With AEW: Fight Forever, THQ Nordic wants to challenge 2K’s WWE series. At gamescom, eSport was able to speak to the developer and get in the ring for a round
So far, 2K’s WWE series has remained without much competition – but that is changing. With AEW: Fight Forever, THQ Nordic wants to get into the ring with them.
However, the developer studio does not want to orientate itself on the wrestling simulation, they told us at gamescom. Conventional wrestling? Not with AEW: Fight Forever.
fun instead of realism
According to the developers, the fun of the game comes first, which is why it will not be a simulation. Nevertheless, there are original licences, for example Phillip Jack Brooks – better known as CM Punk – can be played. The 43-year-old was in the WWE, but also in martial arts with the UFC. Now he fights for All Elite Wrestling (AEW) – the US association has been around since 2019.
Accordingly, the target group of the WWE challenger is significantly younger and the game will also be geared accordingly. In addition to a career mode, there is a multiplayer, in which various game modes are available: A battle royal, among others.
Sounds like Fortnite, looks a bit like it too – elements of the Epic Game hit are recognisable. Because not only do fists fly on the mat, weapons and various mini-games are also available. These are prerequisites for an eSport-capable title, which the developers are also open to. Unlike Mortal Kombat, for example, the key combinations are kept relatively simple, but perfect execution is difficult to master.
eSport played on
During our test round, this impression was confirmed: quick keystrokes do not work. To execute an attack, good timing is important. Otherwise the wrestler hits nothing or doesn’t execute the attack at all. This even sets the game apart from EA’s UFC 4 in that many quick combinations are possible.
Each wrestler also has a special move and, as in Mortal Kombat, a so-called “finisher”. If the opponent is injured on the ground, a certain key combination can trigger an attack that ends the match. As in UFC, fighters can take a lot of punishment. However, since AEW: Fight Forever has more of an arcade DNA, this approach is justifiable.
What we couldn’t test are the mini-games or the use of weapons. It will be interesting to see how often these can be used – because Fortnite-style is not meant to become a Fortnite game.
As far as the release date is concerned, developer YUKE’S does not want to put any pressure on itself. The game should be released when they are satisfied. However, when asked, 2023 could be narrowed down as a rough release date. AEW: Fight Forever is scheduled for release on PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series XS, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.