Title :WWF Warzone
Platforms :Nintendo 64, Sony PlayStation
Publisher :Acclaim
Game Rating :9.3
Review by :Ken Gagne

Those guys on the grid iron have nothing on the men in the ring. When it comes to sheer brutality, no sport is like wrestling. The action isn't always faked, as players will painfully learn in Acclaim's WWF Warzone for Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation. This review is based on the N64 version. 

From the Undertaker to Bret Hart to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, the best and worst of the WWF are present to deliver a powerful package. Up to four players can simultaneously compete in tag team, cage, Royal Rumble, and many other matches. 

Using a high-resolution graphics mode, Warzone accurately portrays wrestling action. Over 300 motion-captured maneuvers, from the basic wham-bam-body slam to signature moves, will have players screaming in delight or agony. The basic camera angle doesn't change, but when a special move or hold is executed, will zoom or rotate for the best, most painful angle. 

In the ring, there is no background music. Opening and closing theme songs and the like are simplistic. But the variety of speech in the game is a selling point. Vince McMahon and Jim Ross give a play-by-play commentary; the fans cheer, catcall, and offer remarks; the wrestlers taunt. The choice of words is right for a wrestling crowd and fun to hear. 

The button assignments don't make much sense, but arequickly memorized out of necessity. Moves are performed in a near Street Fighter-like combinations of directions and button presses. An in-game list of moves is readily available for whatever the current position or circumstance is. Only choosing one opponent of many to attack in a royal rumble is difficult. 

Whether you pin or are pinned, there are many reasons to get back in the ring. With at least eleven modes of play and seventeen wrestlers, it doesn't get old quickly. A solitaire game can be boring, but multiplayer wrestling rocks the house! 

If the default wrestlers don't suit your fancy, make your own! Custom characters can be created from an incredible variety of body types, apparel, tattoos, and more. Generate a random personality or customize your own. These characters can be strengthened through victory, and progress can be saved to a controller pack. Additional options for custom characters also reveal themselves as the game continues. 

Parents, use prudence. Since the graphics are realistic, so is the violence. Add a variety of colorful comments from wrestlers and fans alike, and you have an authentic, mature wrestling game. This game has a "Teen" rating for gamers at least 13 years old, due to animated violence, mild language, and suggestive themes. 

Move over, Bomberman: WWF Warzone may be one of the best party games of all time, and one of the best wrestling titles there is. Are you ready to rumble?

This article is copyright (c) 1998, 2007 by Ken Gagne. All rights reserved. Not to be distributed without permission.

Original publication: Sentinel & Enterprise, 31-Aug-98