This last week I have been playing a lot of WWE ’13 on Xbox. Yep, laugh it up, but this is one of those wonderful surprises in gaming for me where my expectations are low yet a game proves to be immensely enjoyable. Initially bought as a ‘banter purchase,’ (a game I and my regular Live Party all buy on the cheap to play for a bit as a laugh), this has actually turned out to be a great single player experience. A heavy slab of nostalgia plays its part here, sending us back to times we’ve all spent playing previous iterations in our youth. This Nostalgia is aided by the ‘Attitude Era’ storyline, allowing the relieving of some of the major wrestling storylines from when we all actually knew who was who and it was still called WWF. Who doesn’t love a bit of Stone Cold Steve Austin? And that’s the bottom line! For the current day, there is Universe mode, which can be essentially whatever you want. The range of customisation available is brilliant and it is really possible to get the universe to work how you want it and see storylines and feuds develop as they would in real life shows.
The controls are fiddly at first and there is a lot of button mashing, and online services are temperamental but when it all comes together and you nail your best mate with the People’s Elbow this game is as satisfying as they come. At a time when I find a lot of mainstream games have become too serious or gritty, this has been a shot in the arm of unbridled fun, greatly enhanced by how unexpected it was.