WWE All Stars Q&A - Matches, Cages, and Weapons

THQ San Diego walks us through all of the game modes in the upcoming arcade brawler.

If you've been following WWE All Stars, you'll know that the game offers an over-the-top style of wrestling where little things like rules and physics don't carry a lot of weight. Such a game seems like a great opportunity to get creative with the usual selection of match types, so we chatted with senior designer David Friedland to see what fans can expect from All Stars' various game modes.

GameSpot: Let's start with the basics. What are the standard game modes that you knew you had to have in the game--those cornerstones of any wrestling title? How are you trying to make them stand out in All Stars?

David Friedland: When we began development on WWE All Stars, we looked at every major match type in WWE history and prototyped most of them. Ultimately, we went with the match types that best supported our fast-paced, over-the-top and arcade-style gameplay. These include standard 1 vs. 1, Triple Threat, Fatal 4 Way, Tornado Tag, Elimination, Extreme Rules, and Steel Cage. In addition, we added two progression modes: Path of Champions and Fantasy Warfare. These modes are similar to the ladder progressions you find in modern fighting games but with a unique WWE style.

GS: How about the more "out there" match types? Tell us about the other modes in WWE All Stars and what players should expect out of these.

DF: We have taken a number of liberties with the standard WWE match rules in order to better accent our gameplay style. Falls count anywhere. There are no count outs or rope breaks, and the only way to get disqualified is to bash your opponent repeatedly with an object. Standard Tag Team has been replaced by Tornado Tag, where all four competitors are in the ring at the same time. In Steel Cage matches, your ability to escape is tied to the amount of damage you do to your opponent, forcing players to mix it up rather than simply attempting to climb out right from the start. All of these decisions were made to support the pacing of the game and eliminate anything that took away from the depth of the combat system. We also wanted to make certain that all of our match types were playable online.

Fantasy Warfare is a mode that will have huge appeal to WWE fans. These 15 matches pit WWE Legends of yesterday against WWE Superstars of today to determine the best of the best in a number of categories. Some of the matchups may seem obvious. Who else would compete for Greatest Big Man besides Andre the Giant and Big Show? Other matchups focus more on personality or lifestyle than physical attributes. In the Superior Lifestyle matchup, beer-drinking hell-raiser "Stone Cold" Steve Austin faces off against the straight-edge CM Punk to determine the better role model. Each of these matchups has an accompanying video package highlighting the buildup to the match. WWE really knocked it out of the park with these videos. WWE Legends and WWE Superstars who have never competed against one another now appear to have actual rivalries going.

Path of Champions is a fighting-game-style mode with a series of three 10-match ladder progressions. Each of the three paths has accompanying cinematics voiced by the real-life WWE Superstars. In the WWE Legends path, players face Undertaker with Paul Bearer for the World Heavyweight Championship. In the WWE Superstars path, players compete to face Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. In the Tag Team path, players battle to face D-Generation X, comprised of Triple H and Shawn Michaels, for the WWE Tag Team Championship.

Who's gonna be the one to break the tension with a hug?

GS: Can you talk about the creative process behind coming up with these game modes? How you went from the initial batch of ideas to what ultimately made it into the game?

DF: Ultimately it was about the gameplay. The pacing of WWE All Stars is very different when compared with previous WWE games. Some match types lent themselves well to our style. Four-player matches, for example, are gloriously chaotic affairs with their own special strategies. With Steel Cage matches, the WWE All Stars environment is perfectly suited for huge, high-flying moves. Some matches, with object-oriented victory conditions, did not make the cut, as accomplishing the victory conditions was either too easy at our game's speed or caused too much of a slowdown in the action for our tastes.

Fantasy Warfare was a lot of fun to create. The development team at THQ San Diego has many diehard, lifelong WWE fans who have been watching these WWE Legends and WWE Superstars for many years. Everyone on the team had matchups they wanted to see, and the ideas flowed freely. Once we had the roster finalized, Fantasy Warfare really started coming together. As stated earlier, while some of the matchups were easy to imagine, such as Hulk Hogan vs. John Cena or Andre the Giant vs. Big Show, others required thinking outside the box. In the end, we came up with 15 matchups that really showcase the personalities and abilities of our roster.

GS: One of the big parts of WWE All Stars is the idea of different classes with distinct advantages and disadvantages against one another. Can you talk about how the class system affected the creation of these modes and how their interactions might differ from a standard one-on-one match?

DF: The class abilities definitely have an impact on some of the match modes. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the Acrobats and Big Men. Acrobats have some unique advantages in Steel Cage matches, where they can leap up to the sides of the cage walls and rebound off for high-angle attacks on their opponents that are very hard to defend against. In three- to four-player matches, the range of an Acrobat's turnbuckle moves make them especially dangerous, as opponents are never quite sure who they are going to attack next. Three- to four-player matches are also where the Big Men truly shine. Their ground stomp juggles can often pop multiple opponents into the air at once. Their ability to punch or kick an opponent out of the ring makes them great partners in Tornado Tag, allowing them to easily create distance between the opposing partners so they can double-team a single opponent.

They're not really fighting--they're just testing the structural integrity of this fence.

GS: How much of an influence on the design of these modes was the decade-spanning collection of WWE superstars you have in the game? The sport has changed a lot over the years, so how did you make sure that each type of match would work well with, say, an '80s Superstar and a modern Superstar?

DF: Most of our match types were popular throughout WWE history, and all of the WWE Legends and WWE Superstars in our game have all the tools they need to compete in these match types.

Where our roster really influenced our design was in the Path of Champions and Fantasy Warfare modes. Path of Champions has three separate paths players can select, with each tailored to a different era in WWE history. In the WWE Legends path, players are up against old-school Undertaker--back when he was managed by Paul Bearer. All of the opponents in this path are WWE Legends themselves. The WWE Superstars path has a more modern feel, with players confronting "The Viper," Randy Orton, and other current WWE Superstars. The Tag Team path offers the best of both worlds, with players competing for the right to face D-Generation X, the popular tag team featuring WWE Superstar Triple H and WWE Legend Shawn Michaels. This path features a mix of both WWE Legends and WWE Superstars as opponents.

Fantasy Warfare is all about the roster. With the WWE All Stars roster evenly split between WWE Legends and WWE Superstars, it was a matter of finding the best matchups and best themes and then working with WWE to create pay-per-view-quality video packages to accompany each matchup. Initial reaction to these matchups has been hugely positive, and we can't wait for the gaming public and the WWE Universe to get the chance to play through Fantasy Warfare in its entirety.

GS: Thanks for your time, David!

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Discussion

81 comments
Naxct
Naxct

my comments never get a thumbs up..... :-(

penguinspwn43
penguinspwn43

This is gonna be a much better game then the smackdown vs raw series. I cant wait to play Fantasy Warfare and kick a** with Hulk Hogan in a steel cage.

hellstorm25
hellstorm25

this game is going to be great! even though the graphics engine is not believable, I love it. and it looks accordiing to the pictures that hulk hogan is wearing his nwo colors. it'll be nice if he comes out with the nwo song to the ring.

omerkhan007
omerkhan007

this will be the best wrestling game ever.

narutoman500
narutoman500

This game is gonna be sweet, they have the old Undertaker!

derek_brown
derek_brown

it sound appealing but does not look so.....................but gonna buy it anyways....................cause its great pass time game

osmprog
osmprog

this game is the best looking wrestlenig game in a very long time

sochio
sochio

could we turn of the ko mode because i dont like to finishing the match like this

johnnystarr
johnnystarr

I am a fan of wrestling games and am always glad to see new ones other then SVR but i bet this will be awful lol or at least fun for like a day or so

Speuj
Speuj

@pitcher13man - I'd say its more of a mix of Def Jam and the Hitz/Blitz series of sports games from Midway (not necessarily on a gameplay level, but on a fun-arcadey-action level). I only played the demo quickly, but its way more over the top than Def Jam was. Last generation though, NHL Hitz and Def Jam FFNY were two of my absolutely favourite games, so I'm interested to see the final product of this one.

Caduceus89
Caduceus89

Will we be able to create our own wrestler? Putting my created wrestler against the greats of the industry has always been a big draw for me [its also why I haven't purchased a SvR game since 2008]

pilot_riaz
pilot_riaz

I use to watch WWF when it was Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Mr Perfect, The Bushwackers, Tug Boat, Hacksaw Jim Dugan etc remember them?

pitcher13man
pitcher13man

gameplay is the same as in the Dej Jam fight for NY - and it cool!!!! but if it don't have the same player creator and ability to levelup - its not so fun and cool.

ironmonk36
ironmonk36

I haven't watched wrestling in like 10 years but the demo was fun. I am going to pick this one up

bond007_gamer
bond007_gamer

looks more interesting than regular svr 2010/2011

payne6705
payne6705

The last wrestling game I ever played was for the N64 but this is seriously interesting me.

farazhassansyed
farazhassansyed

i think they r takingbl wrestling to next level this might be useful for future wrestling games and hell it might even supersede fight night and other simulators , ofcourse graphics have improved , i hope the audience would look real and surrounding objects too , one other thing , they should inject all types of matches next time from lumber jack to royal rumble with more than 8 characters at a time

zasxd
zasxd

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

derek_brown
derek_brown

Will this work.....i don't know...............still will buy it.................I'm so excited............ :)

DKHardee
DKHardee

These graphics look great. They should take this graphic engine and put it in SVR 2012 (after toning down the muscles a bit).

JESSEAARON100
JESSEAARON100

OMG They got 2001 Masked Kane and old Smackdown arena! THIS IS AWESOME!

jedediahpelland
jedediahpelland

The more I see these wrestling games, or WWE in general, the more I wanna toss my cookies.

fester420
fester420

When it comes to wrestling games, I would much rather have an arcade-style gameplay like No Mercy, than a simulator like Smackdown. I am hoping that WWE All-Stars will renew my interest in wrestling games. Hell, I might even start to watch wrestling again.

TheSolidKing
TheSolidKing

wwe games just went down hill after smackdown Vs. raw 2006.....

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

The more I see of this game the more I'm convinced I need to buy it! Good stuff.

brian419
brian419

This game is gonna rock! Excited for this one!

harethhalo
harethhalo

this game is incredible can not wait to get it

green_abobo
green_abobo

idk what they were thinking by not having traditional tag team rules.thats what makes tag teams matches fun. having to play tornado all the time is goin to get old quick.

That-B-Guy
That-B-Guy

I love how the gamespot interviewer kept asking about the interesting game modes repetitively. And, poor ole David didn't have any. I mean really the best mode he has to offer for an arcade wrestling game is cage match? This game is set-up for failure.

burgeg
burgeg

@SicklySunStorm - Yo, my name is John Cena, I'm puttin on the hurt, I'm a big tough guy with a bright purple shirt! And now we know Obama didn't laugh at Cena's awful rap last week. Cena is doomed! Hustle, loyalty, respect, and fruity pebbles! Yes! Can I eat them now? You can eat em right now you untalented little froot loop! Rock is a legend. Cena is truly getting owned. Just imagine the verbal ownage when the two of them are in the same ring!

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

I am heartened to see all the Cena sucks cries on here :D oh yes it is sooooo true. Did anyone catch Raw on Monday? Rock as ever dominated with his award winning promo and the 6 year old Cena.... loved every second of it.

bezza2011
bezza2011

looks impressive but the match type and no indication of a proper story mode will make this game very boring very fast, match types tho not very inventive, i can think of some matches what should be put in this game, anyone remember cactus jack vs terry funk barbwire and bomb match, that match to me is the highlight match of what wrestling can get to the extreme, barbwire ropes with bombs attached to it, it was an amense match, if no one seen it look on youtube, number 1 classic extreme match. see matches like that should be put into games like this, because wrestling games and the programme nowadays have forgotten the great story telling of old and the proper rivaleries what wrestling was known for, of course at the moment the peoples champ has returned so things look a little better a shame the smackdown series is going backwards not forwards, with it's content, anyone remember the old smackdowns ps2 back stages completely open go anywhere, what happened, and opening an area in the crowd then taking that out, arent we ment to be adding to games now not taking things away.

BH14
BH14

WWE All Stars and Mortal Kombat are on my to get lists.

Jmalta
Jmalta

I totaly love this game by seen this video

wildcatc1981
wildcatc1981

lol Burgeg...Glad to say their are still people on the net that use their god given free thinken abilities! CENA SUX The Miz Rocks The Rock blows away anyone ever on the mic!

burgeg
burgeg

@vega13mv - Agreed. We all know why they don't have cena as the champ in this game. Even Cena knows. Just ask him. "Because I'm not that talented?" Yes John Cena, because you're not that talented.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

What's that!? You mean they didn't make Cena the man to beat for the WWE championship(?) I am both surprised and very glad about this, though I equally wish they hadn't picked Orton. He's such a baby with his fist banging tantrums, I can't stand him. I usually prefer the heels personally - Miz is indeed pretty awesome and very funny. He makes me laugh and is so entertaining, as is Alberto Del Rio. This is shaping up to be an awesome game, I really can't wait to get to play it

lukajus
lukajus

no tlc , laders , royal rumble , hell in the cell , last man standing , first blood , inferno . characters look like hulks . is there will be anny blood ?

vega13mv
vega13mv

I'm glad they have Orton as champion instead of that purple fruity pebble

papa_beer
papa_beer

This looks like the biggest pile of sh!t I have ever seen!!!!

Sablicious
Sablicious

Finally a GOOD wrestling game -- I don't believe it! Feels like the 90s again!

Chronologo
Chronologo

Arcade experience or not, this games needs to have a COMPREHENSIVE story mode, otherwise it will get old and boring too fast

kungfuj0
kungfuj0

For me, this comes down to one simple thing...gameplay. I've been looking for a wrestling game that could finally knock No Mercy off its thrown, and I simply haven't found one yet. I may give this thing a rent at some point and see how it plays, but I'm not holding out alot of hope that it will approach No Mercy in terms of how fun that game was to play.

Zephol
Zephol

Brothers of Destruction! Kane and The Undertaker!

ManHooYin
ManHooYin

While this game looks great especially for WWE fans since its something new, it will get old and boring really quickly if they don't include more game modes and variety in matches. From the above interview i'm given the impression that it won't have any of the more modern day match types (e.g. TLC, Table, Ladders, Hell in a Cell etc). Hell I would expect them to put in other lesser known match types in a game like this like inferno, barbed wire and casket matches and even matches that they invent themselves, cos this game simply is about over exaggeration in gameplay rather than realistic-ness and being a simulation. I mean it doesn't even seem like you will be able to even tag team in the cage (only limited to 1 on 1). It also needs to increase the number of players in mulitplayer (at least 6 imo). Obviously the biggest appeal really is being able to pit legends against current superstars against each other.

megakick
megakick

what psp games have you been playing because psp doesn't have graphics like this.

junebug2010
junebug2010

Very excited about this game, the past WWE games have been kinda boring with the same ol same ol for the past 10+ years. This looks like a nice spin to bring in some old fans like me, I just really hope its not to over the top and makes the game ridiculous.