If you’ve ever played Here Comes The Pain, there’s a high chance you’ll like Wrestling Empire.
If you’ve played Wrestling Revolution 3D, it’s the same game but remastered and made even better.
Most wrestling games are known for taking themselves seriously, with recent entries in the WWE 2K franchise being catered around simulation based and specific controls. Wrestling Empire simply does not care, and most of its fun comes from the hilarious stupidity and ridiculousness of the things that you can do in the game. The clunky and simplistic control scheme makes it even funnier and with every update, the game only becomes more over-the-top, bonkers and insane.
Just look at the Steam reviews of this game to know the type of madness that you’re in for when you buy the game. Horrifically tragic stories that are incredibly dumb, but that pretty much sums up Wrestling Empire, in the best way possible.
It’s amazing how a wrestling game with a much lower budget and smaller team has way more soul and character to it than games that represent wrestling in the mainstream. It goes without saying that Mat Dickie’s games all have a distinctive artstyle anyway, but whether it’s Hard Time or Wrestling Empire, you know that you’re going to be in for a good time.
A new addition compared to the previous iteration of the game (as mentioned above), is the graphics are much better than they used to be, and moves can be transitioned into others much more smoothly; you can begin a powerbomb to an opponent near a teammate (or another opponent in a multi-man match) and there’s a chance they’ll turn it into a canadian destroyer.
There’s an exhibition mode, a very open-ended story mode and a booking mode. They’re all complete chaos. In exhibition mode, you can place dynamite, choose the setup of the ring (or choose to have no ring at all!), add a cage, add a ridiculous amounts of tables, match stipulations, how many people are in the match. There’s an insane amount of freedom of the types of matches that you can make in exhibition – make them as crazy as you want, or as realistic as you want, it’s all there. These match types also show up in the career mode at different points as well and in a multitude of different ways.
The career mode. Oh boy, the career mode. You start at the company “Wrestling School” then work your way up to being signed by one of the four major companies. Just like the roster of wrestlers within the game, a good few of these promotions are inspired by pre-existing companies within the wrestling industry. Of course, you can’t sign to a company without a contract, and you get to negotiate your contract with amount per week, any bonuses (positive or negative) and anything else that you may want.
Now that you’ve got your contract, the fun begins. There’s an option to go free roam mode, walking around the venue, streets and game world – but make sure that you use that time wisely, whether its to increase your stats or challenge for titles, because if you’re late for your match, you could get in trouble.
It almost feels like Civilisation because you just don’t want to stop playing. You just want to keep going, continuing your career, capturing championships, starting rivalries, getting better or worse contracts and working in different promotions. It’s probably the part of the game that gives the most longevity, a great thing for a game that’s so versatile not only in its humour but its outlandish gameplay as well.
The booking mode is certainly something. It’s a bit clunky to play with a controller so my experiences with it are only through mouse and keyboard. Compared to GM Mode in the mainline WWE games or Total Extreme Wrestling, Wrestling Empire’s booking mode is much more focused on the tomfoolery. messing around with things and doing whatever you want. Although there is a money limit and demands of different territories that you have to be wary of when booking certain match types (i.e Japan likes cage matches and hates heels winning), it didn’t stop me from booking some of the most outrageous shows possible and getting some good ratings. It’s not the greatest booking mode to ever exist, but it’s totally in-line with the rest of the game’s antics and that’s what matters. Silly, stupid and fun.
Wrestling Empire is the perfect silly wrestling game. It’s chaotic, humourous, fun and agile while having a simple control scheme that makes it easy to get into but even harder to want to stop playing.