Xbox 360 Review: WWE Legends of Wrestlemania

Is this what Legends are made of? Maybe…

I’ve already played WWE Legends of Wrestlemania at 2 preview trips to THQ’s offices and if you read them, you’ll know I have been keeping a close eye on it. It’s a more simplistic game, which will open the series upto newcomers, but maybe the price it has to pay is that long-term fans may be dismayed that it’s become more mainstream, which is understandable.
Combat is condensed into just a few buttons, which makes it incredibly easy to play. The AI offers little challenge, especially if you create your own monster wrestler as I did. I did the same with the preview code, but this time I dominated the opposition without much effort. It’s a shame that a non-fan like me can come along and completely own the game, but I guess that’s what the team were hoping for.

So, there are multiple modes of exhibition matches as well as a nice single player campaign in forms of Relive, Rewrite and Redefine. Relive lets you tackle old fights and try and get the same outcome while Rewrite is the opposite and Redefine lets you pick either side, but changes the rules of the match itself. So it could originally have been a standard match, but has been changed to a cage match.
The fights are introduced with old film footage of it and the build-up, which is just hilariously over-the-top. I was too young to see all this, and it just made my sides split…It’s that cheesy.

Then there’s the chance to “Create a Legend” with the most insane amount of customisable items I have ever seen. I’m not just talking about changing nose features and making the wrestler tall, I’m talking about all that and the mad clothing accessories like Santa hats, Horns, Tattoos, Scars…the list goes on and I saw even more in the final version then when I played it recently. It’s good to see some new items and it’d be nice if more comes available via DLC, although I’m not expecting any.
With your created Legend, you can enter the “Legend Killer” mode which sees your new fighter take on the classics one after the other, while gaining EXP. The fights come in blocks of 10, so you’ll have to fight 10 times to win one of the tiers. I did it under 30 mins and got a nice bunch of achievements, speaking of which…there are 19 in total to grab. All of them earned just from completing single player modes, although you can also earn them online…it’s just easier to nab ‘em solo.

There is a bit of a crutch in the form of quicktime events during fights which can reverse a move from your opponent. It does cheapen the fights a bit and makes it easier for you to recover, although I rarely came across this as I just dominated the opposition with my 7ft Evil Santa with red eyes and gold teeth. He is seriously twice the size of any wrestler and about half the size of the ring itself. It’s hilarious really, I’d highly recommend that you make some crazy creations for the single player; it’s perhaps the game’s biggest highlight.
The visuals are great, although some graphical layers overlap, although that’s really only noticeable with my Evil Santa’s layers of fat. The rest of the game looks just fine, character models are great and the detail to them is impressive, even little details to sweat are a nice touch. Voice-work is funny and fits in with the feel of the genre quite well.

The Verdict

WWE Legends of Wrestlemania may have made itself far too easy to play and beat, but it has a great level of customisation and modes that any wrestling fan should enjoy. It’s not without its problems, but they are easily overlooked when you have a big fat Santa smacking the crap out of Hulk Hogan…