TNA Impact! - updated hands on

We couldn’t get a great deal of information on the single-player story mode - only that it used your created player and would be among the most unique anywhere. However, we got the full lowdown on the remaining modes: Exhibition, Standard, Tag-team, Free for All (2-4 players, every man for himself), Hardcore (which officially allows weapons such as chairs), Tag Hardcore, Submissions Only, Falls Count, Falls Count Tag and Monster’s Ball, which is essentially Free for All and Hardcore combined. And finally, there's Ultimate X mode.

Never heard of it? It’s a TNA exclusive mode in which there are ropes hung like a clothesline in an X shape across the top of the ring, and a big red X hanging from the center point where they intersect. The object? Climb the turnbuckle and shimmy along the ropes, and get that big red X down. It’s similar to the WWE’s ladder match, but without the ladder - remember when we said these guys were athletic? This is where they prove it.

Unless, of course, you kick them off the ropes before they get the X. With 1000 moves at your disposal, you had to know a few of them were designed for that specific purpose. Heck, there seem to be moves for every purpose. There are no dead areas here. If you’re still in the six-sided ring and your target is on the apron, you can still attack him. If you’re on the turnbuckle and he’s completely outside the ring, you can still attack him. If he's left the building, hailed a cab, and driven to Bolivia, he might be out of reach. But if he re-enters the arena, you can still attack him. There is, quite literally, nowhere in the building that is safe.

In fact, that might be what the WWE is thinking right about now. TNA isn’t just an annoying mosquito buzzing around the WWE gorilla’s ear any more - it’s newer, hungrier, and damn good looking. Its game looks to have the same strengths.

Apr 18, 2008