Tapping Out Early: A Review of AEW’s Fight Forever

It’s been quite a ride with NoDQ, covering the broad strokes of the wrestling world, from its towering triumphs to its deepest pitfalls. Unfortunately, today we descend into a veritable abyss as we examine AEW’s latest, deeply flawed venture into the gaming world: Fight Forever.

For years, wrestling games have sought to blend the visceral thrill of the ring with the creative freedom of the joystick. The most successful among them have become household names, lauded for their keen attention to detail, immersive gameplay, and spectacular visual prowess. In stark contrast, AEW Fight Forever finds itself brutally body-slammed to the mat, gasping for breath amid a sea of shortcomings.

From the get-go, you’re met with a visual presentation that’s anything but pleasing. In an era where the gaming industry pushes the boundaries of graphical fidelity, Fight Forever’s visuals appear to be trapped in a time warp. The blocky characters and jarring animations are a far cry from the sleek, photo-realistic offerings from other franchises. It’s as if AEW decided to put their game through the wrestling equivalent of a Hardcore match, then forgot to clean it up afterward.

The game’s performance fares no better. You’re constantly wrestling with atrocious frame rates that transform even the most straightforward encounters into a choppy mess. Crashes, glitches, and freezing instances seem to be part of the roster, eagerly waiting to blindside you at the worst possible moment.

Unexpectedly, the game throws a curveball with a series of random, Mario Party-esque mini-games that feel absurdly out of place. This misguided attempt to spice up gameplay instead serves as a jarring distraction, disrupting the game’s flow and further pulling you out of the already fragile immersion.

Then, there’s the bold price tag of $70, an unfathomable demand given the glaring deficiencies. It’s as if AEW has taken a chair shot too many to the head, or aligned themselves to the heel team of consumer mistrust. The audacity to lock fan-favorite Matt Hardy behind a pre-order bonus only adds salt to the wounds, painting a picture of corporate greed over consumer satisfaction.

The gameplay, while simple and admittedly fun at times, is too barebones to justify the asking price. It feels like an early beta, or even an alpha, rushed to market without a proper polish or finishing touches. The potential for an engaging wrestling game lies beneath the surface, but the lack of depth and detail leave it buried.

In the final assessment, AEW Fight Forever falls painfully short of the high-flying, thrilling spectacle we’ve come to expect from the brand. It’s a jarring misstep, a tarnish on AEW’s otherwise commendable efforts in revolutionizing professional wrestling. This game isn’t just an unfinished project—it’s a striking deviation from AEW’s consistent track record of innovation and excitement. It’s our hope that AEW takes this feedback in stride, channeling the same tenacity they show in the ring to elevate their gaming ventures, ensuring future endeavors reflect the high-quality standards their fans have come to know and love.

I give this game 2/5. It could be saved with DLC/Patches. But there is no excuse for how this game shipped.

Note: I played the PC release of this game with the following specs:

CPU: Intel i9 10900KF 5.2GHZ (OC)
GPU: Nvidia Geforce 3900

Robbie Vice