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In the words of the late great Brodie Lee, “It’s Wednesday; you know what that means.” The release of AEW: Fight Forever marks a new day in the wrestling world video game-wise. Many fans enjoy the popular WWE 2K series of games; however, without competition in the gaming space, their games have become repetitive and predictable. Enter All Elite Wrestling. A new wrestling promotion that offers wrestling fans a new option of pro wrestling/sports entertainment, which stretches across TV programming and also video games.

In Fight Forever, fans of pro wrestling games are indeed rewarded with a retro gameplay style made famous by the developers at Yuke’s, which many fans have desired over the years. A hard-hitting throwback arcade style of wrestling featuring some of the most popular wrestlers of the past and present, including Kenny Omega, Jade Cargill, Sting, Jeff Hardy, CM Punk, and more. Not only will wrestling fans find joy in playing, but casuals can also pick up and play some over-the-top game modes available. There is much to like about AEW Fight Forever. However, the game does not take a AAA sim approach, which might not be for all gamers of today’s expectations. I have not had this much fun with a wrestling game in years, and I am excited to share my unbiased impression throughout this review.

AEW Fight Forever

Road To Elite

In Fight Forever, the objective is simple. Become a champion or forever be known as a jobber. The game offers 50 wrestlers on the roster. Compete in the usual modes of a one-one, tag-team, triple threat, four-way match, battle royal, and ladder matches, but oh so much more. AEW gives gamers fresh ways to play by adding new options, such as intergender wrestling (man vs. women), excessive use of blood (optional), a lights-out match (did I mention blood?), and the most intriguing addition, the exploding barbed wire death match. Other modes include an online mode, a shop full of unlockables, and challenges, a customization suite, and an enjoyable story mode called “Road To Elite.”

Road To Elite mode is a story career mode where players go on a journey to earn skill points and AEW money by wrestling across the country, playing mini-games, and more. Choose between dining out, attending press conferences, or sightseeing between matches, building momentum while maintaining stamina. Road to Elite is a fun mode, especially using custom wrestlers where you must train at the gym and wrestle to gain skill points that you can use to raise your overall in-ring abilities.

AEW: Fight Forever

This mode is easily the bread and butter of the game, packed with actual AEW footage, such as the epic CM Punk Returns Rampage episode. The video packages add to the presentation and feature most of the great moments in AEW’s history. This mode is essential to those that use custom wrestlers because you will need to take all custom wrestlers through this mode to gain skill points and become stronger. The choice to lock all skill points to RTE can be a bummer to many; however, it gives the game replay value, which is a plus.

The custom mode allows players the freedom to create wrestlers, tag teams, and arenas from scratch. Even so, the customization option lacks depth in comparison to WWE wrestling games which can limit the visual freedom desired. However, much to be appreciated. Such as a deep set of wrestling moves, custom street clothes for RTE mode, and a fully customed entrance tools suite. Create your arena using the provided set pieces while unlocking new props from the shop to be as creative as possible.

Malachi Black – Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match

Fight Forever Gameplay

Wrestling video games from the past operated as arcade-style combat using more simple ways to play. Of all wrestling game developers, Yuke’s wrestling game mechanics stand supreme to most veteran wrestling gamers, so a return to greatness was long overdue. The gameplay here is addictive. A simple approach to wrestling while still carrying a challenging learning curve. The AI of the CPU-controlled wrestlers impressed me more than I expected. Competitors use their signature styles and moves, including finishers, with precision, which additionally adds realism to the game.  

The number of weapons available might be a record for wrestling games. Choose from bats, tables, ladders, chairs, kendo sticks, skateboards (yes, you can also ride them), thumbtacks, and other weapons to batter your opponent. Modes like the Casino Battle Royal use fun gaming mechanics. The exploding barbed wire death match is a ring covered in barbed wire and explosives. After a countdown, the wrestling ring explodes, additionally damaging both wrestlers. Slam opponents through guard rails, wrestle up the entrance ramp, and shatter an LED screen. Skateboard around the arena for fun; meanwhile, use your skating skills to set up unique attacks. Use the training mode to sharpen your skills and master moves and timing. Mini-games feature multiple contestants ranging from a trivia game to collecting coins. If you love the old-school gameplay style of WWF No Mercy and WCW/NWO Revenge, get ready for an explosion of fun.

Visuals & Audio

Speaking of WWF No Mercy and WCW/NWO Revenge, the director of those classics,  Hideyuki “Geta” Iwashita, was brought on board to craft this game in a similar image visually. Still, I must say he was successful. If you played the wrestling games of the late 90s/early 2000, you would find that Fight Forever feels similar quickly. Hence the impressive handcrafted art style of the wrestlers. The models of the wrestler are better than I expected. Wrestlers like Sting, Miro, Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley, and Cody Rhodes look spot on, and so many more on the roster.  Check out the full playable roster below.

Fight Forever Roster

  • Abadon
  • Adam Cole
  • Andrade el Idolo
  • Anna Jay
  • Aubrey Edwards
  • Brian Cage
  • Britt Baker
  • Mr. Brodie Lee
  • Bryan Danielson
  • Chris Jericho
  • Christian Cage
  • Chuck Taylor
  • CM Punk
  • Cody Rhodes
  • Darby Allin
  • Dustin Rhodes
  • Eddie Kingston
  • Hikaru Shida
  • Jade Cargill
  • Jeff Hardy
  • John Silver
  • Jon Moxley
  • Jungle Boy
  • Kenny Omega
  • Kris Statlander
  • Lance Archer
  • Luchasaurus
  • Malakai Black
  • Matt Jackson
  • Miro
  • MJF
  • Nick Jackson
  • Nyla Rose
  • Orange Cassidy
  • Owen Hart
  • Pac
  • Paul Wight
  • Penta el Zero Miedo
  • Powerhouse Hobbs
  • Rey Fenix
  • Ricky Starks
  • Riho
  • Ruby Soho
  • Sammy Guevara
  • Scorpio Sky
  • Sting
  • Tay Melo
  • Thunder Rosa
  • Trent Beretta
  • Wardlow
  • Yuka Sakazaki

The visual details are a big part of the graphical power, and little details like blood staining the ring and bloody visible cuts and scrapes on wrestlers are significant parts of the game. However, the gruesome nature of the game sets it apart from its competitors. It truly does! The AEW arenas are beautiful and authentic to the actual sets. Wrestle from Dynamite, Rampage, and Dark, also the four pay-per-views, Full Gear, Double or Nothing, Resolution, and All Out. While the visuals are far from current WWE games, Yuke’s has succeeded in using a different design approach.

The audio in any game is one of the most crucial factors in the overall presentation. Fight Forever has all of the audio expected from a wrestling game. All of the wrestlers’ entrance music is here. Sing along to Judas during the entrance of “The Ocho” Jericho. However, the short length of the wrestler’s entrances did not do the music catalog any favors. The crowd sounds genuinely good. Voiceover work from William Regal, Tony Schiavone, and Jim Ross is present throughout the game, but a lack of commentary hurt the overall audio presentation. It’s safe to say that the visuals and audio is not the most substantial aspect of the game, but it works perfectly with the gameplay and mechanics.

AEW: Fight Forever – Final Verdict

Yuke’s and THQ Nordic delivers a great addition to the wrestling game genre with AEW: Fight Forever, and body slams the expectations. With an arcade style of core gameplay, simplistic and nostalgic mechanics, a challenging learning curve, and a roster full of world-class athletes, this game is a must-play experience for wrestling fans. Custom Wrestlers are a big part of wrestling games, and in Fight Forever, it seems to not be a big focus due to the lack of customization options. It’s not fair to compare these create-a-wrestler options to a AAA wrestling game such as WWE 2K. However, the gap in depth in this mode shows the difference in game style and budget.

Even so, with the quality gap, Fight Forever masters the quality of classic mat brawlers and brings it to the future with gorgeous wrestler models, a variety of expected and new game modes, an addictive story mode, and mini-games that play like Mario party-style games. A lack of commentary during the matches was a letdown, but the action was so intense that I barely noticed. If you are a fan of AEW, wrestling, or wrestling games, my advice is to lace up your boots, cue up your theme song, and become the next champion of the world. AEW: Fight Forever is no doubt a fun gaming experience, earning a score of  8.3 out of 10.

AEW: Fight Forever is available on the Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and also PC.

A PC Code of AEW: Fight Forever was provided to LV1 Gaming by Evolve PR and THQ Nordic

Are you a fan of pro-wrestling video games? Do you have a promotion of choice? WWE, AEW, NJPW, or all wrestling feds? Also, do you plan on picking up AEW: Fight Forever? Leave a comment! Don’t forget to follow the team on Twitter at @Lv1Gaming and our Facebook page. Check out our YouTube channel and Twitch for more content, and don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. You can also follow me on Twitter @Rozay_McFly to engage in unique and unbiased gaming conversations.

AEW: Fight Forever

$59.99
8.3

Story

8.5/10

Gameplay

9.0/10

Visuals

7.8/10

Audio

7.8/10

Pros

  • Classic Gameplay and Mechanics
  • Deep Story Mode with Replay Value
  • Exploding Barbed Wire Match
  • Accurately Handcrafted Wrestlers Look Impressive

Cons

  • Wrestler Customization Depth Is Non Existent
  • Mediocre Visuals

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