The upcoming AEW Fight Forever will feature more simplified gameplay and character customization than contemporary wrestling simulators like WWE 2K22. All-Elite Wrestling announced that it was producing its own licensed video game from former WWE 2K developer Yukes back in 2020, and the now-titled AEW Fight Forever is said to be launching sometime this September.
Even before that, AEW fans have been greeted with a slow drip of new information regarding the forthcoming AEW game, with small snippets of gameplay footage and in-game character models for noted AEW talent like Jungle Boy, Darby Allin, and Nyla Rose. AEW Executive vice president Kenny Omega has been at the forefront of sharing new details about AEW Fight Forever, promising features like a full-fledged campaign mode, multiplayer, and character customization options. He has also noted that Yukes is looking to recreate the old, arcade-like feel of older wrestling games like WWF No Mercy and Fire Pro Wrestling rather than follow the more complex, simulation style of gameplay introduced by more modern titles like WWE 2K22.
This devotion to the old style of wrestling games might be a blessing and a curse for AEW Fight Forever, as SGO reports that the game will have far more limited character customization options in comparison to more recent wrestling simulators – with insiders even admitting that the features that are included will “leave people wishing they had more.” SGO also claims that movesets in general will be limited “akin to an early 2000s wrestling game,” and entrance animations might solely consist of the tunnel views that AEW has shown off in previous AEW gameplay footage. Additionally, only a select few AEW superstars will have their officially licensed entrance music in AEW Fight Forever due to the game reportedly already going over budget. However, SGO’s sources remain positive that gamers will embrace AEW Fight Forever’s more accessible gameplay, comparing it to past hits like WWF: No Mercy and Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain and stating that “if the game is fun, no one will care about the other stuff.”
It’s no secret that wrestling games have grown more complex since the days of No Mercy and the early-2000s Smackdown titles. This year saw the long-awaited premiere of WWE 2K22, which featured a wide range of gameplay modes and customization options that allowed players to shape their dream wrestlers, titles, and even arenas. These WWE 2K22 character customization options have been used to quite the entertaining effect in the months since the game’s launch, with fans reenacting epic fictional match-ups like Spider-Man and the Green Goblin from Spider-Man: No Way Home and crafting virtual versions of real-life celebrates like Will Smith and Chris Rock – fresh off their notoriously violent confrontation at this year’s Oscars.
Players might not be able to have these kinds of match-ups in AEW Fight Forever, as the upcoming AEW game is said to have much simpler gameplay and customization features. While it should be noted that this is AEW’s first major console release and the company might wish to keep a smaller scope out of the gate, the lack of a more in-depth character customization suite might be off-putting for fans of contemporary wrestling titles like WWE 2K22 and the freedom they afford fans to devise their own grapplers and arenas. Only time will tell if a more “back-to-basics” approach will pay off when AEW Fight Forever makes its reported debut later this year.
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