you recreate many of sports entertainment’s most iconic moments. There’s Undertaker hurling Mick Foley off the roof of a 16-foot cage of death during their unforgettable Hell In A Cell encounter. Stone Cold ruining his boss’ spine by flinging the CEO through a table. Oh, and The Rock caving in the skull of Mrs Foley’s Baby Boy with 11 barbaric chair shots during the pair’s brutal I Quit match. Poor Mick.

Each of these moments is recreated in ace fashion through a canny combination of normal fighting, well-executed QTEs (called Attitude Moments) and expertly choreographed cut-scenes that recreate the biggest bumps from matches. It gives each encounter a unique flavour and pacing all of its own, further helped by the addition of historical objectives.