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WWE '13: Breaking expectations in half by returning to the Attitude era

Attitude adjustment

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Now table smashes, ring breaks, superplexes to the outside of the ring and the like will be celebrated for the rare, shocking moments they are with new presentation effects. Pull one off and not only will you notice radically improved animations and framing, you'll get a three-part replay system la WWF No Mercy to let you bask in the glory (or shame, if you're on the receiving end) of the move.

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A new addition to Spectacular Moments is the inclusion of catching finishers. Superstars can catch opponents leaping off of turnbuckles and springboarding off the ropes and counter straight into a finisher. Think Randy Orton's amazing RKO on Evan Bourne's Air Bourne (though neither superstar is yet officially confirmed as part of the roster, the former is a certain inclusion) and you're on the right track: the examples we were given included CM Punk catching a superstar on his shoulders and delivering the GTS, Undertaker catching and spinning into the Tombstone Piledriver and Big Show unleashing a Chokeslam (rather than the WMD, surprisingly).

Of course, crazy bumps and supreme wrestling skills aren't the only ingredients of a Spectacular Moment or memorable WWE scene. What would Mr McMahon's Higher Power reveal be without JR yelling, "Son of a Bitch?" on commentary, or Mankind's crazy Hell In A Cell bumps be if you removed the crowd going nuts and JR screaming, "As God as my witness he is broken in half!" Not half as good, that's what. Commentary's been a weak point of the WWE games for years now, so one of the most interesting additions to WWE '13 is the 'WWE Live' feature: a complete audio overhaul.

Crowd control

THQ have brought the UFC audio team over to work on the WWE game and they've completely rewritten every aspect of the audio. But here's the really good part: they've taken actual recordings from past tapings and present crowds (Daniel Bryan's favourite word included) to deliver something that truly reflects the show. Those famous JR lines from the Attitude Era? Well, JR and King commentate on the campaign, so plenty of original quotes will be cropping up as and when you'd expect them to, as will all your favourite WWE Universe chants.

But as the screens clearly show, WWE '13 isn't all about the Attitude Era. Before we get carried away with all the '90s talk it's worth noting that it's CM Punk, not Stone Cold or The Rock, who's bestowed with the honour of being the cover star this year, and the Best In The World will be leading a revolutionary charge in the game's returning Universe mode.

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"I don't want consumers to think now all of a sudden we're focusing on past WWE and current WWE isn't getting much love!" insists Creative Director Cory Ledesma when we ask him about the contradictions of CM Punk's cover and the campaign's Attitudinal focus. "We care a lot about being authentic to the experience," continues Ledesma when we mention our love of John Laurinaitis' General Manager run, "and if there's something really big going on with WWE you can predict or guess that we're going to be very diligent in supporting - closely - what's going on in the programming in WWE '13."

After that glut of fan-pleasing pipebombs there's only one way we could possibly finish. All together now: YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!

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