Published on April 5th, 2011 | by Daniel


Review: WWE All Stars

Release Date: 29 March 2011 (US), 1 April 2011 (EU) Genre(s): Professional Wrestling, Fighting Developer: THQ San Diego Publisher: THQ Rating: T (Teen), 12+ [Rating: 8/10](8/10) Throughout the past few years, THQ have taken WWE’s SmackDown vs. RAW series in a more realistic direction, focusing on a simulation of the events in a WWE ring. Yet, in a real-life WWE ring, not everything is realistic and about simulation. WWE All Stars focuses on and expands upon the already crazy world of WWE, with over-the-top visuals, and an impactful, ultra crazy style of play. This could be the game WWE fans have been waiting for. WWE All Stars features “two generations” of WWE wrestlers. In the game there are currently 15 Legends and 15 Superstars, all of which are decorated in All Stars’ over-the-top visual style, which suits the game down to a tee. The Ultimate Warrior is even more muscular than he was in his prime, Rey Mysterio can fly around the ring at an even more ridiculous pace than usual, and Andre The Giant is now bigger than anyone ever imagined him to be. OK, the last one wasn’t exactly true, Andre was huge. Couple WWE All Stars’ unique visual style with it’s unique gameplay, and the game gets off to a winning start. All Stars features four distinct classes- Acrobats, Big Men, Brawlers and Grapplers. Each feel extremely unique, especially when using different Legend’s or Superstar’s own moveset. Acrobats fly around the ring and can execute gravity-defying moves that no man ever could, Big Men simply dominate their opponents with hard-hitting strikes and grapples, Brawlers are the “all-round” class of All Stars thanks to their general combo ability and the fact they do not have any glaring limitations like the slow Big Men or weaker Acrobats. Finally, Grapplers are able to execute great combinations of grapple moves to inflict a whole host of pain to their opponent.

Between a "Rock" and a hard place.

Without game modes though, this game would be a quick throwaway. The game features all the standard modes expected in a wrestling game (single, tag team and speciality matches such as cage matches or Extreme Rules matches) but also features a stand out mode in Path of Champions and the especially stand out Fantasy Warfare mode. Path of Champions only barely classifies as a mode, though. It features three paths, one Legends path, where you face The Undertaker, one Superstars path where you take on Randy Orton and one Tag Team path, where you take on the collective might of DX. Each contains 10 varying matches for you to work your way through and earn that path’s respective championship. While it may not sound too exciting at first, it’s the cutscenes in this mode that make it enjoyable to play through numerous times. There may only be a few per path, but in them you get a real sense of personality and characters, something missing from WWE games for a long time. Paul Bearer comes across as genuinely strange and demented, while The Undertaker is intimidating and scary. In the Superstars Path, Randy Orton’s slow and methodical way of cutting a promo comes across very well and DX’s comedy isn’t lost in the Tag Team path. It may not be a trailblazing mode, but it’s certainly fun to play through instead of regular matches and is certainly more entertaining than SmackDown vs. RAW 2011’s Road To WresteMania mode. Fantasy Warfare is the best mode in WWE All Stars though. It features 15 match-ups of the Legends and Superstars featured on the roster and presents them with a high quality video package that WWE fans are used to seeing on a WWE TV show. Some of the match-ups are really appropriate and seem to fit together easily (the battle to be Mr. WrestleMania between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker), but some seem a little more forced (the Coldest Snake battle between Jake Roberts and Randy Orton) but thanks to the video packages, they are never less fun to watch and play through on either the Legends side or the Superstars side. The one gripe I have about Fantasy Warfare is the ordering of the matches. The Mr. WrestleMania match is the final one, but the one that precedes it? A match between Roddy Piper and Drew McIntyre for the Pride Of Scotland. Aside from this extremely minor problem with Fantasy Warfare, it’s a great mode that allows players to experience the entire roster, while also getting a feel for the match itself thanks to the awesome video packages.

The view is great up here!

Aside from those two modes though, there isn’t much else to keep you going except the Xbox LIVE modes and the promise of DLC to come. There are other problems too. Top rope finishing moves are dodgy to execute, as are all the top rope moves, due to the fact your opponent is never down long enough to perform one of these moves and the Create A Superstar mode is not as deep as the version seen in the SmackDown vs. RAW series and has problems rendering some items properly. While WWE All Stars is an extremely fun and enjoyable game in it’s own right, I feel a marriage between the All Stars game and the SmackDown vs. RAW series would make the perfect WWE game. Keep All Stars’ over-the-top style, Path of Champions and Fantasy Warfare mode but bring in the entire WWE roster alongside the Create A Superstar and WWE Universe mode seen in SmackDown vs RAW, and THQ should, on paper, have a winner. Until then though, i’m quite happy to continue playing through WWE All Stars and the upcoming DLC, and wait for a possible sequel.   WWE All Stars may not be perfect, but it’s a huge step in the right direction for THQ and their WWE games line-up.  

The Good

  • Great look to every single Legend and Superstar.
  • Awesome over-the-top gameplay.
  • Fantasy Warfare is a winner.

The Bad

  • Not much else to do besides Path of Champions and Fantasy Warfare.
  • Odd problem lets it down a bit.
[Rating: 8/10](8/10)

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  • Agree

  • Damn, messed that comment up a bit.

    Agree with the review totally, seen a few people complain about the lack of depth but clearly missed the point that All Stars is so much fun…

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