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AEW: Fight Forever – the good, the bad and the ugly

AEW: Fight Forever looks promising and worrying at the same time. Let's look at the good, the bad and the ugly of the upcoming pro wrestling game

After years of anticipation, the release of AEW: Fight Forever is finally right around the corner. All Elite Wrestling’s debut console game looks to breathe fresh air into the wrestling genre of video games. More akin to the Nintendo 64 wrestling games than WWE 2K’s simulation focus, the new game seems nostalgic.

However, while aspects of the upcoming AEW: Fight Forever look promising, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. From a diminished roster size to a limited creation suite, the new game also seems to be heading back in time in the wrong ways as well. So, as we edge nearer to the June 29 launch, let’s look at the good, the bad and the ugly of Fight Forever.

The good: A throwback to old-school gameplay

AEW: Fight Forever

AEW: Fight Forever’s selling point is its gameplay. All of the trailers released for the game demonstrate an over-the-top, arcade-style approach to the action. With WWE’s slow-paced, realistic approach to matches, the high-speed action in AEW’s game looks addicting and fresh.

Along with the fast-paced gameplay, Yuke’s also put time into creating a destructible environment. For instance, the interactivity of the environment shoves the barricade into the crowd when you attack your opponent. You can also break the stage as well.

Other ways the game looks to amp up the absurdity of arcade-style gameplay is through its use of weapons and match types. With weapons ranging from Darby Allin’s skateboard to a tire, bloodying up your opponent with strange objects looks like a great time. In addition, the inclusion of the crazy barbed wire death match should make for some hilarious extreme antics.

In addition, the game also promises a deep career mode akin to WWF: No Mercy. Dubbed Road to Elite, the career mode will see you rise through the ranks of AEW, while participating in a series of unique storylines. Though we don’t know much about the details of this mode, branching storylines will make it a standout mode.

The bad: A stripped-down creation suite

AEW: Fight Forever

While some elements of AEW: Fight Forever look more than promising, others beg concern. One aspect that will disappoint many fans is the limited creation suite. Though you can create a wrestler, entrance, move-set and arena, the individual options will remain limited.

Where 2K gives players nearly endless options to create almost anyone (or anything) in its games, Fight Forever’s model looks stripped down. With multiple reports stating internal concerns about the limitations of the new game, players who like to expand their rosters with amazing CAWs won’t find many options here. To make things worse, AEW’s game also will not feature a Community Creations feature.

Though, the most concerning aspect of the game’s creation features is that all created wrestlers will debut with weak stats. In most wrestling games, you can set any created wrestler to have high attributes, comparable to the base roster. However, that’s not the case in this title. Instead, created wrestlers won’t be able to compete with established talent until after you level them up through the Road to Elite mode.

Essentially, this looks like that in order to use your created wrestlers in exhibition matches, you’ll need to constantly grind through Road to Elite. Even if the mode is as in-depth as No Mercy, replaying the story for every created wrestler will get tiresome. Hopefully, this feature gets patched out in an update. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

The ugly: Buying your roster

AEW Fight Forever

Yet, even with how bad the creation suite looks, the worst part of AEW: Fight Forever is the roster. Although we don’t know the complete in-game roster, we do know some notable wrestlers who won’t appear in the base game. Even AEW’s current Tag-Team Champions FTR won’t be in the game at launch!

Instead, AEW: Fight Forever appears to follow a live-service model, with microtransaction DLC packs including two wrestlers at a time to grow the roster. Sure, WWE has DLC packs you can purchase to expand the roster as well. However, these DLC wrestlers are usually reserved for very fresh debuts and retired legends.

In Fight Forever, you’ll need to purchase wrestlers like Keith Lee, Hook, The Bunny and Danhausen separately. Even more annoying is how Matt Hardy is locked as a pre-order bonus or purchasable separately post-launch. Yet, his brother Jeff Hardy is already in the base game. So, in order to actually use the Hardy Boyz as a tag-team, you have to pay extra money for an already $60 game.

The DLC packs are also grouped into different Season Passes. Essentially, this means players who want to keep their rosters up to date will need to keep dishing out more money in microtransactions. That’s also because AEW has no plans to release yearly installments.

AEW: Fight Forever powerslams into your home on June 29

On May 22, 2023, All Elite Wrestling revealed its debut game AEW: Fight Forever will hit the mat on June 29.

After years of anticipation and uncertainty, the team behind the game now feel confident for it to hit the shelves. In the new trailer, AEW EVP and former World Champion Kenny Omega discusses how developer Yuke’s is finally ready to release the game. You can watch the official announcement below.

AEW: Fight Forever release date trailer

The trailer also shows off additional gameplay featuring Omega as he takes on the likes of Jon Moxley, “Hangman” Adam Page and Adam Cole. The footage also highlights the title’s arcade alternative approach to WWE’s simulation style gameplay. With over-the-top character models and animations, AEW: Fight Forever looks to take wrestling games to their arcade-style roots.

We wanted to develop an arcade experience that was fun, easy to pick up and play, but difficult to master.

Kenny Omega

AEW: Fight Forever is developed by Yuke’s and published by THQ Nordic. The game will release worldwide on June 29 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

You can also pre-order the game on the official website. Pre-ordering the game will unlock Matt Hardy as a playable wrestler. In addition, you’ll also receive his “Broken” variant as well.

Pre-Order trailer

Are you excited for AEW: Fight Forever as a throwback to old-school wrestling games? Or are you cautious about the small roster, microtransactions and thin creation suite? As always, let us know what you think in the comments!

Sam Fronsman

A writer with a love for video games, both new and old. A collector of games, CDs and DVDs. Can sometimes be found behind a camera or playing guitar. The X-Men games for SEGA Genesis will always hold great memories.
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