AEW Fight Forever: Our biggest and final preview before launch

TOKYO,JAPAN - JANUARY 4: Kenny Omega enters during the Wrestle Kingdom 13 at Tokyo Dome on January 04, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images)
TOKYO,JAPAN - JANUARY 4: Kenny Omega enters during the Wrestle Kingdom 13 at Tokyo Dome on January 04, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images) /

Now that AEW Fight Forever has a release date (June 29th), there has been a plethora of preview matches all over YouTube. Here is the breakdown.

Preview videos are popping everywhere, giving the most popular wrestling gaming personalities chances to play the game early. AEW Fight Forever is going to be a mixed bag of innovations and creative choices.

The YouTube influencer, Pulse, had a chance to play a fatal-four match with all the weapons. The wrestling entrances revealed that players can control the pyrotechnics and fog while the wrestlers are entering the ring. Then the wrestling begins. Jon Moxley throws a propane tank at Shida and Cole making them burst into flames. Shida gets the Darby skateboard and strolls around the arena. Every ollie can be used as an offense. Bryan Daniels gets bloody cuts all over his back mid-match. The way the game is set up makes it look more like Super Smash Bros than WWE 2K23.

I noticed something troubling when Cole was opening up the tables. Every time he bumped into the tables they would collapse. That would seem very frustrating to set up a table spot if the tables constantly fall down.

Another thing that has not been mentioned before is reversals. It would appear that a black or white ring appears over the wrestler right before a grapple. When the ring turns golden then the wrestler is going to do a reversal. One wonders how easy this will be to pull off. The players in the video have no trouble pulling them off.

Other YouTube influencers focus on the career mode called Road to the Elite. This will feel like a departure from 2K’s MyRise mode and be more like a season mode. In AEW Fight Forever you will have the ability to change the diet of a wrestler and change their career and dialogue choices. Influencers are already seeing this as a connection to No Mercy’s career mode. I am wondering how close this will be to Wrestling Empire’s career mode where wrestlers can lose limbs and get fired.

Players will also have a store where they can earn different attires, moves and looks for their wrestler. This is a callback to the WWE Shopping Mall of No Mercy.

AEW Fight Forever has added a challenge mode which will include wrestling obstacles to overcome. Players will be tasked with getting a 5-star match or winning a match with Yuka Sakazaki. Completing a task will get you AEW Cash which can be used at the store. The challenges will be updated daily.

One influencer has noted that after an hour the limited match types and mini-games gets a little boring. The good news is that the game is meant to be updated.

I noticed that some of the wrestlers in the lineup are promises from when the game was first announced. Lance Archer and Eddie Kingston are two examples of wrestlers that aren’t on television. Also, Cody Rhodes still might make an appearance even after being in WWE for over a year.

One thing that keeps appearing in a lot of videos is clipping and teleporting. These are mortal sins in wrestling games. When Kris Statlander uses the skateboard to get into the ring she teleports to the other side of the ropes. When Shida uses her spinning face kick finisher on her opponent she clipped right through him. Kris Statlander climbs up a ladder backward going through the rungs on the IGN preview video. Will this be in the final release? I hope not.

The internet seems polarized about what this game will be. Those who are in AEW’s corner are calling it a breath of fresh air, arcade fun, and an amazing alternative. Those who are critics are calling it the ugliest wrestling game with rough edges. I can see where both are true. AEW has already stated that their game will be not as gorgeous as 2K23. The rough edges and clipping is not a good excuse, but let’s hope that gets taken care of. On the other hand, IGN is saying that this game adds personality and soul to wrestling.

While 2K seems robotic and mechanical, AEW adds little touches to the wrestlers. Orange Cassidy can do wrestling moves while putting his hands in his pockets. MJF doesn’t have an evasion maneuver but instead gets on his knees and begs for mercy. Those easter eggs will be fun to discover.

There is still a lot of information we don’t know about AEW Fight Forever. Will there be in-game commentary? What is the final roster? Are they going to get 3 vs. 3 tag-team matches (they have a whole title around it)? Will the Nintendo Switch be able to handle this game? How detailed is the wrestler creator mode?

Still, need more information? Here is a video about the first DLC featuring Matt Hardy.

Next. Three long term feuds for CM Punk when he returns to AEW. dark