WWE All-Stars

Xbox 360 PlayStation 3
Disc Size 6.0GB 6.95GB
Install 6.0GB (optional) -
Surround Support Dolby Digital Dolby Digital, 5.1LPCM, 7.1LPCM, DTS

This latest offers from THQ sees the famous WWE stars of old squaring up against modern-day fan favourites in a non-too-serious brawler that bears more resemblance to an arcade style, grapple-based beat' em up than a proper wrestling game. WWE All-Stars is a fun fight fest packed with stylishly choreographed special and signature moves, while the shiny plastic look of the characters brings back memories of those old-skool WWE action figures from so long ago.

With that in mind, the visuals are almost are as important as the rest of the package here: the characters, the music and the fondly remembered signature moves are all core elements of what makes this game what it is. In this regard we see that the 360 version has a distinct advantage over the PS3 release. While, the end result is equally playable, there's little doubt that the Xbox 360 game commands a significant advantage in terms of the visuals.

WWE All-Stars is presented without any anti-aliasing on either platform, but while Xbox 360 implements a full 720p framebuffer, this has been pared back to 1152x640 on PlayStation 3, resulting in a considerably blurrier image; fine detail is impacted, and there's more in the way of jaggies crawling across the display - a side effect of both the lack of anti-aliasing and the additional upscaling artifacts. While the Xbox 360 version has a commanding lead in terms of resolution, it also seems to produce a richer image, looking far more washed out on the PlayStation 3.

Beyond these differences, the two games generally match up quite well. The vast majority of texture detail and artwork, for example, is identical across both platforms - indeed, spectator textures are actually a touch more detailed on the PS3 (although this is hardly anything to brag about, as the crowds generally look poor on both). Elsewhere, other elements generally fare better on the 360: post processing elements are rendered out in higher precision, and possibly higher resolution. We also see shadow filter differences, with dithering on PS3 and jittered samples on Xbox 360.

Performance-wise, gameplay operates at 60Hz, while the more detail heavy cut-scenes are delivered at a more manageable 30FPS. V-sync is constantly enabled on the PS3, with no screen tearing at all. On the Xbox 360 we see it being dropped when the frame-rate goes below the targeted refreshes, which can result in some short bursts of mild tearing. Overall, PS3 owners get a slightly more consistent experience with less in the way of mild drips in frame-rate, and no tearing. The cut-scenes appear to be locked at 30FPS too, whereas occasionally they do go above this on the 360 for very short periods of time.

Regardless, you'll find that All-Stars is highly playable on both formats despite the obvious graphical differences that stand between them. Visually though, there's no contest with this one; the 360 versions is sharper, displaying more fine detail, and contains considerably more depth compared to its washed-out PS3 counterpart.

While the actual art is basically identical, it's a shame to see it compromised by the sub-HD upscale blur and borked gamma output. In that respect the final recommendation rests with the Xbox 360 version. That said, it should be pointed out that both are just as playable as each other, and PS3 wrestling fans should by no means miss out if that's the only choice they have.

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About the author

Richard Leadbetter

Richard Leadbetter

Technology Editor, Digital Foundry

Rich has been a games journalist since the days of 16-bit and specialises in technical analysis. He's commonly known around Eurogamer as the Blacksmith of the Future.