WWE '13 Review

November 12, 2012

/ by Tin Salamunic

Developer(s): Yuke's
Publisher(s): THQ
Platform(s): PS3, Wii, PC, Xbox 360
Review Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: October 30, 2012

The last wrestling game I played was in the early 2000s. Needless to say, I had a bit of trepidation going into the review of WWE ‘13. Would I still find the wrestling games of yore that I loved and spent countless hours during the summer playing? Or would I find a commercialized game, a shell of its former self?
  • Slick Presentation
  • Multitude of options and customization
  • Attitude Era WWE
  • Wonky Camera
  • Newcomers will be frustrated with lack of familiarization of game modes, match types, and certain game mechanics.
After spending some time with WWE ‘13 it is clear that the game does not disappoint. It was a strange experience, however, returning to something after being away from it for a little over a decade… an odd mixture of the familiar and the decidedly unfamiliar. Revisiting the Attitude Era of wrestling will be an immediate pull factor for many gamers to whom the 90s was the Golden Decade of wrestling. Returning fans of the series will find it easy to step in to the game and feel right at home in menus and the plethora of gaming modes. However, anyone who has spent time away from the series may find it difficult to get into the game right away. There’s a learning curve, and it shows. You are not prompted to complete a tutorial before you play your first match, and you will have to familiarize yourself with the different match types by trial and error as the match types highlighted in the menus do not contain short descriptions of the rules and regulations. So, if you don’t know what a King of the Ring match is, you are just going to have to hope for the best the first time around.

WWE ‘13 excels at variety. Options, options, options. It really is one of the most customizable games in recent memory. From the match types, to the different modes, to the custom character and manager interfaces, the sheer amount of stuff that there is to change, move, play, or rename is mindboggling. And that’s fantastic, because it adds greatly to the replay value of the game and makes sure that your money goes a long way.   
The game’s presentation is also very well done. If anything, wrestling is all about presentation, and WWE ‘13 hits every nail on the head when it comes to capturing the melodramatic excitement of the industry. The intro for each wrestler is arguably the best part of any match. The commentating usually hits the mark and describes the action going on in the ring accurately.

WWE ‘13 does suffer some from its focus on the details, however, and most of this lack of attention shows up in how your wrestler controls. For the most part, your WWE superstar controls fine, but it is in the moments that most count where wonky quick-time-like button presses become an unwelcome annoyance. The choice to create a system of television-like camera shots to capture some of the more cinematic moments of a match is a nice idea, but one that proves to make tracking the location of your wrestler in the ring more difficult than it needs to be. Luckily, the player has the option of changing this if s/he wishes.
The lack of a tutorial hampers your ability to jump into the game and start enjoying it right away. It will take you time—more time than it should have—for you to learn the different mechanics and controls for WWE ‘13. There are times that your opponent in the ring feels more like a punching bag than the fully-realized wrestling behemoth s/he is in real life. At times, defeating an opponent is simply too easy.

All of that to say, WWE ’13 is an enjoyable time. It is clear that the developers paid attention to the details, and the game shines in certain areas because of it. In simple terms, the game is just fun to play. Much like the wrestling you see on television, the chaotic excitement that is WWE ’13 does not disappoint. 

Editor’s Note: THQ has provided us with a copy of the game for review.

Final Score “A Solid Entry that Needs Polish” 7.5
Character models look good, and that’s really the only thing that matters in a game full of close-ups of half-naked men and scantily clad women.
Yes, it is simple, but it is oh-so fun. There is little more satisfying than laying the smack-down on some jabroni with the Rock himself.
There’s a lot to do here. You’ll be tempted to spend months playing customized matches with customized characters before you even think about playing the campaign mode.
The commentators sound great and the intro music for all the wrestlers is edited and mixed very well.

Review by Jon Hamlin

Jon Hamlin is a freelance game journalist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He plays too much Mass Effect 3 multiplayer and enjoys a good glass of wine. Occasionally, he can be found commanding his legion of doom on Xbox Live as GeniusPantsPhD. Follow him on Twitter @WordsmithJon, or email him at All Articles by Jon.             

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  1. That's it? very short review for a big game......

  2. I feel the review says everything it needs to....making it any longer is completely unnecessary!


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