What a time to be a wrestling fan, eh? AEW has vowed to break down the “forbidden door”, promotions like DPW continue to tear the roof off just about every venue they visit, and WWE… well, they’re still WWE. Okay, we do have the ‘Clash at the Castle’ to look forward to, and if all goes well there, who knows what “Premium Live Events” could be on their way to the UK next?
Having heaps of brilliant wrestling to watch is wonderful, of course. But what about when we want to take the stories, characters and bouts into our own hands?
Let’s take a look at some of the wrestling games we can look forward to in the near future.
A bit of a cheeky entry to start, as 2k22 was already released in March of this year. However, fans were given an upfront list of DLC content to expect over the course of the year, which includes legendary wrestlers, notable omissions from the base game… and Logan Paul and Machine Gun Kelly. Hooray?
Here is the full list of DLC for WWE 2k22:
(Note that each performer comes with their respective theme song, entrance motion, moveset etc.)
- Kacy Catanzaro (Katana Chance)
Most Wanted Pack:
- Cactus Jack
- Ilja Dragunov
- Indi Hartwell
- The Boogeyman
* Indicates pack has already been released
Stand Back Pack:
- Hurricane Helms
- Stacy Keibler
- Wes Lee
- Booker T EVO/Seth Rollins MyFACTION cards**
**Nash Carter was originally set to be part of the lineup, but has since been removed due to his release
Clowning Around Pack:
- Doink The Clown
- Mr. T
- Rick Boogs
- Ronda Rousey
- The British Bulldog
The Whole Dam Pack:
- Commander Azeez
- Max Dupri
- Logan Paul
- Machine Gun Kelly
- Rob Van Dam
- Xia Li
Patches and various updates to the game have been regular, including the recent decision to make characters in the MyRise mode playable – a choice that seemed to go down well with the community, despite the belief that this should have been the case from the game’s release.
AEW: Fight Forever
In 2020, All Elite Wrestling announced that they would be dipping into the world of wrestling video games, with what would later be confirmed as ‘AEW: Fight Forever’. It’s worth noting that this is technically AEW’s third video game, with both ‘AEW Casino: Double or Nothing’ and ‘AEW Elite GM’ being available on Android and iOS devices.
Details since the announcement have been scarce, but what we do know is that development of the game is being helmed by Yuke’s, who notably worked with WWE on the Smackdown! Series, Smackdown Vs. Raw series, and many of the WWE 2K games, as well as WWE Day of Reckoning, and two Wrestle Kingdom titles. Suffice to say that AEW has picked a team well-versed in making wrestling games.
The first teaser trailer was dropped back in 2020, and all but confirmed prominent AEW stars Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega. While AEW themselves have removed their upload of the teaser – likely because it is no longer representative of the final product – you can watch the trailer here, courtesy of IGN:
Recently, the AEW Games YouTube channel has been uploading ‘Dev Updates’ in the form of short videos that show off a roster member’s character model, as well as gameplay footage. Confirmed roster members so far include Nyla Rose and Kris Statlander, with previous updates confirming the likes of CM Punk, Sting and Darby Allin. Legendary wrestler Owen Hart is also set to be included, following AEW’s ‘Owen Hart Foundation Tournament’ – his first organization-based video game appearance since 1999’s ‘WWF: Attitude’.
Gameplay footage has hinted at the inclusion of “intergender” matches, which is something we may never see in a WWE game again. Online modes have been confirmed, as well as the inclusion of a Create-a-wrestler suite (assumedly for those of us who’d rather watch our self-inserts perform a coffin drop through a table, than actually go through with it in real life).
No release date has been confirmed, but as the list of confirmed names grows, one can only assume that an announcement isn’t too far away, and fans are hopeful for a late 2022/early 2023 release for the PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles.
Upcoming game ‘WrestleQuest’ is being marketed as “The Ultimate Pro Wrestling Adventure”, and I’d be inclined to agree!
Developed by Skybound Games and Mega Cat Studios, WrestleQuest looks to be a delightful role-playing romp through wrestling royalty, drawing inspiration from squared-circle icons such as Andre the Giant, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage.
Players will look to become the next big thing, travelling through the wrestling world in the hopes of one day taking said world by storm. The classic RPG style of combat gets an upgrade, being presented in the form of a wrestling match, with the trailer showing off what appears to be a pinning minigame (we all love those, right?). Your party are now your tag team partners. Starmen and Attack Slugs have been replaced by action figure fighters and, well, Jeff Jarrett. Who could ask for more?
According to the WrestleQuest website, an element of customization will be present, too, to really make players feel as though they are becoming the new wrestling sensation:
“Choose your moves, style, taunts, and even your entrance as you learn what it takes to be the cream of the crop in the pro wrestling world of your dreams.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m excited.
It has quite frankly taken far too long for the world to give us a wrestling RPG, and if the trailer for WrestleQuest is anything to go by, one can only hope that Summer 2022 won’t be the last time we get one. If the gorgeous ‘pixel art’ style alone doesn’t instantly get you in the mood for an RPG adventure, then I really don’t know what will.
Honorable Mention: The Wrestling Code
Said to be inspired by ‘Smackdown! Here Comes The Pain’ – as all wrestling games worth their salt should be – ‘The Wrestling Code’ is a game currently being developed by Virtual Basement LLC.
I’m leaving this game as an honorable mention, as the game looks to still be in the early stages of development, with the creation of a new game engine.
What is confirmed, however, is the impressive roster the game looks to bolster, claiming over 100 independent wrestlers and former WWE stars. I couldn’t possibly list them all in one article, so instead I have linked the roster page here. Notable roster members include EC3, Kurt Angle, Eli Drake (WWE’s Max Dupri), Kidd Bandit, and AEW’s Thunder Rosa.
With PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X releases on the cards according to the website, it will no doubt be interesting to see such a game come together in the future.