THQ Press Event with ‘Attitude’
"WWE '13" features presentation
Los Angeles — There might have been a heat wave out on the streets of Los Angeles during SummerSlam week, but it was nice and cozy inside the 200-seat Clive Davis Theater Saturday night, August 18, as THQ played host to an invitation-only press event to unveil "WWE '13," the latest video game in the long-running franchise.
The festivities started off with a bang, as the intimate theater — situated inside the GRAMMY museum in downtown Los Angeles — rocked to a dance number performed by Brodus Clay and The Funkadactyls. Afterward, Corey Ledesma, Creative Director of WWE Games, took to the podium and officially welcomed media and fans to what he called "a historic day for WWE Games."
On the eve of SummerSlam, the exclusive affair proved to be the biggest press event in the history of the franchise, with more than 100 media guests in attendance. THQ’s excitement about the game was well warranted, as there was an obvious buzz in the theater. ( READ EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH LEDESMA)
"WWE '13," which is scheduled for an October 30 release, features the largest roster ever in a WWE video game, as more than 80 playable Superstars and Divas will do battle on the virtual landscape. With Downloadable Content Packs, that already-impressive number will bump up to more than 100 playable Superstars and Divas. The game’s developers promise that "WWE '13" will bring together the best of today with the elite from one of the most beloved periods in WWE’s history through the game’s highly anticipated Attitude Era single-player campaign.
Ledesma showed exclusive, never-before-seen in-game footage from "WWE '13," and walked the crowd through several exciting new features. Aside from the obvious aesthetic improvements — this year’s game features the most realistic character models and the smoothest, most fluid animation engine to date — the revolutionary "WWE Live" has provided the game with a dramatic audio overhaul, making gamers feel as though they are actually at a WWE Live Event.
Ledesma next introduced the audience to "Catching Finishers," a brand-new feature that allows competitors to literally catch their opponent in mid-air and nail him or her with a finishing move, completely swinging the momentum of a match. Shortly after, a cheer went up through the auditorium when footage of a superplex onto the ringside floor — a monumental move that’s new to "WWE '13" — flashed across the screen.
New, devastating maneuvers permeate the game, as players will now be able to crash through the ringside barricade, perform finishers on top of the announce table and even destroy the ring, ala Big Show and Mark Henry in a new feature dubbed "Spectacular Moments." Ledesma went on to say, "We are all about customization," and explained the game’s Create-an-Arena feature, which gives players total control over where their favorite Superstars will do battle.
Attitude Era panel discussion
Talk then turned to the Attitude Era, and to "WWE '13's" epic and in-depth single-player campaign that allows gamers to play through that time in WWE history — a period that spans from the formation of D-Generation X through WrestleMania XV.
"We want you to relive every moment from the era," Ledesma stated before showing off some of the Attitude Era-specific features of the game, such as the ability to follow either an Austin 3:16 storyline, or a DX story, both of which span two years on the Attitude Era timeline. All matches in that timeline will feature the classic announce team of Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler on commentary, authentic Attitude Era entrances and themes and an Attitude Era-specific audience.
After the video presentation, the stage was cleared for a panel discussion featuring three WWE Hall of Famers and a host of current Superstars, all amped up and ready to talk about "WWE '13" and the impact of the Attitude Era. Legendary commentator Jim Ross led the panel, which included "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Mike Tyson, WWE Champion CM Punk, World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee and Brodus Clay and The Funkadactyls.
The discussion was lively, as Superstars spoke fondly about their memories of the Attitude Era — whether from the perspective of a participant or as a fan watching on television. J.R. set the tone for the evening, saying, "This is one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had in 38 years." He added, "This is a very smart video game."
Speaking about the Attitude Era specifically, J.R. pointedly stated, "Nothing was rehearsed — it was just what came out of our hearts." Austin, who was the catalyst of that time period, added, "It’s great that this game comes back around [to those times]. It just shows how powerful the Attitude Era was." WWE Champion CM Punk, the cover Superstar of "WWE '13," said, "The Attitude Era had this chaos about it," a notion that THQ promises will be well-represented in the game.
When asked about favorite Attitude Era moments, everyone on the panel had a different, memorable recollection. For recent WWE Hall of Fame inductee Mike Tyson, his favorite moment was similar to one of his heyday in-ring victories — short and to the point: "Knocking out Shawn Michaels. It was a good right hand."
After the panel, various media affiliates had the opportunity to speak with each participant about the game, and about what the Attitude Era meant to them. A visibly excited AJ Lee told WWE.com, "I just found out through Twitter [that I am in the game]. I didn’t think I was in it. It was a very pleasant surprise. I cried like a little baby — for real."
As a kid playing WWE games, Dolph Ziggler used to create and play as a Superstar he named “The Natural” (a Superstar combining Billy gunn’s hair, abs and trunks, and "Stone Cold’s" knee braces "just for the street cred"). "A dream come true for me would be to get in the ring with Shawn Michaels," he said while discussing the new game. "I don’t know if that’ll happen in real life, but I can make it happen in 'WWE '13.'"
Sheamus' favorite feature in the new game is the inclusion of "Spectacular Moments." The Great White told WWE.com, "Being driven through a barricade at ringside — as Mark Henry did to me last year — When I saw that moment recreated in the video game, I felt every bit of it." For his part, The Funkasaurus was direct in his answer to what he’s most looking forward to about "WWE '13": "I’m looking forward to Brodus Clay going absolutely buck-wild in the Attitude Era."
As he so often did during the Attitude Era, "Stone Cold" closed out the show and summed things up nicely, saying, "I’m excited to be part of this game. I think THQ has done the best job of capturing what the Attitude Era embodied — attitude."
And now, for the first time in 15 years, a WWE game will feature moments and storylines taken directly from those years when "WWE '13" hits stands on October 30.