WCW Mayhem is a professional wrestling video game by Electronic Arts, which shares its name with a World Championship Wrestling pay-per-view event. The first WCW game produced by EA, it was released for PlayStation and Nintendo 64 in 1999 and for the Game Boy Color the following year.
The game featured several firsts for a wrestling title. For instance, Mayhem was the first game to feature all twelve WCW pay-per-view venues as well as all three major WCW TV shows (Nitro, Thunder, and Saturday Night). Mayhem was also the first wrestling game released in the United States to include backstage areas, a feature which would be expanded upon in its sequel, WCW Backstage Assault. It was also one of the first wrestling games to integrate audio commentary provided by Bobby Heenan and Tony Schiavone; although, only Schiavone was included in the N64 version despite some of his lines being addressed directly to Heenan. The game was also originally going to be the first story-based wrestling video game. This idea, however, was later abandoned due to time restraints.
Mayhem also featured a Pay-Per-View mode which was unique from other wrestling games, in that the player could enter a code to unlock real-life pay-per-view match lineups; these codes would be given on Monday Nitro broadcasts the week before a pay-per-view. However, this only lasted for three months (ending with the pay-per-view of the same name), as the games' roster was outdated soon after its release, with several of the featured wrestlers leaving the company. The game was partially sponsored by Surge soft drinks at the time of game release.
After failing to match the success of WCW's video games amidst the Monday Night Wars, WCW's main competitor, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), ended a twelve-year relationship with Acclaim Entertainment by defecting to THQ. Not wishing to share game publishers with its competitor, WCW ended its successful run of THQ titles by partnering with Electronic Arts in 1999.
Mayhem's working title was WCW/nWo Mayhem, as evidenced by early photographs featuring wrestlers wearing shirts with an older Mayhem logo. The game was promoted for months on WCW TV, including a counter which appeared on programs such as Monday Nitro and Thunder, counting down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds to Mayhem's release on August 31, 1999. A clip was even shown of Goldberg's character in a house environment spearing someone through a wall but the move and the house area were not seen in the final game.
A sequel to this game, tentatively titled WCW Mayhem 2 was planned for release on the PlayStation 2 in 2001. The game was slated to be developed by Aki Corporation, the developers of acclaimed WCW and WWF titles for the Nintendo 64. However, due to WCW being purchased by the WWF, the game's development was canceled. Aki would instead develop Def Jam Vendetta for the next generation of consoles. Work on WCW Mayhem 2 began mainly in response to the failure of WCW Backstage Assault.
The game offers you the chance to play more than 50 wrestlers and create one using the create-a-wrestler feature.
- Monday Nitro - modern and classic sets (the "classic" Monday Nitro set must be unlocked.)
- Thursday Thunder - classic and modern sets
- Saturday Night
- Souled Out
- Spring Stampede
- The Great American Bash
- Bash at the Beach
- Road Wild
- Fall Brawl
- Halloween Havoc
- World War 3
Despite being seen as the background for the options screens, the WCW Mayhem arena was not selectable during the game. Also, most of the arenas in the game feature old-style WCW logos (with some featuring the WCW/nWo logo).
- Locker Room
- Storage Room
- Parking Lot (Day)
- Parking Lot (Night)
- Boiler Room
- Ticket Office
- Loading Room
- Office (Day)
- Office (Night)
- Media Room
- First Aid Room
Steve McMichael and Chris Jericho were featured in this game despite having left the WCW roster months earlier. In the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation versions of the game, the roster is divided into factions: WCW, nWo Hollywood, nWo Wolfpac, Four Horsemen, Cruiserweights, and Hardcore. Most of the non-wrestler hidden characters were placed in the Hardcore division.
Featured wrestlers (N64/PS1)
Unlockable wrestlers (N64/PS1)
Featured wrestlers (GBC)
Upon its release the game got above average reviews. However, critics did cite the game for its poor collision detection and lack of diverse movesets but the game was praised for its smooth and detailed looking graphics and the sound was also highly praised. Rotten Tomatoes gives WCW Mayhem a 58%, and Metacritic gives the game a 60 out of 100 reviews, which are average ratings. In addition, many felt the much-touted create-a-wrestler mode was below average.
|World Championship Wrestling video games|
|WCW Wrestling • The Main Event • SuperBrawl Wrestling • WCW vs. the World • Nitro • WCW vs. nWo: World Tour • Thunder • Revenge • Mayhem • Backstage Assault|