Arcade,  Reviews,  Simulation,  Sports

AEW: Fight Forever Nintendo Switch vs. PlayStation 5

Reading Time: 13 minutes

Fast Facts

AEW: Fight Forever

Developer: Yuke’s
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Genre(s): Arcade, Sports, Simulation
Platform: Playstation 5 and Nintendo Switch (also available on Xbox and PC)
Release Date: 29/06/23
Price: £49.99

A code was provided for review purposes

I first raised my interest in reviewing AEW: FIght Forever back in 2021. Having watched its development over the years and suffered through the delays and update doldrums, I was over the moon to see launch day creeping ever closer. Getting a review code a week early was enough to warrant a widely used Vince McMahon GIF, but we can’t credit the opposition this early on in a review.

We were lucky enough to get two review codes for AEW: Fight Forever, one for the PlayStation 5 and another for the Nintendo Switch. So, we have decided to take a slightly different approach this time around. Our review is going to be more of an interview, asking about the experience on different consoles. Shaun Hughes will be asking me questions on my PS5 experience, and I will return the favour on his time with Fight Forever on the Switch.

Blood, sweat and tears.

Tale of the Tape

Before we get to the question, though, a few general thoughts feel warranted. AEW: Fight Forever is the first mainstream non-WWE game to release in over a decade. Yes, you had Retromania Wrestling and my all-time favorite, Fire Pro Revolution, which were both released in the last few years, but I don’t think they qualify as mainstream in the same way WWE titles do. I mean no disrespect, but I merely want to show that WWE has dominated the wrestling video game scene for a long time, and with Fight Forever, AEW is continuing to stand up to the Titans of Connecticut.

You could argue that AEW is a throwback style of wrestling, especially with the whole ‘forbidden door’ concept, which could arguably be seen as the closest we will get to a return to the territories style of professional wrestling. AEW: Fight Forever follows this in so far as it is a game that more closely mimics the style of the all-time classic, WWE No Mercy. It’s arcade-like but not as ridiculous as WWE BattleGrounds. It captures the wants of fans to have a game they can have mindless fun with, like torturing their friends with exploding barbed wire death matches. It’s realistic enough to be immersive, and it’s absurd enough to be different from everything else out there.

Is AEW: Fight Forever a good game? I think so, but this rapid review will tell you more. So lace up your boots, head to the gorilla position, but we are about to become All Elite!

A nice menu screen.

AEW: Fight Forever on the PlayStation 5

As the first game officially licensed by All Elite Wrestling, the release of AEW: Fight Forever is a significant moment for wrestling game enthusiasts. Competition in any field is healthy, and I feel AEW has all the hallmarks of a great wrestling game that will, in time, become a brilliant option for players. How do you feel it stacks up against the likes of WWE 2K?

I think that is a hard comparison to make in many ways. WWE2K has been established for a number of years, and their 2022 and 2023 versions have been stellar. However, we all know about the farce that was

WWE2K20. AEW: Fight Forever is the first game in what I hope will become a new running franchise. I was reading yesterday that Yuke’s and AEW have said this game will be actively supported for three or so years rather than just churning out a yearly title. That could be an interesting move, but I’ll reserve judgment on it for now.

I think AEW has done enough to keep their game different and very much on-brand rather than go for a direct challenge to WWE’s gaming platform. Personally, I feel the key thing to keep in mind is that this is the first game they have made. I view it more as a highly successful and very enjoyable prototype. Is it perfect? No, and I won’t get caught in the mindset that it’s not WWE; therefore, everything it does is golden. There are things missing that I feel should have been in the base product. But it’s a very impressive start, and I am excited to see how the game is supported and what AEW and Yuke’s have in store. Don’t forget THQ Nordic have played a role in many wrestling games and have a wealth of knowledge that I’m sure will be drawn upon.

The rematch we all want to see!

With upwards of 50 wrestlers on the roster at launch, I’ve been quite impressed with the variety available in Fight Forever. Each wrestler does feel different to play as, and I have enjoyed getting to grips with the different fighting styles. How do you feel about the wrestler representation in Fight Forever?

AEW Fight Forever has a solid opening roster and enough variation in styles to keep most fans happy. I think they are some names that are missing that shouldn’t be. I think certain omissions are odd, such as not having the Acclaimed or even Kip Sabian, who is not only a local lad for where I am but was involved in the first singles match in AEW history when he took on Sammy Guevara. The Butcher and the Blade are also noticeable in their absence.

The other character that has been omitted so far, despite being confirmed for the game, is Brodie Lee. The passing of Jon Huber shocked everybody across the wrestling world, and if there is one character who is deserving of a starting place in the AEW: Fight Forever roster, it is Brodie Lee. He does appear in the Roadto the Elite mode, however. So I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. I feel the Dark Order is underrepresented in general, as there is no Evil Uno or Stu Grayson before his departure and re-signing for the company. There is no #10 (Preston Vance, as he now goes by) or even -1, but I can understand the potential legal implications of including a child in the game.


Since the review went live, I have learned that Brodie Lee is an unlockable character based on actions performed in Road to the Elite. Other unlockable characters include Owen Hart and Paul Wight.

I understand the game was in development for a long time, so a number of more recent additions to the roster may have missed the motion capture window. Toni Storm, Saraya, Swerve Strickland, Private Party, the list goes on. I have no doubt that many of these names will be released as DLC. Several announcements have already been made, including the addition of FTR, Keith Lee, and The Bunny.

However, not having certain characters who have been with AEW from the early days seems strange, More so with the Acclaimed, as they are former champs, immensely popular, and Max Caster’s vocals are used in the soundtrack.

My favourite match type.

Matt Hardy being stuck behind a pre-order paywall is a disappointment, though.

As for Matt Hardy, I am confused by this decision. I love Matt Hardy, and the Hardy Boyz are legends every way you look at them. But to have Matt Hardy as the Pre-Order bonus character in two incarnations while Jeff is in the main game already feels weird. Why not make the Hardys as a team the pre-order reward? As I mention above, Brodie Lee and Cody Rhodes (who is incidentally available for purchase using credits earned in the game) would have been a much more sensible pairing. While I’m happy to have Matt on the roster, it remains a strange way of bringing him in.

As a final thought, I am also hoping that the Briscoes will be included in the game at some point down the line. Mark is officially All Elite now, and Jay is another wrestler whose passing shocked the world and deserves his place in video game immortality.

To the victor goes the spoils.

The core gameplay loop is both enjoyable and engaging. However, I fear for the longevity of the game due to the repetitiveness of the career mode and underwhelming quick play options available at launch. What do you think could have been added or changed to make for a more complete package?

I have to agree about the career mode. I would rather have something that offers a bit more choice and variety in terms of branching storylines. Having only played through the game once, I do wonder whether you will get different results with different wrestlers. One thing that AEW: Fight Forever has done differently is that it allows you to take any existing roster character through the story mode too. So perhaps there are a few differences in storylines from that perspective.

In terms of the modes, I do love me an exploding barbed wire death match, and I will gladly admit my first game was a recreation of the Mox vs. Omega fiasco. I think the game offers a standard range of match modes and excels with the use of weapons. Lights-out matches are my second favourite match type for this fact alone.

However, I am disappointed that there there is no cage match, or even more fitting to AEW, a War Games option. While I’m not a developer and can’t grasp the scope of it, having a stadium stampede match would also seem like something that belongs in an AEW game.

I am not a fan of the mini-games, and while the quiz is a bit of fun, I would be happy for them to take that section away, as I feel it does the game a discredit. I’m not that keen on how they are releasing new mini-games with each DLC pack. Two wrestlers and two mini-games with each. I feel that it is time and resources that could have been better invested elsewhere.

In addition, I think it’s a shame that there is no ability to download or upload your CAWs. I feel that is a slight misstep. While the game is great, I feel for all the extra development time and delays, there should have been a little more in this department.

Complete Objectives for in-game currency and training buffs.

There are a few different games to draw comparisons to, new and old, yet it does feel fairly distinct in its approach. How would you best describe the gameplay in Fight Forever?

The gameplay in AEW: Fight Forever is fun and often over the top, but not in any crazy ways. The exploding gas canisters, setting tables on fire and extinguishing them again. It’s nuts but remains largely within the realms of acceptability.

AEW: Fight Forever is a throwback to the arcade-style games, and while I doubt there will be much of an e-fed crowd, it is going to be great for those nights you have your mates round, order a pizza, grab a six-pack (or two) and just want some fun!

I’ve played the game on several difficulties and feel the matches are slightly unbalanced in their pacing, but we’ll touch more on that in the next question.

Excited about Abadon’s return from injury

The AI plays quite an important role in wrestling games – especially in team modes like Tag Team – and I personally feel it is somewhat of a mixed bag so far. There is a lack of intelligence, made more obvious during the career mode where there is an overreliance on Tag Team fights, and it has soured the experience for me on occasion. What are your thoughts?

I definitely think the AI could be better. I’ve played the game on all of the difficulties and find there is a very predictable pattern to things. Not so much a glitch but rather an effective tactic that rarely fails. I mentioned above that things felt unbalanced. By this, I meant that the matches are relatively to fight. However, when it comes to escaping pins or submissions, I found the (required) button mashing was largely redundant. I never felt as if I was likely to kick out, and it just feel entirely random.

To be fair, it was largely the same for the AI. I have played a lot of this game since I got my copy. I think I’ve only had one near fall. Now, I know I could go for a pin every time my opponent falls over, but I want to have some form of immersion in the game. The lack of pinfall attempts is just one element. I also miss moves like a schoolboy rollup, a small package, or an inside cradle. Every pin in my experience has been flat on the back, leg hooked.

Even the submission game seems poor. Yes, some characters have submission finishers, but there’s no grinding down of your opponent for finishers. Now, it could be argued that the game is too arcade-like for that approach, which is fair but might be something for the team to think about in future updates and iterations.

The classic screen to start your wrestling journey.

I have been rather impressed by what I have played of Fight Forever. I have high hopes for the future of the franchise. What do you think it has got to do to become a mainstay in the wrestling game roster?

For a first offering, there is a lot to like about AEW: Fight Forever. Supporting it in the right way is going to be vital. The game sets a very solid base. With the right support, updates and upgrades, it has everything it needs to be a memorable title and the start of an entertaining series.

last night I read the Acclaimed have finished photographing for character creation, which shows there’s more in the works already. I’d be very interested to see if any RoH or NJPW characters arrive. I did notice a distinct NJPW feel to some of the CAW options. This might be in advance of something like that or simply to highlight their connection.

The one thing I feel could be nice is a Federation Mode. A place where you can run your own show and set your own events and PPVs. It’s fun; it links the CAWs into the game more and extends the longevity of the game. The game has everything it needs to be a mainstay series, and I am excited about what the future holds. For this series, and for wrestling games as a whole.

AEW: Fight Forever on the Nintendo Switch

How did you find AEW: Fight Forever performed on the Nintendo Switch?

Visually it stands up well enough – not so much on handheld. The arenas look great and introductory cutscenes, in-game replays, and the menus all feel fairly polished. The wrestlers themselves would benefit from some sharpening up, but not to the point that it’s a struggle to play. In handheld, the downgraded visuals are certainly more obvious, and there’s a blurry, almost Vaseline-like smudge to them. Again, I still enjoyed my time spent playing portably. The visuals are probably what some people have come to expect for a 3rd party Switch release at launch.

Performance on the Switch is middling. It is fairly stable. However, there are moments in-game where there is a visible stutter between actioning and completing a move. By no means is it immersion-breaking, but this, coupled with some weapons disappearing and the occasional framerate drop, means I’d expect a patch soon to address how well it runs on the Switch.

AEW: Fight Forever

Obviously, we had the game before release, and whilst I tried, I wasn’t able to pair up on the online versus mode. Did you have much luck with the Switch Online service?

I’ve not been able to find anyone online during this review period. We will update this section of the review at launch.

Reviewers note: We received the game a week before the pre-order went live, so the only other active players would be other reviewers. Matchmaking online is, therefore, not considered part of the review, nor does it impact the score in any way. From having seen what I have while playing the game, playing online with friends could be a barrel of laughs.

As a secondary note, just as I was finalizing this review, I connected to a ranked online match. I lost, but it was a fun contest. Countering and blocking are required if you want to survive. On a technical note, the connection was smooth, with no delays. I can’t comment too deeply, but it looks, at first glance, to be a solid part of the game.

I quickly righted a wrong.

It’s very hard not to draw parallels to the WWE games. Especially with the wrestling genre being so marginally represented in the market. Do you feel the decision to go down the arcade route was a smart move on AEW’s part to avoid a direct challenge with an established series?

If AEW: Fight Forever had been a more complete package at launch, then I think it could have been a missed opportunity not to go head-to-head with the WWE 2K series. That being said, AEW has created its own identity, and this will interest wrestling fans immensely. The idea of having two major franchises developing two distinct games can only be good for the future of wrestling games and arguably is the better option than vying for the same title.

For me, Create a Wrestler (CAW) mode is a fundamental part of any wrestling game these days. I enjoy simming matches and building my own federation. How did you find the CAW experience in AEW Fight Forever?

Creating a wrestler has become something of an art form over the years. We’ve seen all manner of celebrities, superheroes, and public figures being given the wrestling makeover treatment. Having created my own in AEW, I found the experience a little fiddly. It also didn’t feel as though I had as many options as I’ve had in the past, which is a shame. I did, however, spend a considerable amount of time selecting the individual moves my wrestler would pull off in any given situation, and the options and animations here were excellent. It was brilliant to take my wrestler out into the ring in career mode. It’s just a shame that it relies so heavily on tag team matches with underperforming AI…

Just my CAW hanging out with Mox

I really enjoyed – if that is the best word – the blood mechanic in Fight Forever, especially with the thumbtacks. What standard aspect of a wrestling game stood out for you in Fight Forever?

It has to be the classic game modes: Ladder and Casino Battle Royale. I can lose hours to those, and they are just as good in Fight Forever. There are a few notable omissions which is a shame, but the core gameplay loop of these two, in addition to the Exploding Barbed Wire events, means there is enough here to be enjoyed.

Final Thoughts

Both Shawn and I agree that AEW: Fight Forever is a solid entry and full of promise for the future. That said, right now, being objective enough to look beyond the AEW is the best because it’s not WWE haze; the game needs polish. I encountered a few frame rate drops, and we both saw weapons disappear (before their two-strike limit was reached).

None of these things are terminal or serious issue. Rather small things that are easily fixed with patches or new updates. I think it’s safe to say that AEW played it safe with this game. They knew what they wanted to create, and they nailed it. Now it is time for them to step up and really add the polish that will make it their own.

Shawn rated the game as a solid 3 out of 5. My experience with the PS5 would be a solid 3.5.

Rapid Reviews Rating

3 out of 5


You can buy your copy of AEW: Fight Forever on Nintendo Switch or PS5 today!

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