Wrestling game veteran Yuke’s has revealed new footage of its upcoming All-Elite Wrestling (AEW) game.
The new footage gives a detailed look at the character model for Jungle Boy, along with footage of him fighting Darby Allin in the ring.
Although the similarities to Nintendo 64 title WWF No Mercy are clear, the AEW game appears to play noticeably faster at this stage. It also appears to briefly freeze before impacts, presumably as a deliberate effect.
The game is reportedly still in its early stages, however, so it’s possible that the pacing will change and the animations will be tweaked.
You can watch the video via the embed below:
Yuke’s shared the first in-game footage of the AEW game in June, where it showed Darby Allin fighting a generic green character.
An early look at the still-untitled game was shown last November, but while the footage was likely in-engine it consisted entirely of cut-scenes. June’s footage, along with this new Jungle Boy clip, are the only glimpses players have had of how the game will actually look in action.
Veteran WWE game developer Yuke’s confirmed last year that it was working on a new “best in class” console game for WWE’s rival wrestling firm AEW.
During the game’s announcement, it was revealed that genre luminary, Hideyuki Iwashita, the director of classic fighting games WWF No Mercy and Def Jam Vendetta, would also be involved in the AEW title.
Iwashita’s influence can be seen in the new footage, which looks like a modern version of WWF No Mercy, rather than Yuke’s recent WWE games.
Iwashita’s past games were created during his time at Yuke’s’ historical rival AKI Corporation, a fellow Japanese developer which effectively left the genre in 2006. However, Yuke’s senior vice president and producer Hiromi Furuta said it would not be strange working with the director as it had already hired some former AKI developers.
The exec would not reveal specific details of Iwashita’s role on the AEW game, but suggested that his recruitment could have been influenced by Kenny Omega, the AEW executive who spent several years in the New Japan Pro-Wrestling league and is an avid video game player.
“Mr. Iwashita was one of the members essential to assembling the greatest pro-wrestling game team that Kenny Omega had envisioned,” Furuta explained.
Yuke’s had worked with the WWE license since 1999’s Smackdown on the original PlayStation. However, WWE 2K20 saw the studio reduced to a tech support role as 2K studio Visual Concepts took over primary development. The title released to disappointing reviews.
After skipping a year, 2K is now planning to release WWE 2K22 in March 2022. Last year, in a bid to enact a “renewed focus” on quality, publisher 2K hired former Double Helix studio head Patrick Gilmore to take over WWE 2K.
Forbes writer Brian Mazique claimed during a YouTube discussion stream that he had spoken to people familiar with the game’s development, who informed him that things were looking promising.
Yuke’s had previously been the sole developer on the series until 2K’s 2013 acquisition of the game rights saw it introduce Visual Concepts as support.
In an interview with VGC in 2019, Furuta revealed that Yuke’s had established a new development team tasked with creating a rival wrestling IP, with the intention of reinvigorating its staff and creating internal competition for WWE.