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AEW: Fight Forever Review – Is It Lights Out?

AEW: Fight Forever, developed by Yuke’s Co Ltd and published by THQ Nordic is a game that holds a special place in my heart. As a fan, I vividly remember how All Elite Wrestling changed the professional wrestling landscape four years ago, offering a refreshing alternative to the WWE. Thanks to Tony Khan’s vision, AEW launched on June 29 and has provided fans with some of the best matches and a growing roster of incredibly talented wrestlers. It revived my faith in professional wrestling and allowed me to watch my favorites like Kenny Omega. Now with AEW: Fight Forever, the first official video game from the promotion, I couldn’t wait to dive into the virtual ring and experience the action for myself.

When it comes to the gameplay, AEW: Fight Forever brings back memories of the classic wrestling games I enjoyed on the Nintendo 64. I find the gameplay mechanics to be relatively straightforward, making it easy to master the fundamentals. I can throw punches and kicks to deliver satisfying combos, execute grapples to perform a variety of moves, and even pull off aerial maneuvers off the top rope. The action inside the ring feels simple and addictive, although there are occasional clunky moments. The game faithfully recreates the feel of beloved titles like No Mercy and WrestleMania 2000.

While the move sets in the game aren’t the most varied, what makes the gameplay engaging is the ease with which I can perform the moves. However, I did encounter some frustration when I couldn’t find detailed instructions for basic moves like picking up an opponent from the mat or executing a grapple from behind. It took some trial and error to figure them out, especially since some of the best signature moves are performed from that position. Once I got the hang of it, matches flowed reasonably well, and incorporating high-flying diving moves like the Tope Con Hilo added a frantic and exhilarating element to the action.

One of the standout features in AEW: Fight Forever is the realistic approach to signature moves. Unlike other wrestling games, AEW allows me to repeatedly perform signature moves without restrictions. This feature adds an authentic touch, as in real professional wrestling matches, wrestlers often execute their signature moves multiple times in succession. The inclusion of quick replays for most signatures and finishing moves enhances the arcade-like feel of the game and adds to the overall excitement.

There is one aspect that slightly detracts from the experience—the quick finishes. AEW is known for its epic and hard-fought battles, so the quick endings in the game diminish the grandeur of recreating those intense moments. I often found myself reluctant to pin an opponent because I wanted the matches to continue and unfold in a more dramatic fashion. Nonetheless, it’s a minor gripe in an otherwise enjoyable gameplay experience.

To build momentum in matches and unleash impressive moves, I needed to strategically execute different moves and gain buffs for specific actions. This added a nice flow to the gameplay, and in 1v1 matches, AEW: Fight Forever truly shines. The game delivers fun and excitement in other match types as well. Tag matches, triple threats, and 4-way matches are all a blast to play. The real highlights, though, are the Lights Out and Exploding Barbed Wire Matches. These special match types deviate from the traditional wrestling style and embrace the chaotic and over-the-top nature of AEW.

In Lights Out matches, I had a blast using a variety of weapons like a mop wrapped in barbed wire, football helmets, baseball bats with nails, golf clubs, steel chairs, and tables. The game allows me to quickly grab weapons from the barriers, adding to the enjoyment of these matches. The Exploding Barbed Wire Match is another exhilarating experience. As the match progresses, the barbed wire-wrapped ropes become dangerous explosives waiting to detonate upon impact. The tension and excitement of these matches are palpable, and successfully executing moves near the ropes is an adrenaline rush.

Overall, AEW: Fight Forever delivers a fun and nostalgic wrestling experience reminiscent of the beloved games of the past. While there are a few issues with clunky moments and quick finishes, the gameplay captures the essence of classic wrestling titles. The inclusion of signature move mechanics and the chaotic fun of special match types adds depth and variety to the experience. This may not be the perfect wrestling game for every fan out there, but it showcases the spirit and excitement of All Elite Wrestling, and as a fan myself, that’s all I could ask for in a video game.

This review utilised a key from the publisher and AEW: Fight Forever is out now on PlayStation 4/5Xbox One/Series X|SPC, and Nintendo Switch.


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