Acclaim's latest attempt to create a hard-core wrestling game featuring the look and feel of Extreme Championship Wrestling is ECW Anarchy Rulz. ECW Anarchy Rulz uses the same game engine used in the last ECW game, which was in turn the same engine behind Acclaim's last two wrestling titles, WWF Attitude and WWF WarZone. Unfortunately, this probably means that ECW Anarchy Rulz will be no more extreme or hard-core than the last ECW game.
Like most wrestling games, the star of ECW Anarchy Rulz's improved features list is the updated roster. The game will contain more than 60 wrestlers, including the new-to-ECW wrestlers: The Sandman, Paul Heyman, and Dusty Rhodes. Rulz will also feature new match modes, including street fight, table fight, and the never-before-seen brimstone match. What, exactly, this mode entails is not yet known. Another highly touted new feature is your ability to handpick your allies and adversaries in the career mode.
While the graphics have only been marginally improved over last year's game, new audio has been added to Rulz's list of improvements. In addition to actual voice work by the ECW wrestlers themselves, the game will feature commentary by Joel Gertner and "the voice of ECW," Joey Styles. Acclaim is also taking the soundtrack to a new level - the game features licensed music by Dope and One Minute Silence.
It's unfortunate that the newest game in the ECW series feels so much like a carbon copy of the same game Acclaim's been putting on shelves for four years now. The last game in the ECW series failed to produce the raw, extreme feeling of Extreme Championship Wrestling - let's hope Anarchy Rulz will overcome this trend and give ECW fans a game to truly be proud of.