|System: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2, PSP|
|Dev: THQ San Diego|
|Release: March 29, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
Once you get around the battle system, there is quite a lot to play through in WWE All-Stars. The roster includes thirty superstars, with fifteen "Legends" and fifteen newer wrestlers. The legends roster is impressive, and boasts mainstays like The Rock, Hulk Hogan, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, and for the first time in a THQ-developed WWE game, "Macho Man" Randy Savage. On the new blood side of things, you've got superstars like The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Drew McIntyre, and of course, John Cena.
When you're done checking out the roster, you can head into one of the game's two signature modes. The first is Path of Champions, which is like the Road to Wrestlemania mode from the SvR series, but without all the story content (or quasi-free roaming areas). This mode is a bit of a disappointment, as I would have liked to have seen a little more storyline in the game versus just ten back-to-back matches with a thirty-second blip to break up the action every once and awhile.
However, this mode's shortcomings are made up for in the other signature mode: Fantasy Warfare. Fantasy Warfare is best described as the "what if" scenario that you and your buddies always imagined. There are fifteen scenarios that try to answer questions like "Who is the best Scottish WWE Star?" or "What if CM Punk and Stone Cold Steve Austin had a match?". And even though you can match your favorite superstars up in the game's exhibition mode, Fantasy Warfare is a little different because it gives you a pretty sweet highlight reel before the match that gives you a little context. The pre-match video clips are expertly done, and actually make fantasy matchups from two different time period actually seem plausible, which is certainly a feat all by itself.
WWE All-Stars is a great game that is easy to recommend to both young and old gamers. It's a lot of fun, but its over-the-top nature makes it something that I wouldn't want to experience over and over again. It has plenty of fluff, but none of the staying power that a franchise like SmackDown vs. Raw has. I like the broad appeal of WWE All-Stars, but to be honest, it left me hankering for the next iteration of SvR that much more. And I suppose that's what a spin-off is supposed to do. Let's just hope All-Stars continues to bolster the SvR series, instead of overtaking it. That would be one piledriver I would definitely like to avoid seeing.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer