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AEW Fight Forever Review: A WWE 2K Challenger?

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AEW Fight Forever is set to be released on Thursday, June 29th 2023, and it has been highly anticipated for quite some time.

We had the opportunity to play the new title before the official launch for review, and there is certainly a lot to cover when it comes to the new wrestling game.

For reference, we played the game on Xbox Series S, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, so comparisons will be between those three consoles.

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Graphics

Graphically, the game is not going to blow anyone away. Again we played this on Xbox Series S rather than the far more powerful Series X, but it’s unlikely to be a massive upgrade on the more powerful consoles.

The point though, is that the game isn’t designed to blow anyone away in the visuals department, instead, it is a homage to the classic N64 game WWF No Mercy and the iconic AKI engine that makes it a fan favourite to this day. Do you need pristine 4K graphics for a title like that, or is it better to have a good to average level of fidelity to ensure that you’re getting a smooth framerate and actual gameplay experience? We’re in the camp of the latter.

It’s not great to look at, but it’s not terrible either, and the majority of the stars that you’ll see in the game bear a decent enough likeness.

The only character who doesn’t look the part is arguably Ricky Starks…as they appear to have really done him dirty. Hopefully ‘Absolute’ gets an update down the line, as his model seems REALLY skinny and just out of place during in-ring action.

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Gameplay

It’s been mentioned many times that this game would harken back to the heyday of No Mercy, and it absolutely lives up to that moniker.

AEW Fight Forever is fun to play, but this is not the simulation type of game that you’re used to if you play WWE 2K, it really is an alternative to the style.

As much as it’s starting to get into broken-record territory…this really is a love letter to No Mercy on the Nintendo 64…so if you loved the gameplay then? You should have a lot of fun with this title.

The minigames though, boy these are pretty tedious. Thankfully, you can pretty much avoid these if you really don’t want to play them.

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AEW Fight Forever Game Modes

The game features more than 10 different gameplay modes. Match types include Singles, Tag-Team, 3-Way, 4-Way, Ladder, Casino Battle Royale, Falls Count Anywhere, Unsanctioned Lights Out and the Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match.

Career Mode, also known as Road To Elite mode, is very much a nod to some of the older generations of wrestling games, again with No Mercy at the core. Players can choose an AEW star to take through different branching paths, each with their own storylines with cutscenes that aren’t voice acted, but they’re wacky enough and, clearly, a homage that they get away with it.

The big issue with the Road To Elite mode though is that it is quite short, but having the opportunity to go back in and try to get different storyline outcomes by winning or even losing certain matches gives it some replayability.

Overall

AEW Fight Forever is a fun but flawed experience that should keep fans of the company entertained, although for how long seems to be the issue.

What is really going to decide whether or not this game gets a following is the online component, and whilst we didn’t get a chance to try that out due to the pre-release nature of our copy, we hope that it is as smooth as the gameplay locally.

There is going to be a lot of post-release content coming for the game, with Yukes promising around three years of updates. This is promising, as unlike say the WWE 2K games, your initial outlay for the game won’t feel like a waste in a year or so and you won’t need to shell out again.

If you’re a wrestling game fan from the N64 era? Then this is absolutely worth it. If you’re a fan of the more simulation-based WWE games, then you might find it difficult to get to grips with this. Having said that, we enjoyed it.

Rating: B

Jake Skudder
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Jake Skudder
Jake is an SEO-minded Combat Sports, Gaming and Pro Wrestling writer and successful Editor in Chief. He has more than ten years of experience covering mixed martial arts, pro wrestling and gaming across a number of publications, starting at SEScoops in 2012 under the name Jake Jeremy.