AEW Fight Forever A Midcard Debut

In All Elite Wrestling was opened and immediately changed the world of professional wrestling. For the first time in a long time, a promotion has emerged that can compete with the long-time king of American professional wrestling, the WWE. There were undoubtedly some growth difficulties, but four years after, AEW continues to be a popular alternative option for wrestling fans. Now the company is trying to do the same in the video game world with AEW: Fight Forever, and just like those early AEW shows, the game is a promising first attempt-but with noticeable room for improvement.

Fight Forever features 47 wrestlers-a far cry from WWE 2k23’s 218 wrestlers for comparison-at the starting, with more to be unlocked via the in-game store using currency earned by playing the game. New mainstays like MJF, Kenny Omega, Jon Moxley, Dr. Britt Baker D. M.D., “Hangman” Adam Page and the Young Bucks are here, along with some surprising entries. Some of them are heartwarming homage to expired wrestlers-like Mr. Brodie Lee and Owen Hart – while others are names who left for the competition, like Cody Rhodes. A lot of names are not found-for example, the current AEW women’s champion Toni Storm, the former women’s champion Jamie Hayter and two thirds of the House of Black Champions trios – but these are most of the top talents who are currently in the promotion.

The cool thing about Fight forever’s approach to alignment is that everyone is equal. There is no leaderboard in Fight Forever; I can choose any match I want and have the same chances of winning no matter who I control. And I mean “any match I want”, because gender-specific matches-which are not available in the current WWE game series-are completely acceptable here. The game treats its list less like a wrestling simulation with clear divisions and rankings that separate big stars from the talent of the middle card, and more like a fighting game where everyone can fight against everyone without asking questions. Being able to book who I would like to have in a match, regardless of gender, height or other factors, is a really cool approach and I think it’s great that Fight Forever has decided to do this.

The mechanics of the game are simple and accessible-a scheme that channels the merciless WWF of the 64-day Nintendo – which adds even more weight to the approach to the “everyone is the same” list. Moving around the ring is easy, actions with punches, grappling hooks and special movements are pleasantly in my hands. However, there will be an adaptation period for those who are used to new wrestling games, because some actions are not as responsive as others. Light running requires the most practice, since it is slow to start, and then the wrestler only needs to run in one direction. However, the game does a good job of teaching the basics, both through tricks that come up during a game and through the training mode. Note screens are accompanied by voice-overs of well-known AEW personalities, although some voices seem to be reading a script instead of trying to train a wrestler.

I especially like the way the execution of a last move is the same input as the provocation, because the provocation with an available signature move is the way I access the last move at the starting. I don’t have to worry about multiple keystrokes to perform my favorite movements, it’s a simple movement. Therefore, a quick strike from the right inning to mock, followed by another quick strike from the same inning, when my opponent is in range, and I hit my strongest blow. I love how easy it is.

I can also add myself to the list thanks to the game’s wrestler creation suite, which at first glance seems limited, but in the end it is surprisingly robust. The body customization options are decent but noticeably limited, with the total of clothing, hairstyle options, and other items available being mostly generic clothing or wrestler-oriented offerings. Creating a moveset is much more thorough, as it offers a lot of moves for a variety of different situations and allows me to create the perfect moveset for myself.

However, searching the list is a challenge because there is no organization in the way movements are listed. The alphabetical classification of each list would have donated significantly to making the adaptation even easier than it already is. That is, although it may seem limited compared to the offers of other games, it never feels too overwhelming, and what might take an hour elsewhere, I was able to work here in about 20 minutes, even with the menu problems.