Gaming Flashback: Extreme Warfare Revenge
In my nearly two decades gaming, I have played my fair share of games across just about every gaming platform there is and, while I enjoy gaming in general, one of my favorite things is when two things I love come together in a video game, specifically wrestling and video games. I'm sure you're thinking to yourself that these two things aren't exactly uncommon, but something that I have always wanted to do in a wrestling games is have the freedom to hire or first talent, book matches, and have everything play out the way I want it to. While more modern wrestling games have given some level of freedom with the Universe Mode in the recent WWE games or the Fire Pro Wrestling series, but nothing gives you the level of freedom that I have been looking for, that was until I discovered Extreme Warfare Revenge.
Extreme Warfare Revenge is a simulation game by Adam Ryland, who would later go on to found Grey Dog Software. EWR is a program that allows you to book your own wrestling promotion from hiring and firing talent, booking your show, and creating story-lines. Nearly every aspect of a wrestling promotion is under your control and the program, at the time, was a dream for any smart mark. Outside of managing the company, you will also have to deal with the locker room as, thanks to worker relationships, you can have workers become upset with the hiring or firing of certain talent which will, in turn, affect their performance in the ring and during promos. It's the little touches like these that make the experience feel more authentic.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that this program doesn't have much in the way of graphics, as the only real “graphics” in the game are pictures of wrestlers, promotion logos, belts, ect. Otherwise the game is menu driven and is ninety-nine percent text, and why this may be off putting to some, I actually prefer this type of interface for a simulation game like this. With the lack of any real graphical interface, the game is entirely menu driven and uses a point and click interface. The menus are incredibly easy to navigate and the menus are all clearly labeled, making it easy to jump in and learn as you go.
One of the greatest things about EWR is the incredible amount of customization the game offers. The game, at the time of its final release in July 2003, the game had a database of current wrestlers from a number of major and indie promotions in North America. Thanks to an editor that is included with the program, the databases can be customized, allowing players to create updated or period specific databases, or even an entirely original database for those willing to put in the time and effort. Thanks to a very active fan community the program currently offers databases from various years ranging from January 1975 through March 2015, not to mention several original databases based on potential alternate timelines or entirely original ones.
Extreme Warfare Revenge was a game I certainly spent a lot of time with thanks to its community support, EWR has managed to survive for thirteen years despite Adam Ryland and Grey Dog Studios releasing updated versions of the game and eventually evolving it into Total Extreme Wrestling. This is one of the games I still love to revisit occasionally, despite owning TEW 2010 on Steam and TEW 2013. It's a fantastic game and is something that any hardcore wrestling fan should enjoy. Oh, it's also fair to mention that both EWR and the first version of Total Extreme Wrestling, TEW 2005, are both available as freeware, so what better way to to try these games than for free?