April 19, 2024

From the moment I stepped into the virtual ring, I was instantly transported back to the golden age of wrestling games. AEW: Fight Forever brings back the fun, fast-paced, and accessible gameplay that made those classic titles so beloved. In a refreshing departure from the realism-focused trend dominating the wrestling gaming landscape, this game embraces a more light-hearted and enjoyable approach that instantly captivates players.

AT A GLANCE
GENRE: Action, Sports
DEVELOPER: Yuke’s Co., LTD
PUBLISHER: THQ Nordic, All Elite Wrestling, LLC
RELEASE DATE: 29 Jun, 2023

AEW: Fight Forever, developed by Yuke’s and officially licensed by All Elite Wrestling, brings a breath of fresh air to the wrestling gaming landscape. It harkens back to the golden era of arcade-style wrestling games, where the focus was on fun, accessible, and action-packed gameplay that resonated with both casual and dedicated players. It’s a welcome departure from the realism-centric approach that dominated the genre for so long.

For years, wrestling fans were limited to the WWE 2K series, which offered a deep and authentic experience, but sometimes lacked the excitement and sheer joy that came with the more arcade-oriented titles. AEW: Fight Forever understands this longing and delivers a gaming experience that strikes the perfect balance between nostalgia and innovation. It combines the beloved mechanics of classic wrestling games, such as the iconic N64 THQ WCW and WWF titles, with modern elements that embody the electrifying spirit of All Elite Wrestling.

Fight Forever introduces a momentum system reminiscent of past wrestling games, rewarding varied offense, and solid defense by building up momentum for devastating signature and special moves. The controls are intuitive and responsive, allowing me to execute a wide range of moves and strikes with ease. Utilizing each wrestler’s unique set of skills added depth and strategy to matches.

AEW offers a solid selection of match types, ranging from traditional one-on-one bouts to multi-person spectacles. Standard matches, hardcore matches, ladder matches, and battle royales are all present and accounted for. Each match type feels distinct, offering unique challenges and opportunities for creative gameplay strategies.

AEW Fight Forever even has a range of entertaining mini-games that add a refreshing twist to the overall gameplay experience. These mini-games serve as engaging diversions from the main wrestling matches and offer players a chance to test their skills in different ways.

AEW presents a range of single-player modes, including a captivating story-driven campaign and exhibition matches for quick gameplay. The story mode endeavors to immerse players in the vibrant world of AEW, incorporating branching storylines and rivalries to enhance replayability. However, while the branching paths offer multiple perspectives, the storytelling itself falls short in terms of depth and cohesiveness. Nevertheless, the game mode remains enjoyable, especially when witnessing the growth and progression of your created superstar in other game modes. This added element adds a sense of reward and fulfillment to the overall experience.

AEW boasts a diverse roster of wrestlers, including popular stars from the promotion as well as iconic legends. Each wrestler is faithfully recreated, with attention to detail given to their move sets, signatures, and entrance animations. The inclusion of a character creation mode allows players to craft their own wrestlers and embark on a personalized journey within the AEW universe.

Visually, AEW presents a mixed bag. The character models look impressive, capturing the likenesses of the wrestlers accurately. The in-ring action is smooth and fluid, with vibrant animations that enhance the impact of each move. However, the arenas and crowd visuals lack the same level of polish, feeling somewhat generic and lacking in detail. The commentary, while authentic with AEW’s announcers, could benefit from more diverse and dynamic lines to avoid repetition.

The Create a Wrestler mode in AEW allows you to create your own wrestler from scratch. While it does not offer a wide choice of options when it comes to customizing your character, the game’s creative suite offers a wealth of assets, including voiced entrance calls and signature moves from wrestlers who didn’t make it into the game.

The online multiplayer component of AEW provides an opportunity to challenge players worldwide. Matchmaking is generally smooth, allowing for quick connections and competitive bouts. However, occasional lag and connectivity issues may hinder the overall experience. A robust ranking system and regular updates with new content would further enhance the longevity and excitement of the online multiplayer mode.

Final Thoughts

Final Score
8 / 10
8/10

Summary

AEW Fight Forever delivers a satisfying and immersive wrestling experience that caters to both fans of the sport and newcomers alike. While the campaign mode may lack a captivating narrative, the sense of accomplishment derived from seeing your superstar grow and excel in other game modes is undeniably enjoyable. The creative suite allows for customization, although the inclusion of more diverse options and cosmetic choices would elevate the overall experience. With its diverse roster and dynamic gameplay mechanics, AEW Fight Forever successfully captures the essence of professional wrestling, evoking a sense of nostalgia and excitement.