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WWF War Zone

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WWF War Zone
Box art picturing Stone Cold Steve Austin in his signature pose
Developer(s)Iguana West
Probe Entertainment (GB)[5]
Publisher(s)Acclaim Entertainment[a]
Producer(s)Mike Archer[6]
Designer(s)Tim Huntsman
Clark Westerman
Richard Reagan
Troy Leavitt
Jeff Robinson
James Daly
Artist(s)Jane Bradley[6]
Composer(s)Tim Follin (GB)
Nintendo 64
Game Boy
ReleaseGame Boy
Nintendo 64
Genre(s)Sports (Fighting)
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

WWF War Zone is a professional wrestling video game developed by Iguana West and released by Acclaim Entertainment in 1998 for the PlayStation, Nintendo 64, and Game Boy. The game features wrestlers from the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE).

The game was followed by a sequel, WWF Attitude, released in 1999.


Players can perform each wrestler's signature move, including Steve Austin's "Stone Cold Stunner."

WWF War Zone features a gameplay system in which players must grapple with their opponent and perform a series of presses on the directional pad then a button press to perform wrestling maneuvers.[7] WWF War Zone also features audio commentary provided by Vince McMahon and Jim Ross.

A variety of modes are available. The single player game is highlighted by the "WWF Challenge" mode in which the player selects a character and challenges for WWF titles by beating other wrestlers. Sometimes previously defeated wrestlers will challenge the player to a "Grudge match." These matches will usually be weapons or cage matches. After winning the championship, the player can then defend it against a series of challengers. Various multiplayer options are available such as a free-for-all, two-on-two cage matches, and tornado tag team matches. The game also has a number of unlockable features such as hidden characters. War Zone also includes a training mode in which the player can freely practice the moves of their chosen wrestler.[8] Other gameplay options are also available exclusively in the Nintendo 64 version - gauntlet matches in which players challenge a series of opponents one after the other and Royal Rumble, in which the player must eliminate numerous wrestlers by throwing them over the top rope.[9] Exhibition matches against the computer can also be played, but the computer opponent is always chosen at random.[7]

War Zone also has a create-a-player feature.[10] It allows for players to create a custom wrestler, entering a name, customizing various attributes and choosing theme music. Wrestlers of both genders can be created, with various options for skin and muscle tone, as well as body type and in-ring apparel. Individual maneuvers cannot be chosen though and an entire set of moves must be copied from one of the game's existing wrestlers.[7]

Match types[edit]

Matches are won when one player meets any of the win conditions within the time limit. They must use a combination of strikes, grapple moves and holds to wear down their opponent's health, thus weakening their resistance to win attempts. Matches can be won by:

  • Pin - Using a pin cover while the opponent is lying on his back inside the ring, or using a 'Pin' move, to hold an opponent down for a 3 count. Pin attempts are only valid within the ring as long as neither player touches the ring ropes. A third participant can stop a pin attempt by striking either player.
  • Submission - Using a 'Pain' hold to inflict damage until the opponent gives up. The less remaining health the player has, the less pressure is needed to force a submission. Attempts are only valid within the ring. When a 'Pain' hold is applied, players will gradually slide towards the ring ropes. Should either player touch the ropes, the move is released.
  • Count out - When either player leaves the ring, voluntarily or otherwise, it will begin a 10 count. Any players who are still outside of the ring when the count reaches 10 will automatically lose. It is possible for all participants to lose at once if they are counted out. The count is restarted each time somebody leaves the ring.
  • Decree of Vince McMahon - If the time limit expires, the player with the most remaining health is sometimes declared the winner by default.
  • Disqualification - This is a self-inflicted loss. In exhibition 'Versus' matches, a player can press a specific button code to call for assistance from another wrestler. However, doing this makes winning impossible. If the advantaged player meets the win conditions, he will still lose by disqualification.

Versus - A regular match which pits 2 players against one another for a preset time limit. Most matches in Career Mode are Versus matches.

Tag Team - These matches feature 2 teams of 2 players facing off. One member of each team is the "legal" (active) player, while the other is inactive on the apron. Players may switch team members at any time using the Tag function. The "illegal" (inactive) partner may assist in the match, but he is limited to 15 seconds of activity at a time. The match ends under normal win conditions involving both legal participants.

Cage - Cage matches see the ring ropes replaced with cage walls. The match can only be won by climbing over a cage wall. Running into a cage wall can cause damage. Players can also perform diving attacks from the top of cage walls. These kinds of matches sometimes appear as Grudge matches in Season Mode.

Hardcore - Similar to a Versus match, but the arena is littered with usable weapons. If any object is used or dropped a certain number of times, it will "break" and fade away. Members of the crowd will periodically throw new weapons into the arena. Some larger objects can inflict extra damage if moves are performed on top of them. Pins and submission attempts can also be used outside of the ring. There is no ring-out count. These sometimes feature as Grudge Matches in Career Mode.

Tornado - A tag team match in which all players are "legal" and can participate at the same time. Meeting the win conditions will only eliminate one opponent. To win, the win conditions must be met against both rivals.

Battle Royal - A singles match featuring 3 or 4 players. The first player to meet the win conditions over any opponent wins the match.

Royal Rumble (Nintendo 64 only) - Opponents enter in intervals, and must be thrown over the top rope to be eliminated. All 16 main characters compete. The last player standing wins.

Playable characters[edit]

The game's main roster is composed of 18 wrestlers who were working for the WWF during the game's development, including some from Acclaim's previous WWF title WWF In Your House, such as The Undertaker, Goldust, and Ahmed Johnson.[11] New characters were added, including Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kane, and Ken Shamrock. War Zone also features a number of different factions: D-Generation X is represented by Shawn Michaels and Triple H, while The Nation of Domination is represented by Faarooq and The Rock. Three members of The Hart Foundation were featured: Bret Hart, Owen Hart and The British Bulldog. Both members of The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) were included, as were three of the personas of Mick Foley: Mankind, Cactus Jack, and Dude Love.[12] The latter two were not available at first and needed to be unlocked. Bret Hart and The British Bulldog had departed the WWF in November 1997, following the Montreal Screwjob (Hart and Bulldog would both appear in WCW/nWo Revenge released the same year). Ahmed Johnson left the company in February 1998 and Shawn Michaels temporarily retired in March 1998 after WrestleMania XIV, although he was still contracted with the promotion.

In addition to 'Create-A-Wrestler' mode, which allows players to design their own character, there are 3 pre-made characters which can be unlocked. Trainer, who appears in Training Mode, has British Bulldog's moves set. Sue, the belt girl who appears in Season Mode when a championship has been won, has a moves set identical to Bret Hart. Rattlesnake is essentially a fifth attire for Steve Austin, but had maxed out attributes.

There had been rumours of two additional characters; including a second ring-girl 'Pamela', and one based on Turok, the titular character from the Turok: Dinosaur Hunter series. However, these characters could only be made playable via cheat device.

In addition to the main roster and unlockable characters, there are also different attires for each superstar, with some such as Goldust and Stone Cold Steve Austin having more than others.


Early in development, the game was called WWF '98 and featured a different ring and arena.[13][14] The development team for War Zone consisted of 20 people, 10 each working on the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation versions. Development was begun on the PlayStation as developers waited to receive Nintendo 64 development kits. Space considerations of Nintendo 64 cartridges prevented developers from including the CD-quality audio and full motion video of wrestlers from the PlayStation version.[15] Despite the limited cartridge space, lead programmer Justin Towns (who had previously worked on WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game and WWF In Your House for Acclaim) found the Nintendo 64's z-buffering support and the faster speed in creating cartridges over burning CDs to be advantageous during the development process. The game took roughly a year and a half to develop.[16]

Parts of the War Zone game engine were taken from another Acclaim Sports title, NHL Breakaway. One of the developers who worked on Breakaway, John Lund[16] developed the "soft skin" technology that allowed characters to be rendered using models without seam lines.[17] For the PlayStation version, they used 3D models with more polygons and larger textures. Reduced polygon models and smaller textures were used during four wrestler matches in the PlayStation versions, while the Nintendo 64 used the same models for all matches. Developers found they were able to run the game at up to 640x240 resolution and maintain a constant 30 frames per second. The development team aimed to create a simulation-oriented experience, but with faster gameplay. Motion capture for the game was done by several wrestlers not working for any major professional wrestling promotion, who performed the various moves that were included in the game. Some maneuvers were dropped from the final game due to space and gameplay considerations.[15] WWF announcers Vince McMahon and Jim Ross recorded over an hour's worth of speech for the game's match commentary.[18]

Acclaim stated in early 1998 that the PlayStation version would only support up to two players, reasoning that the installed base for the PlayStation Multitap was too small to justify the additional month of development time needed to put in four-player support.[19] However, by the time of release the PlayStation version did support four players.

The same engine from War Zone would be reused for three follow-up games, ending with the 2000 release ECW Anarchy Rulz.[20]

Game Boy game[edit]

A Game Boy version of War Zone developed by Probe Entertainment was released on June 10, 1998.[21] Modes of play include singles, tag team and WWF Challenge. There is also an option to set the difficulty level and length of matches. The game includes some of the wrestlers from the other versions, including Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker and Kane. All wrestlers share the same moves except for their finishing moves.[5]


The Nintendo 64 and PlayStation versions received "favorable" reviews, while the Game Boy version received "mixed" reviews, according to video game review aggregator GameRankings.[23][24][22]

Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot complimented the gameplay and graphics and called the Nintendo 64 version the best wrestling game on the system.[9] He called the PlayStation version the "best wrestling package ever released and shouldn't be missed by anyone with even a passing interest in wrestling."[35] IGN's Douglass C. Perry complimented said version's presentation, speed of the gameplay and the in-depth create-a-wrestler mode in his review of the PlayStation version. Perry wrote that the game encompassed everything gamers were looking for in the wrestling game genre.[37] Anthony Baize of AllGame wrote that said version was "able to set itself aside from other games in the genre and offer players some newer, innovative options."[25] Matt Casamassina also praised the game's graphics in his review of the Nintendo 64 version, calling it "the best looking wrestling game ever made." While he faulted the game for its collision detection, static cutscenes and small selection of wrestlers, he recommended the game and anticipated the release of a sequel.[7] Tim Hsu of GameRevolution also offered praised for the N64 version's presentation, multiplayer options and create-a-wrestler mode. However, he expressed disappointment with its limited single-player mode. Nevertheless, he wrote that the game was good enough that it might even appeal to gamers who were not fans of professional wrestling.[33]

Johnny Ballgame of GamePro said that the PlayStation version was "not only the best wrestling game on the PlayStation, it's one of the most fun fighting games[,] period. As D-Generation X might say, 'Two words: Buy it!'"[44][c] However, Scary Larry said that the Nintendo 64 version "provides the thrills and spills of an all-out street fight, but with much better scripting."[44][d] Next Generation said that the former console version was "largely idiotic fun and especially great in multiplayer mode (up to four with a multitap). But it's the huge wealth of options and detail (including interactive player biographies) that makes the game shine and ultimately a great purchase... if you like professional wrestling."[39]

The PlayStation and Nintendo 64 versions were both finalists by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences for "Console Fighting Game of the Year" during the 2nd Annual Interactive Achievement Awards, which ultimately went to WCW/nWo Revenge.[45] The game was also nominated for Best Nintendo 64 Game at the 1998 CNET Gamecenter Awards, which went to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.[46]

The game gained favor with gamers and was a popular rental title in the U.S. for months after its release.[47][48][49][50] The game was also a bestseller in the UK.[51] War Zone initially sold more than 1 million copies within a year of its release.[52] By 2004, it was reported that the PlayStation version specifically sold over 2.2 million copies.[53]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Released under the Acclaim Sports label
  2. ^ In Electronic Gaming Monthly's review of the Nintendo 64 version, one critic gave it a score of 7.5/10, two critics gave it each a score of 8/10, and the other one gave it 8.5/10.
  3. ^ GamePro gave the PlayStation version three 5/5 scores for graphics, sound, and fun factor, and 4.5/5 for control.
  4. ^ GamePro gave the Nintendo 64 version two 4.5/5 scores for graphics and fun factor, 5/5 for sound, and 4/5 for control.


  1. ^ a b c "The Software Store". The Citizen. August 27, 1998. p. 3. Retrieved December 3, 2023. Available Friday 28th August//WWF Warzone N64/PSX/GBOY
  2. ^ "WWF War Zone - GameBoy (GB) ROM - Download". Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  3. ^ "Acclaim Sports Unleashes WWF War Zone(tm) for PlayStation". Acclaim Entertainment. July 29, 1998. Archived from the original on August 26, 2004.
  4. ^ "Acclaim Sports Launches WWF War Zone For Nintendo 64". Acclaim Entertainment. August 11, 1998. Archived from the original on August 26, 2004.
  5. ^ a b Wigmore, Glenn. "WWF War Zone (GB) - Overview". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "WWF War Zone (N64) - Credits". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 16, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e Casamassina, Matt (August 12, 1998). "WWF Warzone [sic] (N64)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  8. ^ "WWF War Zone: No Really, They're Not Acting!". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 102. Ziff Davis. January 1998. p. 42. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c Gerstmann, Jeff (August 20, 1998). "WWF War Zone Review (N64)". GameSpot. Red Ventures. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  10. ^ Johnny Ballgame (January 1998). "Sneak Previews: WWF Warzone [sic]". GamePro. No. 112. IDG. p. 54. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  11. ^ "WWF: In Your House (PS) - Overview". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  12. ^ Kunkel, Bill; Meikle, Betty A. (1998). Skolnick, Evan (ed.). WWF War Zone Official Strategy Guide. Acclaim Books. ISBN 157840990X.
  13. ^ "WWF '98 (PS; Preview)". Game Informer. No. 54. FuncoLand. October 1997. p. 68. Archived from the original on April 21, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  14. ^ Johnny Ballgame (October 1997). "Sneak Previews: WWF '98". GamePro. No. 109. IDG. p. 74. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  15. ^ a b Perry, Douglass C. (August 28, 1998). "WWF Warzone Interview, Pt. 1". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  16. ^ a b Perry, Douglass C. (August 28, 1998). "WWF Warzone Interview, Pt.2". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  17. ^ IGN staff (January 6, 1998). "Iguana Inside". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved February 25, 2012. We used "soft-skin" models [polygon models without seam-lines], high poly-count models
  18. ^ Perry, Douglass C. (December 12, 1997). "Iguana Talks Warzone [sic]". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  19. ^ "WWF War Zone". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 105. Ziff Davis. April 1998. p. 62.
  20. ^ The D-Pad Destroyer (August 10, 2000). "ECW Anarchy Rulz Review for PlayStation on GamePro.com". GamePro. IDG Entertainment. Archived from the original on February 1, 2005. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  21. ^ "Probe Games - LaunchBox Games Database".
  22. ^ a b "WWF War Zone for Game Boy". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 4, 2019. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  23. ^ a b "WWF War Zone for Nintendo 64". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 12, 2019. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  24. ^ a b "WWF War Zone for PlayStation". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 22, 2019. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  25. ^ a b Baize, Anthony. "WWF War Zone (PS) - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on December 12, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  26. ^ a b Pacchiano, Ronald V. (September 29, 1998). "WWF War Zone (N64, PS)". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on August 15, 2000. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  27. ^ Niiico (September 1998). "WWF War Zone (N64)". Consoles + (in French). No. 80. p. 105. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  28. ^ a b Huhtala, Alex (September 1998). "WWF War Zone (N64, PS)". Computer and Video Games. No. 202. EMAP. p. 58. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  29. ^ Smith, Shawn; Ricciardi, John; Hsu, Dan; Hager, Dean (September 1998). "WWF War Zone (N64)". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 110. Ziff Davis. p. 146. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  30. ^ EGM staff (September 1998). "WWF War Zone (PS)". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 110. Ziff Davis.
  31. ^ McNamara, Andy; Anderson, Paul; Storm, Jon (October 1998). "WWF War Zone (N64)". Game Informer. No. 66. FuncoLand. p. 42. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  32. ^ "WWF War Zone (PS)". Game Informer. No. 66. FuncoLand. October 1998. p. 69. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  33. ^ a b Hsu, Tim (August 1998). "WWF War Zone Review (N64)". GameRevolution. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on February 24, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  34. ^ Clint (July 1998). "WWF War Zone - PlayStation Review". GameRevolution. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on February 4, 2004. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  35. ^ a b Gerstmann, Jeff (July 29, 1998). "WWF War Zone Review (PS)". GameSpot. Red Ventures. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  36. ^ Toose, Dan (August 1998). "WWF Warzone [sic] (N64)". Hyper. No. 58. Next Media Pty Ltd. p. 55. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  37. ^ a b Perry, Douglass C. (August 29, 1998). "WWF Warzone [sic] (PS)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved February 25, 2012.
  38. ^ Kitts, Martin (September 1998). "WWF Warzone [sic]". N64 Magazine. No. 19. Future Publishing. pp. 48–51.
  39. ^ a b "WWF Warzone [sic] (PS)". Next Generation. No. 47. Imagine Media. November 1998. p. 158. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  40. ^ "WWF War Zone (GB)". Nintendo Power. Vol. 111. Nintendo of America. August 1998.
  41. ^ "WWF: War Zone [sic] (N64)". Nintendo Power. Vol. 111. Nintendo of America. August 1998. p. 95. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  42. ^ "WWF War Zone". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Vol. 1, no. 12. Ziff Davis. September 1998.
  43. ^ Walk, Gary Eng (October 2, 1998). "WWF War Zone (PS)". Entertainment Weekly. No. 452. Time Inc. Archived from the original on April 21, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  44. ^ a b Johnny Ballgame; Scary Larry (August 1998). "WWF War Zone (N64, PS)". GamePro. No. 119. IDG. pp. 42–43. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  45. ^ "Second Interactive Achievement Awards: Console". Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on October 11, 1999. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  46. ^ Gamecenter staff (January 29, 1999). "The CNET Gamecenter.com Awards for 1998! (Nintendo 64 Nominees 2)". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on August 18, 2000. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  47. ^ IGN staff (August 27, 1998). "Warzone [sic] Rental Reign". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  48. ^ IGN staff (September 10, 1998). "Rental Charts: The Day of the Warzones [sic]". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  49. ^ IGN staff (September 30, 1998). "Warzone [sic] Still Numero Uno". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  50. ^ IGN staff (October 15, 1998). "Warzone [sic] Unsinkable in Charts". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  51. ^ "Gallup UK PlayStation sales chart". Official UK PlayStation Magazine. No. 38. Future Publishing. November 1998.
  52. ^ Dalton, Richard (August 5, 1999). "Acclaim's Video Game as hit before release". Newsday. p. 56. Retrieved December 21, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  53. ^ "US Platinum Chart". The Magic Box. 2004. Archived from the original on April 21, 2007. Retrieved December 26, 2023.

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