TNA has slowly began to amass popularity and success, much like how ECW amassed its fame overtime. TNA is a wrestling entity that's actually not regulated by the WWE and Vince McMahon, which further helped it to gain some popularity, as Vinny Mac isn't exactly the most liked individual among wrestling fans. Additionally, with Kurt Angle as one of the show's primary wrestlers, TNA had managed to make a respected name for itself. And, of course, as history has told us in the past, anything popular among a certain demographic will almost always see itself in videogame form. TNA is no exception.
Named after the show, TNA iMpact! (the lower case "i" is supposed to look like an exclamation point, you see) marks the very first time that the TNA franchise and its wrestlers see themselves translated into virtual forms. After much talk between Electronic Arts and Rockstar, Midway managed to snag the license up, and so here we are with the game approaching its Spring 2008 release.
The game will be developed internally by Midway at their Los Angeles studios. It'll run on a heavily modified Unreal Engine III, boasting some of the best looking player models this generation has seen. Additionally, Samoa Joe and A.J. Styles are lending an advising hand to Midway by helping them with the development of the game – they saw themselves fit because they themselves are dedicated gamers.
TNA iMpact! is set to focus more on high-intensity and speed in order to keep the pace and feel of the game more action packed, as opposed to being overly simulated. Midway claims the game will feature intuitive controls, for a more enjoyable experience. And when you're pulling off your maneuvers, it'll all be motion captured animations that a number of TNA wrestlers actually performed for Midway. Likewise, wrestlers have also been scanned for the game, allowing the visuals to display every fine detail on their bodies.
Each wrestler will have his list of movies, including his finisher(s). The finisher moves will be performed by building up the iMpact! meter, which will then allow you to pull it off. If you happen to be the one pinned down or in a hold, there'll be a mini-game, which I assume is a set of button executions, that you'll have to perform in order to escape.
In addition to regular matches such as one-on-one, tag-team, and Fatal Four-Way, other modes will include Ultimate X, and King of the Mountain. There'll certainly be other match modes, but Midway hasn't gone into specifics about them yet. On the other hand, Midway has confirmed that the game will be playable online, but specifics on how many players it'll handle are also unknown.
A total of 25 wrestlers are expected to appear in the game, and the following have been confirmed or seen in media:
TNA iMpact! is sounding quite promising, and if its gameplay can live up to the caliber of its visuals, then THQ's WWE SmackDown! has some stiff competition coming for it. Look for TNA iMpact! this coming Spring 2008.