Taking A Look At TNA iMPACT – The Video Game

by Chris Gorst on 31st August 2008

As the first mainstream wrestling game to be released worldwide that isn’t brought to you by WWE, there was a lot of work to be done. Not only did the game engine need to be built from the ground up, but there was also a case of scanning the wrestlers for the game and performing motion capture for all of the moves that are included in the game.

Aided by AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt and Senshi, Midway had some of the best wrestlers in the world in their corner as they began the building of what is being called the best wrestling game since WWF No Mercy on the N64 (which is considered the pinnacle of wrestling games by a lot of wrestling fans). AJ Styles and Samoa Joe are self confessed hardcore gamers and I believe that will be the factor which raises TNA iMPACT above the level of recent wrestling games.

The character models look great and it is obvious that the team behind the game put a lot of effort into getting not only the looks as close to reality as possible, but also the mannerisms of the individual superstars, be it their entrances or the way they hang from and climb along the cables during an Ultimate X match. Speaking in an interview with GAME.co.uk about the motion capture process, AJ Styles said “We spent hours climbing on cable for the Ultimate X Motion Capture, and let me tell you that’s NOT fun. But we’re happy cuz it’s the match people are probably going to have the most fun with in the TNA Impact game.” This shows the lengths that the TNA superstars have gone to offer a truly realistic experience.

One of the main complaints that I’ve seen regarding previous wrestling games is that the animations for moves aren’t as they should be or that they don’t look as they do on television. This isn’t a problem with TNA iMPACT as the moves for the game were performed by the people who you see doing it on screen each week. The other thing you may notice while playing the game is how different it feels to other games on the market. When asked how this game was different from the WWE franchise of games, AJ replied “You know, I wish I could tell you exactly how different it is from the WWE games – but I thought their games sucked so bad a few years ago, that I haven’t played the recent ones at all! I can’t stand their kick and punch, the jerkiness – when I mash a button, I expect something to happen! I don’t want to have to wait, or mash buttons to do one move. That’s not fun to me. I want to pick up a game, and play it. And that’s the thing about TNA Impact – easy to play, hard to master. That’s our slogan; it’s what we want fans to take from TNA Impact.” AJ followed up “Where we’re at with TNA, Impact is just like it – from the ropes, to the dives, to the blood and sweat that’s on the mat – it’s the little things that embody TNA. They mean the most. And people notice that – they’re gonna go “wow, they’ve really made a lot of effort with this game”. That means a lot.”

It is clear that a lot of effort has been put into TNA iMPACT, from building the game engine, scanning the wrestlers for the game, creating the storylines for the story mode and capturing the motions to make this one of the most realistic wrestling games on the market today.

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