Gamers can celebrate a new direction in wrestling while simultaneously paying homage to the Attitude Era as they join CM Punk, The Rock, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and dozens of other wrestling stars in WWE '13. The biggest addition to this version is the new Attitude Era mode, which lets players join more than 30 wrestlers from the late 1990s and participate in a season comprising more than 60 different matches. Narrative gaps are filled by cutscenes and video packages, and gamers can unlock more than 100 special items as they help the WWF win its TV ratings war with the WCW.
The Predator 2.0 game engine offers players a suite of new animations and controls, including giving wrestlers realistic moves based on the physical size of their opponents, and new Spectacular Moments animations that include ring breaks, barricade crashes, and mid-air catches. The career-based Universe mode returns, letting gamers control every aspect of their experience, from matches and arenas, to alliances and championship belts. Multiplayer fans can join friends for online or offline competitions and co-op matches, and the Creation Suite once again lets players design and share their own wrestlers, finishing moves, and storylines. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
NBA 2K13 lets basketball fans return to the hardwood for another season of action by offering them enhanced controls, upgraded defense, and a soundtrack hand-picked by rapper, media mogul, and executive producer Jay-Z. Gamers now have more control of the ball thanks to a one-to-one system in which the shot stick has been changed to the control stick, allowing players to dribble the ball like it's on a string. At the same time, on-the-ball defense has been upgraded and PS3 gamers can now shade their defensive stance in order to force the offensive player to his weaker side.
The My Player mode has been upgraded and once again offers gamers the chance to guide a young player into superstardom, complete with RPG-like character progression, while the Franchise mode also returns for those who like to run the whole show, and multiplayer fans can take on friends in local or online action. The influence of Jay-Z can be seen not just in the soundtrack, featuring songs by himself, Kanye West, Mobb Deep, and Nas, but also in the inclusion of the famed 1992 Olympic Dream Team, a feature that allows users to pit yesterday's greats against contemporary superstars. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
EA Sports' massively popular soccer sim returns to the pitch for a 20th season of action with five significant gameplay changes, more than 30 real-world leagues, and updated online features. New changes to the A.I. have players breaking down defenses and making runs to open up passing lanes, while more precise dribbling controls give gamers full 360-degree mobility, and first-touch control helps defenders win back possession after errant passes and bad touches. New free kick tools also let PS3 gamers adjust their wall defenders or go on dummy runs to confuse the keeper.
The career-based "Be a Pro" mode returns, while the RPG-like "EA Sports Football Club" lets players earn rewards, take on challenges, and level up in a variety of different gameplay modes, keeping track of all relevant stats, and offering up real-world storylines to keep things interesting. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
EA Sports' hockey series returns with a new focus on skater speed, updated modes, a completely overhauled A.I. system, and all the forechecking, face-offs, and fisticuffs of its predecessors in NHL 13. More than 1,000 new gameplay animations have been added in an attempt to replicate the explosiveness and top-end speed of the world's best skaters, while the new A.I. ensures that players make quicker and smarter decisions. The revamped "GM Connected" mode lets up to 30 users be a general manager, coach, or player and compete in the same dynasty league for up to 25 seasons.
Gamers can also create solo leagues, play classic versus or co-op games, head online for six-on-six team play, act as a general manager, or just make strategic in-game decisions as a coach. The "Be a Pro" mode returns to let users experience the career of a single player, while "NHL Moments Live" lets them relive or rewrite pivotal moments from real NHL games. And the popular "Hockey Ultimate Team" mode returns to once again combine hockey action with the managing and collecting of player cards. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
EA Sports' definitive NFL football series returns to PS3 gamers with a new real-time physics engine, redesigned passing, and new announcers in Madden NFL 13. The new passing system gives quarterbacks 20 dropbacks, 20 pass trajectories, eight in-pocket moves, and shovel passes, and now receivers and defenders must see the ball before they make a play on it. Madden NFL 13 has received a complete presentation overhaul designed to more closely resemble a real CBS broadcast. This includes dynamic in-game transitions, a live ticker, and commentary from Phil Simms and Jim Nantz.
The new "Connected Careers" mode melds the traditional "Franchise" and "Superstar" modes, and combines them with a variety of online features. Gamers can still control current, created, or Hall-of-Fame players, or become a coach and manage every aspect of their team's operations, but now they can do it all as part of an online league with up to 31 other people. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
EA Sports' long-running college football series returns to campus with a new mode and enough updates and adjustments to fill a college textbook in NCAA Football 13 for PlayStation 3. The most significant change for this season is an emphasis on more realistic passing and pass defense, with "Total Control Passing" allowing quarterbacks to take specific dropbacks, pump fake, and change the trajectory of each pass, and the new "Read & React Defense" producing more realistic reactions from linebackers and defensive backs by requiring them to see the ball before they make a play on it.
Adding to the franchise's stable of career modes is the new "Heisman Challenge," in which gamers can play as a selection of former Heisman Trophy winners and attempt to duplicate their award-winning stats. The popular "Dynasty" and "Road to Glory" modes return, once again allowing users to guide a single player or an entire team through multiple college football seasons. And game presentation has been overhauled in NCAA Football 13, with new trophies and pre-game traditions, updated commentary from Kirk Herbstreit, Brad Nessler, and Erin Andrews, and dynamic studio updates from ESPN analyst Rece Davis. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
Stylistic soccer returns to PlayStation 3 with FIFA Street. Designed using the same engine that powers EA's FIFA Soccer 12, FIFA Street emphasizes nimble dribbling and trick moves designed to fake out or embarrass opponents. The fancy footwork is not limited to the ground, either, with aerial skills that allow you to perform acrobatic feats of agility to get by defenders.
More than 50 skill moves are included as you compete in over 35 international venues, from simple parking lots to the streets of the world's largest cities. The World Tour story mode lets you create a custom team and gradually upgrade attributes and unlock new skill moves and dribbling styles. You'll also choose from an assortment of match types, including Panna Rules, Freestyle, Futsal, and Last Man Standing formats. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
2K Sports' professional baseball series returns with the expected tweaks and changes that an annual sports franchise requires. The core play modes, batter-pitcher interface, and fielding system is similar to 2011's game, but with various refinements. On the field, players will master a new throwing system that requires a degree of timing to execute perfect strikes. Instead of pre-loading throws to a base, for example, players must allow their fielders to plant their feet to maximize a throw's accuracy and effectiveness.
On the mound and at the plate, the game's dynamic AI will have each pitcher and batter's ratings increase or decrease during the course of play based on the results of his last pitch or at-bat. Each batter-pitcher confrontation also uses Inside Edge scouting reports along with STATS data to incorporate actual pitcher and hitter tendencies. Hit variety has been addressed in 2012's game as well, with more physics-based results instead of simulated outcomes. Other changes to the presentation include more realistic looking mitts, new catcher animations, and more than 80 hours of added commentary from Gary Thorne, Steve Phillips, and John Kruk. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
After a productive off-season, Sony's critically acclaimed baseball sim heads into spring training in the best shape of its life thanks to a focus on more realistic presentation and physics, new and improved game modes, cross-platform support, and full PlayStation Move integration in MLB 12: The Show. The new "TruBroadcast" feature makes a point of focusing on player reactions, the in-game commentary now includes more season-specific discussions, and a completely revamped baseball physics engine results in more realistic bounces and bloops than ever before.
MLB 12's "Franchise" mode has been tweaked to produce more plausible trade scenarios, so rebuilding teams will be more likely to acquire prospects while contenders will seek impact veterans. Draft-eligible position players now reflect traditional baseball archetypes, such as a slugging first baseman or an all-glove shortstop, while computer-generated pitchers now have more realistic pitch repertoires -- no more power pitchers who also throw baffling knuckleballs. New minor adjustments include customized "Play Now" matches and settings that remain fixed across all modes.
The biggest addition in MLB 12: The Show is the "Diamond Dynasty" mode, which allows gamers to manage their own custom online team, recruit star players, and take on other custom online teams to earn development points. PlayStation Move controls have been fully integrated in MLB 12, allowing players to pitch, run, field, and hit using their Move Motion Controller across all game modes. And gamers on the go can now cloud save their "Franchise," "Season," and "Road to the Show" data, then access it and continue playing from either their PS3 or PlayStation Vita. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
Fan-favorite snowboarder characters conquer real-world slopes with feats of exaggerated action and extreme-sports daring, in EA Canada's high-def reboot of SSX. Expansive, chart-your-own-course levels are set in nine of Earth's greatest and most famously inhospitable mountain ranges. Harsh wilderness environments are full of natural gaps, ramps, and rails, challenging boarders to survive the slopes as they seek out the trickiest path to the bottom. Players can race head-to-head online, or share statistics and ghost runs for time-shifted co-op and competition.
Building on the winning play style of the previous console generation's sleeper-hit series, the PS3's SSX features a more powerful physics engine, and ratchets up the outrageousness of the stunts. The choice of play modes has boarders racing to the finish, exploring vast stretches of virgin territory, or simply fighting to survive the perils of the mountainside. Determined in part by fan input, the game's roster includes Mac, Elise, Moby, Kaori, and other seasoned veterans, along with a few newbies. The soundtrack features songs from Pretty Lights, Las Ketchup, and Run-D.M.C. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide