WWE All Stars Hands-On Preview

WWE All Stars

As a wrestling fan, I can appreciate the realism that goes into THQ’s Smackdown vs Raw series. If I ever want to feel like I’m actually in the WWE ring, those games will do it for me. Sometimes, though, I think back to the days of wrestling games like WWF Wrestlefest, In Your House, and Wrestlemania: The Video Game, when over-the-top arcade mayhem was the main focus and realism took a back seat. As much as I love the current games, thinking back makes me wish I had that craziness again.

Leave it to THQ to deliver, and deliver BIG.

WWE All Stars, due out in the beginning of 2011, is exactly what I described above: over-the-top, crazy wrestling action. All of the wrestlers are caricatures of themselves: bulging muscles and small heads. These wrestlers will soar 20-30 feet above the ring before delivering a slam. These traits build on the arcadey feel of the game, a feel thast is more than welcome to all wrestling fans.

The controls are simple: two attack buttons, grapple (hold one of the bumpers for a strong grapple), and block. As you successfully attack your opponent, your finisher meter will build, and when it’s full, hit a strong grapple and prepare for excellence. The graphics are an interesting blend of real (Cena’s signature attire, Rock’s signature eyebrow) and over-the-top (the aforementioned wrestler proportions, the shockwaves that are made from certain slams, the buckets of sweat bouncing off of the wrestlers). One thing that did stick out to me was the audience. These are some of the best-looking fans ever in a wrestling game, and they react very naturally to the action in the ring.


The demo I played featured two of WWE’s finest: John Cena and The Rock, complete with their entrances and mannerisms. Cena will stand at the top of the ramp and salute. The Rock struts to the ring as only he can. Both wrestlers’ theme songs wer blaring over the cheers of the fans. The attention to detail, despite the over-the-top nature of the game, is very impressive. Also, the inclusion of the Rock shows me that the roster will not merely be current stars, but will span the entire run of the WWE’s history. Could we see some Ultimate Warrior? Macho Man Randy Savage? Andre the Giant? The list of possibilities goes on and on, and if Legends of Wrestlemania proved anything, it’s that WWE isn’t afraid to tap into that history.

WWE All Stars was a game that I didn’t know too much about when I arrived at E3, but it’s certainly one I’ll be talking about up until release. Wrestling fans will love the crazy portrayals of their favorite wrestlers. Arcade fans will love the play style, with insane slams and copious amounts of pain. Wrestling and arcade fans will be in gaming heaven.

Look for WWE All Stars  in the first quarter of 2011.


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Author: Jason Fanelli View all posts by
Jason lives and breathes gaming. Legend tells that he taught himself to read using Wheel of Fortune Family Edition on the NES. He's been covering this industry for three years, all with the Node, and you can see his ugly mug once a week on Hot Off The Grill.

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