Characters of WrestleQuest
Image via Skybound Games

WrestleQuest Review – The Cream Rises to the Top

If ever there was a love letter to professional wrestling, this is it.

WrestleQuest on PC

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For those well-versed in the world of professional wrestling, chances are you’ve seen both the wonder it’s capable of creating and the ugliness that’s left many scarred. With all of the information we have available to us, let alone the fact that there is a multi-season documentary series entitled Dark Side of the Ring, it’s easy to get lost in the darkness. Perhaps the loveliest aspect of WrestleQuest, though, is its dedication to the goofiness of it all.

Players are thrown into the fire almost immediately, training for matches while improving their skills on the microphone. There are countless side quests to occupy one’s time, yet this never stops reminding you what professional wrestling is about. Good battling evil; the babyface looking to defeat the heel.

Decades-long fans will likely smile from the beginning, as one of our main heroes — “Muchaco Man” Randy Santos — sets off on their journey with the goal of becoming the very best professional wrestler the world has to offer. His inspiration, of course, is none other than the legendary “Macho Man” Randy Savage.

Maybe if there is a downside to be found, it is that players are unable to create their very own wrestler. Though, that doesn’t spell the end of the world as the stories of Santos and Brink Logan offer plenty of enjoyment. And through their trials and tribulations, endless customization is present.

WrestleQuest Review Macho Man
Image Source: Skybound Games via Twinfinite

When I previewed WrestleQuest in July, I spoke glowingly about the legends this game leans on while praising the combination of standard pro wrestling fare with fantastical and humorous elements. Names of the past such as Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Andre the Giant, and Savage prominently feature. So much so that territories based on their careers are there to be explored.

Whether it be with Santos or Logan, players are going to face their share of unordinary encounters. You will often find that it isn’t just your average human being looking to hone their pro wrestling skills. Oftentimes, you’ll learn they’re not human beings at all.

For every handful of humans, there will be bears, lizards, and rats to battle. Not to be left out, aliens, post-apocalyptic raiders, and robots want a piece of that action. No matter where this experience takes you, everyone and everything will attempt to stand in your way. A rival organization here, a corrupt promoter there. It is all par for the course. After all, what is professional wrestling without a few sideshows?

WrestleQuest Review Brink Logan Map
Image Source: Skybound Games via Twinfinite

That said, WrestleQuest isn’t all about the action inside of the ring. Regarding story progression, it’s as simple as following the quest lines word-for-word. If the story pathways seem straightforward, that’s because they are. At times, objectives will simply require you to go from location to location in order to advance the story. At others, players will need to rely on the teammates they’ve befriended previously.

Regardless of location, players will never stop moving. Map markers are easy to pick out, but not always easy to uncover. That is to say, obstacles present themselves in a number of different ways, and that’s where your stable of teammates comes into play. While making their way through the various territories, players are tasked with new ways to avoid its pitfalls. And, because quests consistently switch between playable characters, it never feels stale. It also doesn’t take long to realize how different each of our central characters is.

Sometimes, it’ll be as easy as walking to the marker on the map with nary an obstacle in sight. Other times, the situation will call for a little bit of cleverness and stealth. There will be switches to trigger in order to open alternate pathways. Avoiding gunfire with timely dodges eventually becomes a necessary skill, while searchlights will spot you if you fail to turn them off first.

In every area a player travels to, there will be objects to interact with that help you complete the puzzle. So yes, due to there being one objective to follow at a time, players will only have to focus on one map marker. But, getting there may require some cleverness. Even so, these dungeons or side areas may begin to feel more tedious than engaging. It’s fun to use all of your available stablemates to find a pathway forward. It’s less fun to get lost without the promise of a significant payoff at the end. That seems to be the reason why areas are littered with treasure chests, items, and player boosts.

Starting from the very bottom is often the way of the professional wrestler, and WrestleQuest feels no need to stray from that particular formula. It only reminds us that we cannot get to where we want to be without help. There is a chance players will grow frustrated when it comes to getting through certain dungeons, and that is certainly one downside to the experience. But there is a balance to be found between exploration and in-ring action.

Review of WrestleQuest Stealth Elements
Image Source: Skybound Games via Twinfinite

This especially shows through its gameplay. The in-ring mechanics is where this entry shines brightest. Players will have plenty of time to level up by competing in one-on-one matches. Hyping up the crowd through various gimmick moves is one way to make your mark, but a well-placed taunt goes a long way with those cheering you on. The only drawback appears to only be during certain boss fights, where hype meter objectives tend to get in the way of the usual match flow.

Despite that, the combat system is enjoyable to experiment with. Early on, toying with the taunt and gimmick systems is a fun way to prepare yourself for what trouble awaits. Individual encounters are a staple of early progression, but tag team bouts, trios matches, and even two-on-three battles become more prevalent soon after.

This is where these gimmick moves become incredibly important. A number’s disadvantage can feel tricky at first, but the right combination of strikes and taunts can help tip the scales in your favor. Just be sure to keep an eye on your performer’s hit and action points. Despite the many items simply lying around, including duct tape to recover health and slam shakes to regenerate action points, it’s imperative to have a plan of attack.

Tag team attacks can deal severe damage early, but you wouldn’t want to risk losing all your AP too quickly. This rings even truer within the confines of a multi-person match. Depending on the severity of the move, tag team attacks take up a lot of AP. And, you’ll need to exhaust them with multiple wrestlers in order to pull off certain moves. You’ll also find that every character you come across, whether a friend or an enemy, has a few special attacks up their sleeve.

But if it’s a one-on-one fight, we don’t recommend going through AP unless you’re battling a singular boss. Players can use items mid-match in order to recover said abilities, but not without burning a turn. This is an RPG, after all. Stats recover on their own upon leveling up, but you’ll have to monitor them along the way while progressing through dungeons and other enemies.

So if you’re struggling with a multi-person match, it’s important to quickly identify which opponent you would like to dismantle first. Should you rather focus all of your team’s energy on one wrestler? Or, is a more evenly-applied approach the route to take? The choice is yours. Just remember as you progress through these territories, opponents will undoubtedly get stronger. Not having a strategy at the beginning of your playthrough shouldn’t burn you too badly. But, getting too cavalier down the road will have you racing through items and falling short.

WrestleQuest Muchacho Man The Brooter 2-on-3.
Image Source: Skybound Games via Twinfinite

Yet even within the confines of various quests and matches, exploration is encouraged. If you want to focus your energy on finding hidden treasure, have at it. If you’d rather endlessly wander the territories looking for smaller fights to level up, this doesn’t stand in your way. Players will have to proceed with the quest at hand eventually, but not while worrying about any sort of time crunch.

This title serves as a love letter to professional wrestling, but it also ensures that anybody who likes a little adventure will have fun. The RPG aspects are intricately woven throughout, as the right combination of strikes, gimmicks, and taunts leave the audience howling for more Yes, your experience will be enhanced if you’re already a pro wrestling fan. There is no getting around that. It is far from a requirement, though, and that’s down to the balance of this world and the gameplay it provides.

Long after we hang up our boots, the debate over the world’s most excellent wrestling video game will rage. For many, 2000’s WWF No Mercy is the definitive choice. As the years passed, a couple of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw titles made their mark. Even earlier this summer, AEW Fight Forever made its debut, offering something a little different for fans than what they’ve come to expect from the WWE 2K series.

Yet every once in a while, a game that prioritizes the core concept of its world truly emerges. WrestleQuest, by no means, is average fare. And in fact, flourishes in this regard. It shows as much love to professional wrestling fans as it possibly can with endless references and spectacular spoofs. And yet, it never leaves its RPG elements in the dust. This takes us on a hero’s journey, but not without careful consideration of the choices they must make. Things go off the rails here and there, but there is plenty of time to take a breather.

Not without its frustrating moments, WrestleQuest feels like a refreshing alternative to the usual yearly simulations. A game for wrestling fans first and foremost, but not only for them. Through all its winks and nods and underneath all the nitty-gritty, it is a game that reminds us all of the foundations of our fandom. Despite how silly things get, professional wrestling thrives when we all have the ability to lean into a character’s authenticity — no matter how over the top.

WrestleQuest
Not without its frustrating moments, WrestleQuest feels like a refreshing alternative to the usual yearly simulations. A game for wrestling fans first and foremost, but not only for them. Through all its winks and nods and underneath all the nitty-gritty, it is a game that reminds us all of the foundations of our fandom. Despite how silly things get, professional wrestling thrives when we all have the ability to lean into a character's authenticity — no matter how over the top.
Pros
  • Incredibly customizable both in and out of the ring.
  • Captures the spirit of professional wrestling.
  • Engaging characters every step of the way.
  • Plenty of side quests to keep you busy.
  • Superb in-ring gameplay mechanics.
Cons
  • Specific Hype Meter requirements take away from an otherwise excellent combat system.
  • You technically don't get to create your own wrestler.
  • Puzzles & Dungeons can begin to feel tedious.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review. Reviewed on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC.

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Author
Shaun Ranft
Shaun Ranft is a Freelance Writer for Twinfinite, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, who has been with the site and writing about games in general since 2022. While he typically covers any major sports title, he also cannot get enough of Telltale's The Walking Dead, Fallout: New Vegas, The Outer Worlds, Arkham, and the Horizon series.