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World Wrestling Entertainment. Entertainment. That last word is key in what the WWE is all about. And that’s what the new Android and iOS game celebrates. WWE Immortals is pure entertainment.
There have been some great wrestling video games in the past, but all of them have put the emphasis on realism. Those games focussed on life-like replicas of the wrestlers and put them in the ring, unleashing their signature moves.
WWE Immortals takes the action into a fictional land with mythical, exaggerated personas of the wrestlers and a one-on-one fighting system that is more reminiscent of games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. It all makes sense when you realise who developed the game: NetherRealm Studios, the guys behind Mortal Kombat!
What’s WWE Immortals All About?
In a way, Immortals takes you back to the days of Sega Genesis, when WWF Wrestlemania took the top stars from the wrestling industry and made the game more like a traditional fighting game. WWE Immortals reimagines today’s top wrestlers. Sheamus is dressed up like a celtic warrior, The Big Show is like a giant out of Lord Of The Rings, Trish Stratus is a “White Witch” who fights on the side of the good guys, The Rock has glowing blue eyes and is made out of stone, and so on. The character animations are fantastic, providing an otherworldly quality to the game.
Each match-up has you choosing a team of three, taking on a team of equal opponents. You start with three players, and you can buy more as you progress. Each victory gives you WWE coins to spend in a store, buying players or upgrading your existing ones. You’ll need to buy players because each one has limited stamina—and stamina determines whether a player can be used in the next fight or not.
The in-app purchases come in here. You can buy WWE coins or stamina cards with real-world money, or wait till your player’s stamina replenishes. Honestly, you don’t really need to spend money in this game and you can safely disable in-app purchases on your phone knowing you won’t need them. With a roster of six players, you can easily be playing regularly with short breaks. Handily, the app sends a notification when the stamina bar is full, so you know when you can start playing again.
Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!
You choose a team of three to face a team of three, but there’s some back story here too. There are natural alliances between good guys and bad guys, which helps decide how you form teams. Pair up a team of three good guys or three bad guys and you’ll boost either their health or damage.
In a fight, you can switch between characters at any time, like a tag-team match. It’s actually a part of the strategy. The controls are the same for each player—tap the screen for attacks, swipe for power attacks, and tap the adrenaline bar for special moves. The adrenaline bar (which fills during the match) is split into three sections for three types of special moves—each requiring on-screen interaction like rapid swiping or a well-timed tap to inflict maximum damage. Each player also has a “super move”, which is an exaggerated version of their famous finishing moves in wrestling. It’s campy fun!
The uncomplicated fight mechanism makes WWE Immortals easy to get into. Before you know it, you’ll have a pavlovian response of picking up your phone every time a notification says that the stamina bar is full.
Classic Gaming Elements Done Right
Gamification is a buzzword these days. You can even gamify your life. It refers to the simple cycle of doing things -> earning money -> buying stuff to do more things. That’s just one of the classic gaming elements that WWE Immortals does right. The endless loop keeps you wanting to play more.
Another classic element is the long campaign with boss battles, one of those things we miss about old school video games. WWE Immortals has a long single-player campaign, although you can hop online at any time for some multiplayer fun (and add characters to your arsenal). Each stage has a series of battles, with a final boss fight that ups the difficulty levels. Any gamer will know the rush of beating a difficult boss, and WWE Immortals perfectly walks the tightrope between “stupidly difficult” and “engagingly challenging.”
If you enjoy fighting games on your mobile, you can’t go wrong with WWE Immortals. Even if you aren’t familiar with the WWE right now, it’s a whole lot of fun.
Download: WWE Immortals for Android (Free) [No Longer Available]
Download: WWE Immortals for iPhone/iPad (Free) [No Longer Available]
What did you think of WWE Immortals? Who’s your favourite character? What would you change in the game? Let’s talk in the comments!