AEW: Three ways they could ruin their upcoming video game

AEW Logo (photo courtesy of AEW)
AEW Logo (photo courtesy of AEW) /

In the wrestling world, you are not a legit contender until you have a video game bearing your promotion’s name. Just ask WWE, WCW, AAA, Impact, and NJPW. It was inevitable that AEW would join those companies with a game of its own and fans of the young federation now have something to look forward to in 2022. With the promise of Yuke’s developing it and hints of the beloved No Mercy sprinkled in, AEW is leaning on the glory days of wrestling games passed.

Currently, WWE’s 2K series is the only mainstream wrestling simulator on the market. With WWE’s impressive building engine that creates any character, promotion, PPV, storyline, or match, it’s the standard for what wrestling games can do on the next-gen consoles. It goes without saying, however, that we are overdue for a flagship competitor.

Is AEW up for the task or will they fall into obscurity like Legends of WrestlingTNA IMPACT!, or Lucha Libre AAA Heroes Del Ring? Here is my list of major pitfalls that would kill the franchise before it gets started. We are praying that Yuke’s Media steers clear of these.

Here are three mistakes that could derail the impending AEW video game

1. Botch the reversal system

Every serious wrestling game worth its salt features a reversal system that shows off the give and take between wrestlers. The reversal system also dictates the speed of the game and the frustration a player feels when their character is constantly on the mat. Game companies tend to lean toward the quick button press mechanic, which often requires lightning reflexes. I hope AEW doesn’t go down that road as I have never enjoyed how unreliable that system is. You never feel in control of your wrestler when you are constantly trying to hit the right button to counter a move while trying to mount an offensive. The Gamecube’s WrestleMania series was notorious for punishing a player for missing the reversal by having them lie on the mat for long periods of time. We are long overdue for an innovative reversal mechanic.

2. Make gameplay too fast

The speed of the match is a make or break for wrestling games. Just look at the ECW or the Backyard Wrestling series, which both were critically panned for being way too speedy. When you try to make something as intricate and delicate as a wrestling match into a breakneck button basher then you tend to lose the quality behind the moves. Wrestlers need to plan their moves, execute their strategies, and switch between strikes and grapples. In wrestling games that are too fast, the computer is always crushing the player before they can even choose between an Irish whip or a submission. It’s not fair and it ruins the whole game. AEW is going to have to find the sweet spot between sluggish and arcadey. It’s not an easy road ahead.

3. Forget to make it fun

The 2K series is high-quality technology and gameplay, but I rarely hear anyone describe the series as fun. YouTubers and Twitch streamers can make all sorts of dream matches and fantasy promotions with the advanced editor, but no one is really praising the game for its infectious gameplay and addictive mechanics. The 2K series is a simulator at heart and the company knows that content creators love building what-if promotions. Heck, you can find a lot of AEW matches on the WWE 2K engine. What about the fun? Can a wrestling match be thrilling and filled with excitement or does it have to be so realistic that it feels like it should be in a museum? I wouldn’t mind if AEW ditched the dusty realism of wrestling for something fresher and simpler.

Next. AEW files a new trademark for a new video game. dark

AEW has a considerable task ahead of them. Time will tell if the fans are wowed by this fresh entry or if they will bury it like so many failed attempts.