WCW Mayhem (video game)
Cover art featuring Goldberg
2n Productions (GBC)
|Platform(s)||PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color|
WCW Mayhem is a professional wrestling video game published by Electronic Arts, based on the American promotion World Championship Wrestling (WCW). The first WCW game produced by EA, it was released for PlayStation and Nintendo 64 in 1999 and for the Game Boy Color the following year.
The game featured several firsts for a wrestling title. For instance, Mayhem was the first game to feature all twelve WCW pay-per-view venues as well as all three major WCW TV shows (Nitro, Thunder, and Saturday Night). Mayhem was also the first wrestling game released in the United States to include backstage areas, a feature which would be expanded upon in its sequel, WCW Backstage Assault. It was also one of the first wrestling games to integrate audio commentary provided by Bobby Heenan and Tony Schiavone; although, only Schiavone was included in the N64 version despite some of his lines being addressed directly to Heenan.
Mayhem also featured a Pay-Per-View mode which was unique from other wrestling games, in that the player could enter a code to unlock real-life pay-per-view match lineups; these codes would be given on Monday Nitro broadcasts the week before a pay-per-view. However, this only lasted for three months (ending with the pay-per-view of the same name), as the games' roster was outdated soon after its release, with several of the featured wrestlers leaving the company. The game was partially sponsored by Surge soft drinks at the time of game release.
The game offers you the chance to play more than 50 wrestlers and create one using the create-a-wrestler feature. It was the first WCW game to not feature the grapple system as seen in previous titles Revenge and World Tour created by AKI/THQ.
Steve McMichael and Chris Jericho were still featured on the active roster in the game despite Jericho leaving for WWF earlier in the year and McMichael being released from his contract. Surprisingly Bobby Blaze and Bobby Eaton feature on the playable roster despite not being currently active in WCW. Notably missing from the game at the time Hugh Morrus, Vincent, Brian Adams, The Disciple, Jerry Flynn, Meng, Van Hammer and Mike Enos.
Monday Nitro - modern and classic sets (the "classic" Monday Nitro set must be unlocked.) Thursday Thunder - classic and modern sets Saturday Night Souled Out SuperBrawl Uncensored Spring Stampede Slamboree The Great American Bash Bash at the Beach Road Wild Fall Brawl Halloween Havoc World War 3 Starrcade
After failing to match the success of WCW's video games amidst the Monday Night Wars, WCW's main competitor, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), ended a twelve-year relationship with Acclaim Entertainment by defecting to THQ. Not wishing to share game publishers with its competitor, WCW ended its successful run of THQ titles by partnering with Electronic Arts in 1999.
Mayhem's working title was WCW/nWo Mayhem, as evidenced by early photographs featuring wrestlers wearing shirts with an older Mayhem logo. The game was promoted for months on WCW TV, including a counter which appeared on programs such as Monday Nitro and Thunder, counting down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds to Mayhem's release on August 31, 1999. A clip was even shown of Goldberg's character in a house environment spearing someone through a wall but the move and the house area were not seen in the final game.
A sequel to this game, tentatively titled WCW Mayhem 2 was planned for release on the PlayStation 2 in 2001. The game was slated to be developed by Aki Corporation, the developers of acclaimed WCW and WWF titles for the Nintendo 64. However, due to WCW being purchased by the WWF, the game's development was canceled. Aki would instead develop Def Jam Vendetta for the next generation of consoles. Work on WCW Mayhem 2 began mainly in response to the failure of WCW Backstage Assault.
Daniel Erickson reviewed the Nintendo 64 version of the game for Next Generation, rating it one star out of five, and stated that "If this game existed in a total vacuum, it would barely pass – in the face of Wrestlemania 2000 and even Attitude, it's simply inexcusable."
Upon its release, the game got above average reviews. The game was criticized for its poor collision detection and lack of diverse movesets. It was, however, praised for its smooth and detailed looking graphics and the sound was also highly praised.
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