Friday, 17 May 2024

AEW: Fight Forever Review

When All Elite Wrestling burst onto the scene in 2019, it provided wrestling fans with a refreshing alternative to WWE. With its unique product and emphasis on in-ring action, AEW quickly became a viable competitor. Now, AEW has ventured into the world of video games with Fight Forever. While the game has its strengths, there are areas where it falls short of greatness.

A Nostalgic Experience

Fight Forever’s standout feature is its homage to classic wrestling games like WWF No Mercy and WCW/nWo Revenge. The gameplay is more fast-paced and accessible than the dense control schemes of WWE 2K. It’s a breath of fresh air to execute moves simply by pressing a button and a direction. The momentum-based offense adds depth to matches, rewarding players for dominating their opponents. However, the game lacks a formal tutorial, making it challenging for newcomers to grasp essential mechanics.

Smooth Action, Some Frustrations

The gameplay in Fight Forever generally feels smooth and offers a faster pace compared to WWE’s games. However, the opponent AI, particularly in tag team matches, can be questionable at times. Additionally, the game’s default auto-targeting system leaves much to be desired, and players may find it better to switch to manual targeting. Despite these frustrations, the overall experience of playing Fight Forever remains enjoyable.

A Shallow Package

While Fight Forever offers various match types and recreations of AEW staples like the Casino Battle Royale and Exploding Barbwire Deathmatch, the game’s overall content feels shallow. Mini-games like a rhythm exercise starring Penta don’t provide lasting engagement. The presentation is underwhelming, with dated graphics, abbreviated entrances, and a lack of match commentary. Despite its potential, Fight Forever lacks the depth and polish expected from a top-tier wrestling game.

A Mixed Roster

Fight Forever features a roster of AEW wrestlers that reflects the promotion’s lineup in 2021/early 2022. While core stars like The Elite, Jericho, Moxley, Baker, and Punk are present, there are some notable omissions. The limited number of women wrestlers compared to men is disappointing. The roster’s stylized designs capture the essence of the wrestlers but don’t always resemble their real-life counterparts.

A Lackluster Story Mode

The story-focused Road to Elite mode falls flat, offering a lackluster journey from new signee to world champion. Some storylines recreate old angles from AEW’s history, but the activities between matches, like hitting the gym and dining at local restaurants, feel like tedious fluff. Playing as a female wrestler in the mode is particularly disappointing, as it only offers a women’s division-centric story for the first month before repeating the male storyline.

Limited Creation Suite

The creation suite in Fight Forever is limited in options. Create-a-wrestler lacks facial sculpting, resulting in limited customization. The lack of clothing designs and the inability to share characters online further restrict creativity. The custom arenas feature offers more flexibility but still leaves room for improvement. Unlockable creation assets earned through daily challenges do little to inspire extensive character customization.

A Promising Foundation

AEW: Fight Forever has the potential to be a great arcade-style wrestling game. The gameplay captures the simple fun of classic wrestling games, and the inclusion of a major promotion adds excitement. However, certain aspects, such as AI and presentation, need improvement. Until these areas are addressed, even the most passionate AEW fans may struggle to fully embrace this game.

FAQs

Q: How can I unlock additional creation assets in Fight Forever?

A: You can unlock additional creation assets by completing daily challenges and earning in-game currency.

Q: Can I play as a female wrestler in the Road to Elite mode?

A: Yes, but the female storyline in the mode is limited compared to the male storyline.

Q: Does Fight Forever have a tutorial?

A: While the game lacks a formal tutorial, there is a training room where you can practice moves against a dummy.

Conclusion

AEW: Fight Forever brings a refreshing arcade-style experience to wrestling games. Despite its shortcomings, the game offers enjoyable gameplay and captures the essence of All Elite Wrestling. With improvements to AI, presentation, and content depth, Fight Forever has the potential to become a must-play title for wrestling fans. As AEW continues to make waves in the industry, their video game counterpart has the opportunity to follow suit and become a contender in its own right.