AEW Fight Forever Review: Old School Goodness

**AEW Fight Forever: Expanding the Wrestling Game Genre**

In recent years, the landscape of wrestling video games has undergone significant changes. With the WWE 2K series focusing on visuals and simulated gameplay, fans craving a more arcade-like experience were left searching for alternatives. Enter AEW Fight Forever, the latest offering from Yuke’s that aims to fill the gap in the fighting game segment. In this article, we will delve into the various game modes, the roster of AEW stars, the customization options, and the unique Road to Elite storyline mode.

**Game Modes in AEW Fight Forever**

AEW Fight Forever features an array of match types that wrestling fans are familiar with from the weekly Dynamite and Rampage shows. From the standard 1 vs 1 and tag-team matches to triple-threat and four-way battles, the game offers a variety of options to suit different play styles. The 1-on-1 match can be played with regular rules or with special conditions such as Lights Out mode or falls-count-anywhere, which transforms it into a hardcore match. AEW-specific matches like the explosive barbed-wire death match, casino battle royale, and ladder match are also included, each bringing its own unique flavor to the gameplay.

The explosive barbed-wire death match, inspired by the memorable Jon Moxley vs Kenny Omega bout, throws players into a ring surrounded by exploding barbed wire. As the timer ticks down, the ring detonates, causing damage to both competitors. Additionally, the casino battle royale features a casino theme and includes twenty randomized players. The ladder match involves players vying to retrieve a casino chip hanging from the ceiling using a ladder. While the exhibition match types offered in the game are entertaining, some fans may find them lacking in complexity, as certain options like adding extra players or transforming tag matches into hardcore battles are missing.

It’s worth noting that AEW Fight Forever allows for online play with crossplay between the Epic Games Store and Steam platforms. Unfortunately, due to limited access during the review process, we weren’t able to fully evaluate the online experience. We will provide an update on the online environment and gameplay post-launch.

**A Whole Slate of AEW Stars**

To fully immerse players in the AEW universe, AEW Fight Forever boasts an extensive roster of fifty professional wrestlers, comprising both men and women competitors. The lineup includes wrestlers from the first and second years of the company, as well as notable newcomers. Notable inclusions like Cody Rhodes and CM Punk, despite his real-life situation with AEW, ensure that fans can recreate dream matchups. However, it’s important to note that the game roster may differ from the real-life AEW roster, as certain wrestlers may be missing. Players can also engage in intergender matches, providing endless possibilities for dream showdowns.

**Create Your Own AEW Pro Wrestler and Ring**

For those who love customization, AEW Fight Forever offers a wrestler and wrestling ring creator. The ring creator allows players to modify various aspects of the ring, including turnbuckles and individual colors of ropes, aprons, and mats. While the ring customization is robust, the stage customization leaves something to be desired, lacking the same depth as its counterpart. The character creator allows for customization of player names, countries, height, moves, poses, and entrances. However, facial and apparel customization options feel limited compared to other wrestling titles. The absence of the ability to import custom decals removes a layer of creative freedom that some players may miss.

**The Road to Elite Status in AEW Fight Forever**

As with many wrestling games, AEW Fight Forever features a story mode called the Road to Elite. This mode allows players to choose an existing or custom wrestler and embark on a journey through the first year of AEW. Starting from the Double or Nothing PPV, players navigate through an entire in-game year filled with unexpected twists and turns. Unlike linear storylines found in other games, the Road to Elite offers a refreshing approach where match outcomes and alliances can change regardless of wins or losses. Between main matches, players can engage in extra shows, train to improve their wrestler’s energy levels and skill points, and even enjoy downtime activities.

Four key elements to remember before and after matches are the energy meter, which determines injury likelihood, skill points that influence wrestler performance and storyline outcomes, career money for various in-game purposes, and popularity, which reflects the wrestler’s fan reception and progress.

In conclusion, AEW Fight Forever brings a fresh and exciting experience to the wrestling game genre. With its diverse match types, extensive roster, customization options, and unique Road to Elite storyline mode, the game offers something for both casual fans and hardcore enthusiasts. While certain aspects could benefit from further fine-tuning and expansion, AEW Fight Forever showcases the potential to become a top contender in the world of wrestling video games.