Professional wrestling is often described as a male soap opera – a world where the drama, action and personalities are so over the top, it draws you in like a trashy romance novel that you can't put down.
THQ and Yuke's has decided that world is too realistic for videogames, and WWE All Stars is their solution to the problem.
WWE All Stars takes a slew of WWE Superstars (current wrestlers) and WWE Legends (retired grapplers) and jacks them up like they rolled in the ooze that made the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The characters look more like the Incredible Hulk than Hulk Hogan, and the moves are so fantastic Rey Mysterio couldn't even dream of them.
Look at the hang time!The demo running here at E3 features John Cena and the Brahma Bull, the Great One, the People's Champion – the Rock. Like I said, the proportions are borderline comic book, but they work. The arenas are massive, and the moves match that vibe. When Cena would get going with a series of punches, the Rock would be seriously rocked and clutch his head while wavering in the ring. When the Rock caught Cena in a chokeslam – the moves aren't set right now so that you see the depth of what THQ San Diego is doing – the two got wave off the mat with the move, and after the impact, Cena bounced way up into the air.
As you're laying down these epic beatdowns, the damage is being reflected on the characters. Chests get red, faces get bruised, and even the character icons on the HUD show evidence of the walloping. All of this punishment is dished out via simple strong/weak attacks and strong/quick grapples. You're even getting points for the moves you're pulling off.
Of course, a WWE game is nothing without signature moves and finishers, and those are in WWE All Stars. At one point, the Rock scooped Cena up in a fireman's carry and as he went back to deliver the Samoan drop, the Rock spun Cena in the air before catching him after the 360 and slamming him to the mat. The People's Elbow and the Five-Knuckle Shuffle are here, and they look equally as over-dramatic and devastating.
Still, combos are the more important thing in WWE All Stars. As you link up strikes, you're building to the powerful conclusion that's going to rock your opponent to his core. Weapons are in this game, but THQ wasn't ready to show them off or discuss what they are. There are no announcers, refs or count outs, but there is the classic-looking blue barricade.
The spinning comes next.It's still really early in the lifecycle of WWE All Stars, but I like where it's going. It looks arcadey – but more importantly, it plays arcadey. The over-the-top look matches the over-the-top moves. If THQ delivers a solid roster, keeps the moves varied, and provides a good single-player option, this one might scratch the itch some have for a casual."