With more than three years in the making, the THQ Nordic and Yuke teams have been hard at work delivering All Elite Wrestling’s first console game, AEW Fight Forever, a love letter to fifth-generation wrestling games with a modern roster and current-gen graphics.
While it’s considered a much smaller game than the typical annual WWE release, there are plenty of gameplay options that make it stand out in its own way. Missing wrestling fans will also be surprised to know that many former WWE wrestlers are playable characters in AEW Fight Forever – such as Chris Jericho, CM Punk, Bryan Danielson (FKA Daniel Bryan) and Jon Moxley ( FKA Dean Ambrose).
1 Career mode
Similar to WWF No Mercy for the Nintendo 64, AEW Fight Forever features a story mode where you can play as any wrestler in the game – even the late Owen Hart. This is considered a simpler career mode compared to what you can find in a modern WWE game where you have to play as a custom wrestler.
In this mode, you compete in duels and your story will take different paths depending on whether you win or lose the previous duel. You’ll also gain skill points by practicing and following the quick event instructions. Skill points are used to unlock skills from enabling extra finish slots to climbing the top turnbuckle faster.
2 Intersex wrestling
For nearly a decade, intersex wrestling has been banned from the WWE 2K series, except for a watered-down version of the Mixed Tag Match to avoid sponsor issues. AEW: Fight Forever has no such restrictions. Just like Street Fighter and other traditional fighting games, you can have female characters compete against male characters.
So if you want to play as a female wrestler like Kris Statlander and fight a male wrestler like CM Punk, the game won’t stop or limit you in any way. Female wrestlers can compete in men’s matches in any type of match, whether with two, three or four competitors.
3 Double team attacks in online co-op
AEW Fight Forever advertises duels or two-on-two matches as the most important way to play online. At certain moments in these matchups, you can use the unique tag team mechanic to successfully perform double team moves with simple on-screen prompts.
Regardless of your wrestler, you can perform a team move with any other wrestler as a partner. This puts both teams on a level playing field, even if the wrestlers you pick have no chemistry with each other.
4 Unique weapon selection
Fight Forever has over 40 weapons to use in matches like the Lights Out Match, compared to a total of nine weapons in WWE 2K23. The list of weapons ranges from classic weapons like steel chairs and tables to basic weapons like fire extinguishers and trash cans.
You’ll even find weapons specific to certain wrestlers, like Darby Allin’s skateboard, and perform tricks with them. Other unusual weapons include Hikaru Shida’s kendo stick, Jericho’s “Bottle of Bubbly”, a tire, and a shoe with buckles. This is one of the game’s more underrated features that can keep you playing for hours.
5 Explosive death match with barbed wire
AEW Fight Forever presents this hard-hitting Japanese type of match as a one-on-one match. The first Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch took place in AEW in 2021 and is considered a signature match that AEW calls its own, much like WWE has Hell in A Cell and other matches.
While the ropes and beds of barbed wire may look terrifying, they are more whimsical than violent as wrestlers fall on or crash into them, causing explosive effects and comically lifting opponents into the air. This match makes the arcade AEW experience even more arcadey.
6 Mini games
The new AEW game features over a dozen different mini-games for four players. Shida’s Slugfest, Chip Gather and Box Breaker are some of the mini-games where you play as your favorite wrestler and perform actions in the ring or stadium. Mini-games like AEW Pop Quiz, Spot the Difference and Count ‘Em Up are more basic mini-games where you manage a pointer or tally.
Although some of the mini-games created for AEW Fight Forever are very simple, the developers have definitely provided a tasty Mario Party-like experience if you’re looking for some fun in the game that isn’t professional wrestling. Minigames are also available in career mode to add variety to wrestling, weightlifting and attending press conferences.
7 Method of training
AEW Fight Forever features a standalone practice mode where you can practice your moves and combos. Choose any wrestler, opponent and arena and hone your wrestling skills as much as you want without worrying about time limits and strong opposition.
Practice mode is a useful way to test the controls, such as how to switch, use your opponent’s finisher, and perform all kinds of attacks and actions without participating in an actual match. You can freely remap the buttons in the options menu and practice your new controls in this mode before playing more online matches.
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