I'm currently playing Dragon Age 2 on Xbox 360, the highly anticipated sequel to Dragon Age: Origins, which might be one of my top 10 favorite games of all-time. The sequel isn't as good, but that's neither here nor there because another video game came out today that I think wrestling fans are more interested in, WWE All Stars.
Honestly, I'm not sold on the game, I'm hearing a lot of mixed reviews and despite the best efforts of the good folks over at THQ, I just haven't had a wrestling game hold my interest in years. Again, those guys bust their asses over there to churn out two WWE games a year, but I'm pretty picky about what I spend my $60 on these days. It does look like a fun way to kill some time with friends, but between my job, my upcoming wedding, real life and Kick-Out!!, I don't really have time to play games on someone else's schedule. And I'm certainly not going to take any chances with complete strangers on Xbox Live, if I wanted people to hurl hateful language at me, I'd just follow Michael Cole on Twitter.
But wait, what if the guys at THQ combined my love of wrestling with my love of an epic single-player experience like Dragon Age? Hey, they've shown they're already willing to go over the top with All Stars, let's just take it to the next level and take the WWE Superstars into a completely different genre! Here's how I would do the BioWare-inspired WWE RPG:
You are The Rookie, it might not sound as cool as "Hawke" or "The Warden," but if it's good enough for a Beastie Boys video, it's good enough for me. Plus, it's gender neutral, so you could be either a new Superstar or Diva. On your first night in WWE, you draw the ire of the psychotic Kane, who just lost his World Championship to his brother, The Undertaker. Kane now has his own championship, forged within the very depths of The Darkside, appropriately named the Darkside Championship, and blasts you in the skull with it. The sheer force shatters the title belt and sends shockwaves throughout the arena, rips a hole in the space/time continuum and sends everyone into a literal WWE Universe.
The WWE Universe would consist of numerous WWE-themed cities and landmarks, like The 619, The Palace of Wisdom and the mysterious Parts Unknown. As The Rookie, it will be your task to journey throughout these locations, recruit your party, recover the remnants of the broken championship and travel to the depths of the Darkside to save the world as we once knew it from chaos.
Like any good RPG, you can't go it alone, you'll need a party to help in your journey. Sticking with the Dragon Age theme, they may not all be your friends, but sometimes personal issues have to be set aside for the greater good. How you interact with each party member will affect the story in some shape or form. Party members (and The Rookie) will be divided into three groups:
The heavy-hitters, these are the guys (and gals), you want on the front lines doing damage and protecting the party. Champions can use heavy weapons like sledgehammers and steel chairs.
In your typical RPG, High-Flyers would be classed as rogues or thieves, they move quickly and strike before the even knows they're there. High-Flyers rely on their gauntlets and boots for weapons.
Your Phenoms are the magic users who usually hang back and cast spells, but in our game, one Phenom in particular can become your most powerful ally (one guess who that is). Phenoms use magic as a weapon.
Along with The Rookie, who can be whatever you make him or her out to be, you will recruit several friends (and rivals) along the way who will aid you in your journey:
Armed with his trusty Giant Sledgehammer, The Game will be recruited early on in the game (that's confusing) and will always have his sights set on the ultimate goal, even if that means questionable moral choices have to be made along the way.
Cena will act as the counter-balance to Triple H's moral ambiguity. While Triple H will take a shortcut to the goal, Cena will always choose the honorable path, even if it's more difficult.
The first of our Diva characters, The Glamazon can be just as tough as her male counterparts and isn't afraid to fight anyone, male, female or leprechaun. (Did I mention the Hornswoggle level yet?)
His lightning-quick offense matched only by his lightning-quick wit, CM Punk isn't looking to make friends, just a way out of this ridiculous world he's stuck in.
The ultimate good guy and the fastest character in your party, Rey Rey would have the unique ability to strike almost any enemy on screen, no matter how far away.
Weaker enemies will be instantly decapitated by Natalya's out-of-nowhere spinning clothesline.
He's the Shaman of Sexy, of course he'd be a mage!
The Bella Twins
Twin magic, obviously.
The most powerful ally you can get in the game. When fully leveled up, Taker is near unstoppable and will not quit until Kane rests in peace.
Obviously all characters will level up with their unique abilities, including Triple H's Pedigree, Rey Mysterio's 619 and The Undertaker's Lightning... those Star Wars games won't have shit on Taker's Force Lightning!
And of course, every RPG has to have great boss battles:
The big bad. For once, Kane's confusing backstory won't matter because the game is already over-the-top ridiculous! Kane is trying to recover the pieces of the Darkside Championship for himself so he can make the WWE Universe permanent and rule over it. It'll make sense when we flesh out the story... maybe.
While Hornswoggle is trying to make the Leprechaun Town a fun and happy place, Sheamus is trying to destroy it for pushing bad Irish stereotypes. Due to the warped world that is the WWE Universe, his skin will glow and his hair will be on fire ala Sweet Tooth in Twisted Metal.
The proverbial thorn in your side throughout the entire game. You'll be begging for the eventual showdown, which won't happen until the final hours of the game... and even then he'll still escape, we gotta set up the sequel!
Dolph Ziggler & Vickie Guerrero
The evil power couple, they've been given their own corner of the WWE Universe by Kane so they'd leave him alone. Vickie has the power to literally turn into a Cougar that will claw your face off.
Due to the power of the WWE Universe exaggerating everyone's characters, Randy Orton literally has voices in his head and he can longer control them. With any semblance of humanity left behind in the real world, Orton is one of the most sadistic and dangerous villains you'll encounter.
LayCool will be an early boss fight, but don't count them out, their shrieks will shatter glass and perhaps your TV speakers.
You'll have to make it through the DASHING Hall of Mirrors maze if you want to defeat this villain.
Edge & Christian
You'll encounter these two throughout the game, but are they friend or foe?
A pack of mercenaries for sale to the highest bidder, regardless of motive.
Throughout the entire story, characters from both sides of the Universe will be searching for Vince McMahon. What happened to him after the rift? Whose side is he on? Is he still in that coma? Consider him like Mickey Mouse in Kingdom Hearts, even if you don't see him until the end of the game, he may not be far behind.
There you have it, WWE Universe (working title), the first ever WWE role-playing game. I started tweeting about this yesterday as a joke, but as I was typing it up, I realized I would totally play this game. So THQ, if you want to continue embracing the ridiculous, just give me a call!