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Saturday | December 10, 2016
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WWE All Stars (PS3)

WWE All Stars (PS3)

WWE All Stars (PS3) Review

WWE All Stars (PS3) Review

The relationship between the WWE and THQ goes back to 2000 with the release of WWF SmackDown for the original PlayStation. Since then THQ have published a number of games featuring the superstars of the WWE, including the popular SmackDown vs. Raw series. Now development studio THQ San Diego is releasing a new title for THQ to publish, WWE All Stars which builds on the original concept of WWE Legends of WrestleMania, released by THQ in 2009.

Legends of WrestleMania allowed us to indulge in some fantasy booking by giving us the ability to set up matches with the greatest WWE superstars ever to appear at WrestleMania, the biggest pay per view the WWE puts on each year. The legends roster however didn’t include many of the current crop of WWE superstars.

WWE All Stars brings us bang up to date with the current generation of WWE superstars and allows us to put them one on one against the biggest names from the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Therefore it gives us the opportunity to find who has the most innovate offense? Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat or Kofi Kingston? Who’s the greatest big man off all time? Andre the Giant or The Big Show? Or who’s the most perfectly awesome WWE superstar, Mr Perfect or The Miz?

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Gameplay
Unlike the SmackDown vs. Raw games WWE All Stars is very much in the arcade style of grappling. The moves are simple and easy to learn with quick or strong strikes and grabs that can be pulled of using the standard button controls. This results in one of the games key advantages when compared to other fighting games, WWE All Stars is incredibly easy to just pick up and play.

That’s not to say there is no challenge though, the depth with WWE All Stars comes in learning the combo moves that can be pulled off while your opponent is stunned or in the air. Learning these moves and understanding the timing on when to pull them off to best effect is what will really separate the men from the boys.

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Again, unlike the reality based gameplay of SmackDown vs. Raw, WWE All Stars offers an over the top view of wrestling. Even the simplest of moves, such as a body slam, are exaggerated and when we have enough skill points to be able to do a signature move then it gets really crazy. Suddenly we are diving high in the air to deliver a devastating DDT to our opponent, or spinning round and round to hit a Samoan drop. While this style will not necessarily appeal to wrestling purists, we can say that it is great fun.

As we’d expect from a THQ wrestling game, All Stars has wide range of match ups that we can select from. In the Exhibition mode we can choose from a standard one on one match up or other custom games including a Triple Threat, Fatal 4 Way, Steel Cage and many others.

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All Stars also offers a Fantasy Warfare mode where it poses us a series of questions via one on one match ups. These are fantasy booking matches where we find legends of the past are matched up with current WWE superstars. Each matchup is preceded with a short video intro, which is very nicely edited to together and we fight through all 15 match ups to release playable characters and new venues which can be used in the Exhibition mode. Path of the Champions allows us to pick our favourite wrestler from the roster and play through a set of challenges to face one of three opponents. If we complete the path we earn new outfits for our selected wrestler.

All Stars includes an online mode which allows us to take on players from around the world in matches such as fatal 4-way with leader boards will be available. Essentially more of the same, quick action and over the top fun in a ranked environment where we test our skills against the best.

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Graphics
Like the gameplay in WWE All Stars the graphics are stylised and over the top. The wrestlers are enhanced versions of themselves, which is saying something given most WWE wrestlers are larger than life in reality. The models are all heavily muscled and quite barrel chested though they are very finely detailed and do look quite stunning. The standard movement is adequate however it’s the signature moves and finishers that really make the difference. These moves are all well animated and when we put our finisher on our opponent the on screen impact is quite brutal.

The arenas are well presented and accurate representations of the current look for WWE shows. The wide crowd shots are convincing, especially when the wrestlers make their entrance which is based on their current or traditional version, with a video playing on the jumbo screen and theme song blasting out.

All Stars offers a number of video packages, mostly via the Fantasy Warfare mode. These look fantastic and are nicely edited together.

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Audio
WWE All Stars features all the current characters most recent theme songs as well as the legends best known song. All the songs are played during the characters entrance and sound great, they are also played in random rotation on the menu screens.

The in ring action is called by Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler and Jim Ross. The commentary is not intrusive on the action and never becomes tedious which is always a bonus.

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Summary
WWE All Stars is a nice counterpoint to the more realistic SmackDown vs. Raw. It offers both long term and newer fans of the WWE the ability to pick their favourite wrestler and just fight and with pick up and play action. This easy introduction to the gameplay hides some depth though as mastering chain combos and several difficulty levels mean the game won’t be a push over to complete.

An abundance of modes and unlockable items will keep us playing for some time and the promise of online challenges will only increase the value and fun of this title.

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Gameplay 90/100 Pick up and play grappling makes for a fun title that’s easy to learn. Chain combos and several difficultly levels deepen the gameplay.
Graphics 90/100 Over the top models and amazing signature and finishing moves.
Audio 88/100 All the theme music for current and past wrestlers is available.
Value 89/100 Multiple modes to complete in single player as well as an online mode.
Overall
(Not an Average)
90/100 All Stars is a refreshing change from the more realistic wrestling and MMA titles recently released.

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About Author

Stuart Davidson

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