I really love playing the Choice of Games titles: their sci fi adventures usually take me to unexplored planets, have me fight hordes of aliens or defeat terrible dragons. You can understand my surprise when I found out that they’re now releasing an interactive story based on the professional wrestling scene… and with me knowing as much about wrestling as I do about cricket (which is not much) and liking those staged matches as much as I like a screw in my elbow, I was sure I’ll get very bored playing the game. Slammed – in case that you didn’t see it coming from the title.
Interactive fiction and choose your own path type of stories went – until now – perfectly with the fantasy and sci fi genres, and I never associated them with something as real as wrestling. However, Slammed and Choice of Games managed to surprise me once again, proving that great writing and an amazing choice of events is enough to turn an underdog into a superstar. Which will be exactly what you’ll be doing in the game too, with your professional wrestler.
Following a ton of chapters with flashbacks in the past and a ton of choices that will put you in deep moral dilemmas, Slammed starts with the energy of a rookie wrestler and keeps the pace up all the way to the entertaining end. Which is shaped on your actions, decisions and style of play.
In case you haven’t played such a game before, the “gameplay” is extremely simple: after reading tons of text (masterfully written, in this case), you have to choose one of the available options that shapes the course of the story. For example, you might get, at one point in the game, a proposal to fix a match: it’s up for you to decide what to do and it will certainly affect the future events. Make the wrong choice and you might end up as a failed wrestler, drinking his sorrow in cheap motel rooms…
What I liked about Slammed was that, up to a point, could be compared to the amazing Walking Dead game from Telltale: some of the choices that you had to make were so difficult and none seemed right, that it really tested out your personality. And what you get in return is the exact response to who you are: a fair player, a mean villain or somebody who’s interested in nothing but revenge and fame. It’s up for each of you decide and it will be an incredible ride.
So even though I will still not open my TV to watch wrestling matches for a couple of hours, I can say that I already know a bit more about the sport, I know what kayfabe means and, most important, I became a top pro wrestler. Virtually, of course, but it was just as entertaining and amazing as the real thing would have been (I suppose). In other words, if reading a lot doesn’t seem like a big turn off for you, Slammed by Choice of Games is a must play, even if you are like me more into fantasy and sci fi and less into Wrestling.