Fire Pro Wrestling has returned with the latest effort from developer Spike Churnsoft, Fire Pro Wrestling World, for PC/Steam.
You’d be forgiven for not knowing a huge amount about the Fire Pro Wrestling series, while it has a following in the West it’s not one of the largest wrestling series on our shores. We’re going to pitch this review assuming you’re a newcomer to the series, simply for the benefit of covering the game’s unique features.
I was first introduced to the Fire Pro series with the Game Boy Advance version. So When I saw that a new title in the series had released in early access on Steam this month, I was excited to get involved.
Fire Pro Wrestling delivers exactly what the series is known for, huge amounts of customisation and then some, there are one or two changes in this offering though. While Fire Pro has never used licensed wrestlers, it’s always come loaded with superstars clearly based on those known around the world, Fire Pro World, however, doesn’t. It does come pre-loaded with a ton of wrestlers but they are all made in-house at Spike and bare no resemblance to real-world wrestlers.
The thing with Fire Pro is it doesn’t need the licenses or the glitz or the fancy bells and whistles the WWE games have, in this game, you create all of that. The customisation in FPW, for this reason, is expansive. You can alter everything from wrestler appearance to how fast they recover from stamina loss to how they react to bleeding and completely tailor their abilities, strengths and weaknesses down to the finest detail.
To list all the options in FPW would be to do an injustice, you need to play it and tweak everything for yourself to really appreciate just what you can do. If you’re a wrestling fan and you enjoy customising wrestling games then you will feel like a kid in a sweet shop holding a golden ticket while you tinker around with this. Just playing about with it for two hours or so took me right back to the days of creating PPV’s and fighters on the original Smackdown or the incredible No Mercy on the N64.
Custom wrestlers are the staple of FPW and all Fire Pro games and with Steam Workshop you can go further than before and download other players creations as well as upload and share your own. Within hours of the game being live almost every real-life superstar, you can think of had been created and uploaded to the workshop.
The customisation doesn’t end there though, you can also edit your own rings and add your own images via the workshop, you can import your own entrance music and create customised match rules to put on the best shows you can. Each match ends with a rating and to reach the coveted 100% you’ll need to go big. Luckily that’s why you can host barb wire matches, cage matches, MMA Fights and even landmine matches to name just a few. Putting on massive shows with brutal matches is easy in Fire Pro World.
The matches themselves are typical of FPW and that is to say, that timing is king, hitting the controls right at the correct time is the only way to succeed but it’s not as difficult as that may sound. We used an Xbox controller to play and found it made the game much better, the keyboard and mouse controls having felt a little too clunky for our liking.
Overall Fire Pro World is long overdue, it caters to both longtime fans of the game and newcomers alike. If you’re looking for licensed material and glamour then you’ll need to stick with the 2K Sports games. If you’re looking for a fun, endlessly customisable, outside the box wrestling game then FPW is for you.
As mentioned at the top of this review, Fire Pro Wrestling World is still in early access and there is much more to come from Spike Chunsoft. What that will be is unknown at this time but the devs are looking at player feedback, which for the most part at the moment is very positive and full of fantastic ideas.
Fire Pro Wrestling is available now in early access on Steam with a PlayStation 4 release planned for the future.