The long-awaited AEW console video game is finally on its way after first being announced in November 2020. The development process was paved with obstacles, but the light at the end of the tunnel is finally visible. Titled AEW Fight Forever new details and gameplay trailers have been released about the game as the THQ Nordic-published product made its debut at this year’s Gamescom.
Speaking at Gamescom in Germany, AEW’s Evil Uno and Colt Cabana shared details and answered fan questions after showcasing gameplay that featured a singles match between Kenny Omega and Adam Cole.
As the two played as Kenny Omega and Adam Cole, fans got a closer look at the tutorial which Evil Uno described as “a lot of hand holding,” controls similar to N64, and a momentum system. With style similar to N64, the eight-minute match ended with Omega nailing Cole with a One-Winged Angel from the top rope.
In 2020, Kenny Omega described the game as, “A brand new take on something that’s like the No Mercy game of old. So, if you liked WrestleMania 2000, and No Mercy – we are very much hoping to recreate the same feel, the same fun factor, and the same pick-up-and-play ability of those games in the past. So, look forward to that. We are working diligently to give you guys something in the near future.”
Inspired by “old-school arcade, the controls are easy to learn but hard to master.” As explained during the demo, damage to an opponent will be realistic with an indicator to show which part of an opponent is damaged so the opposing player can pinpoint moves to make it easier for submission.
There will be a plethora of signature moves, where a player can do up to 5 different signature moves from any direction. However, their momentum can be cut short as there will be a limited special phase during the match where the opponent can use a short counter. Detailed reversals will also be available.
This exhibition match (which featured in-game audience members wearing now available AEW Shop t-shirts) took place in the demo of the game, which is available to play for those in attendance at Gamescom but will not be released to the public. This is because THQ says they do not want to release any aspect of it to the public until it’s completely polished.
In 2020, Jericho first echoed this with, “I look at our video game similar to our action figure line. People have really appreciated the quality of those toys and how cool they look. I think our video game has to follow in the same suit and be something special. Since people have been waiting anxiously for the game, we want to ensure it is really good.”
While the presentation did not confirm the release date for the game, because “this takes time and we’re not rushing it,” it will release “soon.” Pre-orders for the game from Amazon and outlets like Target are currently available.
As for the gameplay itself, it was noted that AEW Fight Forever will prioritize game flow. This means commentary will be present but not overbearing, as they want to avoid repetitive dialogue from the announcers.
In 2020, Aubrey Edwards, who worked as Project Coordinator stated, “It really comes down to what people want like Create-A-Characters are really important because people like having that creativity aspect or if there’s a character that’s not in a game, they want to recreate it. Like people are making AEW roster people in other wrestling games. People like to be in charge of their own universe and that’s the thing I really enjoy about making video games. It’s unlike any other media, a lot like wrestling where it’s escapism but interactive. It’s like going to a movie but you’re controlling what the actors are doing.”
It was also confirmed that mixed matches will be able to take place. Yes, Paul Wight can face himself and as seen in the showcase trailer, Dr. Britt Baker DMD took on Adam Cole. While the game will feature the standard tag team and ladder matches, there will also be exploding barb wire matches, and exploding ring matches, but no steel cage matches. Excalibur, Jim Ross, Jim Roberts Aubrey Edwards, and “ass boys” chants were mentioned as THQ Nordic teased “they will bring in as many wrestlers as possible.”
Yes, Cody Rhodes (who went to WWE) is still in the game. In a recent Sports Illustrated interview with Kenny Omega, he explicitly that Rhodes is still in the game. As a producer from AEW’s side of development, he is passionate about “making sure [Rhodes’] legacy and position within the company were preserved.” In other words, while Rhodes left AEW, Omega still wanted him to be remembered as one of its founders and a key part of the promotion’s early success. AEW Fight Forever will “coincide with the birth of [AEW].” Players will get to experience the creation of AEW from “day one” as part of the game.
Uno, Cabana, and a THQ Nordic developer also confirmed several mini-games (such as catching poker chips falling from the sky or following Excalibur’s dance choreography or partaking an oversized baseball game in the AEW Bank Field) that had previously been featured in the trailer, a creation suite, and more.
Players can also set up CPU vs. CPU matches, and the Casino Battle Royale will be a playable match type. There are 40 different weapons in the game, and they will be unlimited, but only one can be used at a time. Most weapons (such as a fire extinguisher and possibly pizza) will be found under the ring, but it was teased they will be available in various locations.
William Regal was also revealed to be a coach in the game, but not a playable character, and unfortunately, Tony Khan is also not playable. While it’s unclear if coaches and managers are two separate entities, with Career Mode which takes players “on the road with AEW” there’s a possibility both will be available.
Customization is also a massive focus as players will be able to customize arenas and modify wrestlers’ attires. Players will not be able to import their own music for entrances, but The Acclaimed’s Max Caster has recorded original tracks for the game.
“The AEW game has to kick ass there’s a lot of expectations for it,” Aubrey previously stated.
While there was confusion about entrance length, Fight Forever won’t feature full entrances similar to 2k games, but players can trigger pyro during entrances.
AEW Fight Forever might have to customize championships as well because there was no comment on Ring of Honor titles being involved in the game. Another unconfirmed aspect is the pay-per-views, as none were specifically mentioned as being in it and neither was how many players the game will support.
- Combines nostalgic arcade wrestling feel with innovative All Elite Wrestling finishers and offensive moves.
- Talent roster combines biggest legends to enter the ring plus brand new, high-flying AEW stars
- Single, tag-team, 3-way, 4-way, ladder, Casino Battle Royale, Falls Count Anywhere, Unsanctioned Lights Out, Exploding Barbed Wire Death and online co-op multi-player matches
- Online co-op multi-player
- Tag team matches feature a sequence of team maneuvers performed with simple commands.
- Deep career mode
- Wide range of customization modes: wrestler attire and appearance, move sets, entrances, teams, and arenas.
- 40 weapons
- Daily and weekly challenges
AEW isn’t done with Gamescom. They will be holding exhibition matches at the trade fair from Thursday to Sunday, with the matches expected to air on THQ Nordic’s Twitch channel. While no competitors have officially been announced, it’s expected Uno, Cabana, Peter Avalon, and Angelico, all of whom have been spotted in Germany, will be in action.
The game has been confirmed for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch and PC.